Welcome to the GTZX web site.


Since I became aware of the Centenary of BP Shipping I have been looking around for information on the ships and seafarers that have been involved. It seems a pity that BP have not seen fit to create some form of web archive and there are several comments to that effect on the Ships Nostalgia web site.

It appears that BP are not alone in not providing an archive, Kees Helder has published Helderline, a web site primarily about Shell tankers and Auk Visser has created his Historical Tankers Site, which has information about a huge number of tankers with photographs, including some of BP's, but with a special emphasis on the Esso fleet.

I have taken it upon myself to develop this site and I hope many of my fellow seafarers who have spent time at sea with BP will help in the task of creating a useful and interesting resource for anyone with an interest in the ships and people of the BP fleet, past, present and future.

GTZX was the fleet call sign of BP Shipping until 1986, when the ships were flagged out. It will be familiar to all deck officers and radio officers, as well as others, who sailed on BP ships prior to this date. It seems an appropriate name for a site dedicated to the people and ships of the BP Fleet.

Feel free to upload any photographs you may have to either the Gallery which is superceding the Ships, Archive and Misc Galleries. It is assumed that if you upload a photograph you have the right to do so and will not be infringing any copyrights.

Note that in order to view the crew list information, or add and view photographs you need to be a registered user.

I make no claim that the information on this site is complete or accurate, but I am continuing to research and will add, or edit data as it becomes available.

The Royal Institute of Navigation has reported the sad death of Captain Ralph Maybourn. I have enclosed the text of the RIN obituary below. 


Ralph was apprenticed to the BP Tanker Company in 1942 and rapidly gained his Extra Master's Certificate, becoming BP's Marine Superintendent in Kuwait by 1963. By 1978 he had been appointed Director of the entire Tanker Company and in 1981 went on to become General Manager of what is now BP Shipping.

Despite his managerial responsibilities, after 1962 he still undertook periods at sea, including command of a 215,000 deadweight ton VLCC, and was involved in the voyage of the supertanker MANHATTAN through the NW Passage to Alaska.

Ralph was also closely involved in a number of national and international bodies. Posts included Advisor to the the DoT's Marine Pollution Unit, Chairman of the General Council of British Shipping's Marine Policy Committee and Chairman of the DoI's Marine Technology Committee. He was also a former President of the Hydrographic Society.

He spent many years on the Institute's Technical Committee, becoming its Chairman, and was Institute President from 1978 to 1981. He was elected a Fellow and, in 1972, awarded the Institute's Bronze Medal.

Friends and colleagues are invited to a Service of Thanksgiving at 1400 on 22 November at Christ Church, 3 High Oaks, St Albans, AL3 6DJ.

We pass our condolences to Ralph's daughters Susan and Angela, who may be contacted through the Institute.


I'm sure many of you will join me in passing condolences to his family.

This month's BP Magazine has an article on the new Partnership class of LNG tankers which may be of interest. It also includes a short time lapse of the building of the British Partner.

 

British Partner 2018

BP Shipping has taken delivery of British Partner, the first of a half dozen

new 173,400 cubic meter capacity liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers to be delivered through 2018 and 2019 from the DSME shipyard in South Korea.

BP Shipping, which launched a fleet rejuvenation program in 2016 that includes 32 new vessels for delivery over a three-year period, says the six new Partnership class ships will increase its ability to transport LNG in emerging new markets, such as Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt and Bangladesh, in addition to established markets, such as India, China, the U.S. and Australia.

BP is set to increase its LNG supply significantly over the next four years thanks, largely, to new projects in the U.S., and off the coast of Mozambique,” said Oli Beavon, technical vice president for BP Shipping. The new Partnership class ships will give us the necessary capacity to transport those extra volumes around the world.” 

According to Splash247 BP has been struggling to off load portions of its fleet amid a tepid outlook for tankers. BP Shipping started marketing a trio of elderly MR tankers earlier this year, a move that would have removed the outfit’s exposure to the MR sector.

Soon after a transaction was reported on subject, with Korean outt Sinokor condently listed as the taker. No deal was ever finalised however and the 47,000 dwt British Courtesy, British Serenity and British Tranquility are now reported sold again, albeit for a much lower price.

At the end of February the 2005-built sisterships were reported sold en bloc for $12.2m each. Yesterday the ships showed up as sold again. This time, no taker was disclosed, but the price for one of the ships is reported at $10.7m, signicantly less than online portal VesselsValue sets the market price for the ships at.

I've been quite busy this year with other stuff and have not spent a lot of time on this site, certailnly not as much as I should have. Because of this I had not noticed that there was a backlog of nearly 60 people who had tried to register as users, but had for some reason, not been able to complete the process. The registration is an automatic process carried out by the site itself, I only need to intervene if there is a problem.

Clearly there has been a problem which prevented the registration process completing satisfatorily. I should have noticed this sooner, so many apologies to those whose attempts to register were unsuccessful. I have reset the system and resent comfirmation emails where necessary and we have had over 20 new members in the last twenty four hours. Welcome to you all.

I have also been a bit tardy in updating the Fleet Lists, there have been several changes not yet recorded on the site. I'll get that sorted too.

Regards

Chris

George King died on 8th December 2017. Those of us that were at sea during the 70's will know the name well. 

There is an obituary in today's DT for Gabby King. From what I knew of him it seems to sum him up well.

I only met him once, late 1973, when he was, I think, Chief Marine Supt and I was a lowly cadet. I was on the Faith, laid up alongside in Falmouth on the bridge keeping a VHF watch. I heard the agents call and ran into the chartroom (remember them?) to answer the call. Gabby was heading in the other direction and I knocked him A over T. The old man, Jasper Cliffe, was not amused, Gabby took in in good part. Shortly after that I was transferred to the Light. Read into that what you will.