IMO 2020: Bunker buyers need to shift from thinking fuel procurement to fuel management, says ExxonMobil

IMO 2020: Bunker buyers need to shift from thinking fuel procurement to fuel management, says ExxonMobil

The upcoming IMO 2020 global sulfur cap on marine fuel will require ship owners / operators to shift their thinking on how they buy bunkers, says Luca Volta, ExxonMobil’s Marine Fuels Venture Manager.

“Right now, the industry does fuel procurement. In 2020 the industry will need to do fuel management, and the two are very different,” Volta told Ship and bunker.

“Fuel management is understanding the property of the fuel, understanding the property of the fuel, understanding your supplier and what is behind them. And this needs to be done almost on a vessel by vessel basis as they’re not all the same. Tanker segregation and line segregation, for example, might be very different. So a lot of conversation we have had with our customers goes down to the nitty gritty on a per vessel basis. ”

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ExxonMobil commits to work with shipping industry on multi-fuel landscape

The international oil and gas company ExxonMobil will still be engaged with the shipping industry as the market changes into a multi-fuel landscape under the global sulphur cap regulation from 2020. As Iain White, ExxonMobil Marine Fuels and Lubricants global marketing manager said ExxonMobil is going to be involved in making all the options of the multi-fuel scenario available including LNG, high sulphur fuel oil use with abatement technology, 0.1% and 0.5% sulphur fuel oil as well as blends and distillates.

Read more here: Marine Propulsion

Survey shows: No clear route to 2020 sulphur cap compliance

A survey by ExxonMobil has found that many vessel operators are insecure in selecting the best route to comply with the 2020 0.5% global fuel sulphur limit set by the IMO. Results showed that 68% of the respondents believed the marine sector is not ready for the deadline.

The 2020 global 0.5% sulphur cap is drawing ever closer, yet the route to compliance remains unclear.

Recent findings from an ExxonMobil survey* revealed that 68% of respondents do not believe the marine industry is ready for the global sulphur cap.

Fuel mix make-up
When asked what the impact will be on the fuel mix, the outlook was uncertain. The industry expected the fuel mix to become more complex. 30% believe there will be a mix of Heavy Fuel Oils (HFO) and Marine Gas Oils (MGO) in use while 46% of respondents expect to see new low sulphur fuels developed. This will potentially lead to increased problems with fuel stability and compatibility. Operators should follow good practices in on-board fuel management to avoid costly maintenance.

The road to 2020
What’s clear in all this uncertainty is that operators need to consider the options available and work closely with trusted fuel and lubricant suppliers to make sure that come 2020 they can navigate the changes.

*This data was gathered by ExxonMobil’s latest industry pulse survey conducted in 2017. The survey provided a small sampling to gather general industry sentiment on the decision.

What is your opinion? Do you believe the marine sector is ready for the 2020 sulphur cap?