The Business of
FPSOs, Shuttle Tankers and Peter Lovie

History of Shuttle Tankers
in the Gulf of Mexico

Shuttle tankers were once a new concept in the GoM and attracted interest from the media.

An interview on Energy News Live in December 2002 served to introduce and describe the concept of shuttle tanker operations for the Gulf of Mexico, five years ahead of the first contracts being signed for their service. It was broadcast over an industry cable channel owned by Williams, the leading pipeline company.

ABS Surveyor (House publication of the American Bureau of Shipping), in its Spring, 2003 item: "Innovation Snapshot," talks of the pioneering of shuttle tankers in GoM.

The same theme continued in the video story by Energy Week in Review, June 2003, with commentary and interviews from KHOU anchor Marlene McClinton, with footage from OTC 2003.

In an Oil and Gas Investor November 2003 feature on Gulf of Mexico business, an SPE workshop on deepwater transportation was touched on: "We have a very efficient pipeline system and there hasn't been a need for competition until now. But the technology and economics of deep water is more complicated, so tankers have a better shot." says Peter Lovie, vice president, business development, American Shuttle Tankers, and chair of the SPE workshop. "It's quite a new game. The stakes are high so people are asking more questions."

Late in 2004, it looked like shuttling in GoM was imminent.  Looking ahead, it seemed like the first shuttle tanker contracts would be happening before long – possibly in 2006 - so that theme was the subject of a guest editorial in Offshore magazine - Beyond the Horizon, January 2005: "2005 A Year of Challenge."  However, the first contract for shuttle tankers in GoM took a bit longer and was signed in 2007.

The first-time charters for two shuttle tankers were completed in the second half of 2007 between Petrobras America Inc. and OSG America for the service of two shuttle tankers in GoM at the Cascade/Chinook development.

Attention then moved to future developments in the remote deep waters of GoM as well as upcoming competitions. These were addressed in the guest editorial in Journal of Petroleum Technology - "The Coming Shootout at the LT Corral" - December 2008.