LOADING ARMS DAMAGED AT NORTH SEA TERMINAL

LOADING ARMS DAMAGED AT NORTH SEA TERMINAL

A tanker loading crude oil at the North Sea's Sullom Voe oil terminal damaged the loading arms it was attached to because of high winds, a spokesman for British Petroleum Co. PLC, which operates the terminal, said Thursday.

The spokesman said extensive damage was sustained to the loading arms at jetty 4 Thursday morning. However, he added the company did not anticipate any problems with future loading operations at the terminal.In accordance with standard terminal procedures, loading was terminated on the 412,616-deadweight-metric-ton Chevron North America, which was berthed at jetty 4, and on two other tankers when the wind speed increased to over 45 knots.

The loading arms had been drained down and disconnection was in progress on all three jetties when a sudden squall, gusting at over 60 knots, caused the Chevron North America to move away from the berth. The loading arms went out of limit and the swivel joints at the couplers sheared at each arm, the spokesman said.

As a result the 4 loading arms sustained extensive damage, but there were no injuries or oil spillages, he said. Four tugs, which were already standing by, were quickly dispatched to assist with the repositioning of the tanker.