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O . . . oil, petrOleum, fuel, which I’m guessing is the sixth boro’s most valuable cargo; not to say sand, rock, scrap, cement lack value.   Wonder fuel of the past 150 or so years, thanks to what Edwin Drake started.  But what will power home and industry and what cargo will hold greatest value  150 years from now, or a hundred, or fifty, twenty.

Tankers move crude in, and other tankers move petroleum products both in . . . and out.  We export petroleum products –like diesel–due to relative refining capacity, but I’ve no clue where Stena Performance goes when she leaves the Kills for sea.

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Adriatic Sea, southbound on the Hudson near Bear Mountain Bridge, pushes what might be petroleum or might be ethanol.

aaao2Here Taurus pushes a fuel tank.

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As does Curtis Reinauer.
aaaocr Bering Sea has a loaded fuel tank on the hip.

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When a tanker comes into this terminal on the KVK, they hook into hoses like these.

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Here’s the whole set.  Is there a technical term for these, both individual hoses and the entire set?

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Scorship King Douglas, exactly a year old, came in this morning, but it hardly seems loaded to capacity.  Why not?  Tug is Rowan M McAllister.

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When Eagle Atlanta came in, she seemed deeper in the water than King Douglas, but maybe  both were to capacity.  Tug is Marjorie B McAllister.

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What was uncomfortable about writing this post is all the unknowns, and I know I don’t know a lot related to oil.  Yet, my daily life could not happen without oil.  Very few people on the face of the Earth can say they are totally free of a reliance on oil.  It’s an amazing admission, given that it’s a finite resource.  Yet, I think I can safely say that most of us don’t know much about the source, international supply and refining chain, and transportation of items in their lives stemming from petroleum.  Like the gas I put in my car today, I’ve no clue where it lay in the Earth for hundreds of hundreds of thousands of years before–relatively recently–it started the journey toward the gas tank of my car.  And the oil that refining transformed into plastics and chemicals in my house, which pocket beneath the surface did that come from?  If I burned wood to run a steam engine, I might at least know which tree I cut to get this nice hot fire, but oil . . . not a hint.   And it all bothers me because I’d like to know.

Metaphorically, oil as fuel and lubricant . . . it’s potent stuff, without which, nothing good happens.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated to this post, but go back to “Meditations M” . . . on masts.  Les Sonnenmark labeled almost all the units on Yankee‘s mast.  Can anyone help with the topmost one?

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I’m recommending a book: Oil on the Brain. Lisa Margonelli, the author and someone ‘ve never met, has a piece in 5/13 online edition of the NYTimes, linked here and available only if you’re subscribed to the Times. Here’s a blogpost about Oil . . ..

 

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Here Stapleton Service and barge named Energy 2201 transfers fuel in Newark. From Margonelli, a statistic: how much liability insurance is carried on a fuel barge?

 

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Some fuel is transferred directly from tanker to barge for coastal or river transport. Stena Performance featured in this earlier post.

 

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Here’s also a direct transfer from tanker Alpha Express to fuel barge. Here and here are some closeups of Alpha Express offloading in Boston.

The insurance statistic is about $1 billion. More from Margonelli: rank the following means of oil transport according to spillage from most to least (tug/barge, pipeline, truck) The most spillage . . . truck, and the least spillage . . . tug/barge. No spillage is acceptable, but hats off to the tugsters.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

My brother buys a Hess truck each year. He likes the iconic colors that make the brand and has no interest in Hess history.

 

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This post from December I had thought to call “Branded,” given the photos. So the iconic markings on this ship have brought up this notion again. Here’s a link to a fabulous foto of the same ship under construction and before it’s branded with the corporate colors.

 

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It is a remarkable vessel; check out the P-Max microsite on the right side for safety features of this Bermuda-registered ship.

 

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If you’re wondering by now what connection this has with Hess, it’s a transporter of Hess petroleum: a branded ship carrying a differently branded fuel for our branded vehicles. Further interesting, Stena Performance is Swedish-owned and US-leased. And Croatia-built, land of the argosy.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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