Cargo Oil Pumps

A cargo oil pump is a critical component on oil tankers, used for loading, unloading, and transferring crude oil or petroleum products between tanks on the ship or to shore facilities. These pumps are designed to handle large volumes of oil efficiently and safely, ensuring smooth and continuous operations during the transfer process.

Types of Cargo Oil Pumps

  1. Centrifugal Pumps:
    • Main Cargo Pumps: High-capacity pumps used for transferring large volumes of oil. They are commonly used for loading and discharging operations.
    • Stripping Pumps: Smaller centrifugal pumps used to remove residual oil from tanks after the main cargo has been discharged.
  2. Positive Displacement Pumps:
    • Screw Pumps: Used for handling viscous oils or products. They are less common but useful in specific applications where centrifugal pumps might not be efficient.
  3. Deepwell Pumps:
    • These are vertical pumps installed inside the cargo tanks, extending down to the tank bottom. They are particularly useful for smaller tankers or in situations where space constraints exist.

Components and Operation

  • Pump Casing: Houses the pump mechanism and is designed to withstand the pressure and corrosive nature of the oil.
  • Impellers or Rotors: Move the oil through the pump. Centrifugal pumps use impellers, while positive displacement pumps use rotors or screws.
  • Suction and Discharge Valves: Control the flow of oil into and out of the pump.
  • Prime Movers: Typically electric motors or steam turbines that drive the pump.


  • Loading Operations: Transfer oil from shore storage tanks to the tanker.
  • Discharging Operations: Transfer oil from the tanker to shore storage facilities or refineries.
  • Internal Transfer: Move oil between different tanks on the ship to optimize stability and cargo distribution.


  • Efficiency: Designed to handle large volumes of oil quickly, reducing loading and unloading times.
  • Safety: Equipped with safety features to prevent spills and leaks, ensuring safe operation in hazardous environments.
  • Reliability: Built to operate under harsh marine conditions, providing dependable performance.


  • Regular Inspection: Ensuring that all components are functioning correctly and identifying any wear or damage.
  • Seal Replacement: Regularly replacing seals to prevent leaks.
  • Cleaning: Keeping the pump and associated pipelines clean to avoid blockages and maintain efficiency.
  • Lubrication: Ensuring that moving parts are adequately lubricated to reduce wear and tear.

Environmental and Safety Considerations

  • Leak Prevention: Designed to minimize the risk of oil spills, protecting the marine environment.
  • Explosion-Proof Design: Many pumps are designed to operate safely in explosive atmospheres typical in oil handling environments.
  • Emergency Shutoffs: Equipped with systems to quickly stop operations in case of emergencies.

In summary, cargo oil pumps are essential for the efficient and safe transfer of oil on tankers. They play a vital role in the oil transportation industry, ensuring that large quantities of oil can be moved quickly and reliably while maintaining strict safety and environmental standards.

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