PDA

View Full Version : BP British Signal at Das Island 1962



JamesL
12th June 2012, 01:40 PM
My name is James Langton - I work as the news features editor for the National newspaper in Abu Dhabi.
This July 4 marks the 50th anniversary of the first oil exported from Abu Dhabi - the oil was shipped from the terminal at Das Island in 1962 on the British Signal. I'm looking for anyone who remembers that historic occasion for an article to be published next month.
Looking forward to hearing from you.

Gulliver
12th June 2012, 03:39 PM
Welcome Aboard James
I hope you will find someone here who was with BP.
You might also try the same appeal on the other site - SHIPS NOSTALGIA (http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/).

Here’s just a few details below about British Signal that you might not know about.

Good Luck
 
Gulliver


 
 
s.t BRITISH SIGNAL Official .No. 302560 23,015grt (35,219 dwt) launched 20.9.59 ,& completed 28.2.61 as Yard No. 1532 at at Ansaldo,Sestri Ponente,Italy.
Therefore,known unofficially as a member of the’ Eye-tie ‘Class -along with ,British Light (1959), British Beacon(1959),British Star(1959), British Lantern(1960)and British Comet(1960), all built in two Italian shipyards.
 
 
Length Overall 208.2 m
Beam 26.3m
Steam Turbine 15.5kts..
History
A Notable Voyage:On July 4, 1962, she left the harbour at Das Island with Abu Dhabi's first oil export: 254,544 barrels of crude from the Umm Shaif oilfield destined for Japan.
Sold after 10 years service in 1971 to Enterprise Cia Naviera SA,Piraeus,Greece.Renamed LESTE.
Broken Up 4/6/84 at Barcelona
.

John Small
14th June 2012, 09:48 PM
Hi

My name is John

I was on the BP Signal 2/6/62 left her 4/8/62 when we were the first ship to load.

Gulliver said she loaded for Japan, she never went to Japan

I paid off 4th August 1962 Glasgow
Regards John

Gulliver
15th June 2012, 06:33 AM
I was on the BP Signal 2/6/62 left her 4/8/62 when we were the first ship to load...



Hi John-you should know !

In my defense I will say that I was quoting the following information from the Abu Dhabi The ‘National’ newspaper.Page 2.(last para) LINK (http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/heritage/the-das-island-dream#page2)


“Four years later, on July 4, 1962, the BP tanker British Signal left the harbour at Das Island with Abu Dhabi's first oil export: 254,544 barrels of crude destined for Japan. By the time of its birth on December 2, 1971, the UAE was well on its way to claiming an estimated one sixth of all the world's oil reserves.”
 

All the Best
Gulliver

Tony Morcom
15th June 2012, 08:35 AM
Just goes to prove that you can't believe everything you read in the paper Davey:eek:, even in those days. I often think that if the web was only filled with truth it would be a very small entity compared with what it actually is.:)

Gulliver
15th June 2012, 11:31 AM
Just goes to prove that you can't believe everything you read in the paper Davey:eek:, even in those days. I often think that if the web was only filled with truth it would be a very small entity compared with what it actually is.:)


True-O fellow Cynical One! I also notice that the originator of the thread,James L.(Post #1 ) just happens to be the news feature editor of that very same newspaper,the Abu Dhabi National.
He,in true newspaper editor style has neither confirmed nor denied this. 9790
97919792

JamesL
18th June 2012, 01:58 PM
John - I'd very much like to talk to you about your memories of the British Signal

The ship's destination is always given as Japan in the official histories here. So we're intrigued to learn the British Signal may have gone elsewhere. Not sure how this site works, but my work email is JLangton@thenational.ae.

Gulliver
18th June 2012, 02:53 PM
Hi James-thank you for replying,and welcome again.I think you’ll find that this website works just like any other website re e-mails,blogs and postings.
You can click on John Small's name in his post above and a drop-down link will open his e-mail or Private Message link.



No,I’m glad you replied ,and that you realise that your newspaper ,the Abu Dhabi ‘National’ might have got it wrong in stating that your country’s first oil shipment from Das Island was destined for Japan. Looking at it,it does sound a bit strange,as Das Island was a joint Brit/French venture,and a European destination would be more probable than a Far East one. Anyway,I think it more likely,were it destined for Japan that the Japs would have made the maximum publicity from it all and transported the first shipment in one of their own flag ships.Just a thought.

But,I did quote your newspaper, for which I felt a bit foolish afterwards,when another member (thank you John Small) promptly replied to say he was actually aboard the British Signal on that date in 1962 and they went nowhere near Japan.

I took it for granted that a fairly major national newspaper article from that country would actually be correct. ….Silly me . 9836
Oh Well,back to the Leveson Inquiry…..;)

 
All the Best
Gulliver
 

Ivan Cloherty
18th June 2012, 05:22 PM
Now Now Gulliver give that poor man James some slack, he was only quoting from sources available to him. The early 70's was my residence time in the UAE and everything was in its infancy and shipping correspondents were conspicuous by their absence,(as were experienced shipping personnel) and we all know that Shipping Correspondents even in this Maritime Nation don't know the blunt end from the sharp end.

In the 70's in the UAE information wasn't always accurate and was geared for local consumption rather than fact in many instances, information in many instances was affected by which local owned what. Although many experienced ex-pats were employed for their expertise in various fields, that expertise wasn't always listened to, because it didn't suit the the "required" result. So it may have been more prestgious for Japan to be shown as the destination for local political reasons. Truth is not always the desired direction.

Rgds Ivan

Gulliver
18th June 2012, 06:44 PM
Now Now Gulliver give that poor man James some slack, he was only quoting from sources available to him.at. Although many experienced ex-pats were employed for their expertise in various fields, that expertise wasn't always listened to, because it didn't suit the the "required" result. So it may have been more prestgious for Japan to be shown as the destination for local political reasons. Truth is not always the desired direction.

Rgds Ivan



Well Ivan,as you will know from your own past experiences on this site,it is sometimes quite difficult to convey one's desired true intent in a particular posting.
My intent was tongue in cheek humour to make a point ,with a touch of irony and just a tiny hint of very faint sarcasm,but certainly not to cause offence to James Editor.

Thinking about what you say about Japan,and one must generally bow down to someone like yourself who knows so much more about everything than almost everyone else,I feel it more likely to be the case that the U.A.E. news media assumed 'LEFO'* to be the name of a port in Japan..........9840


Or........I do hope our member Mr.Small hasn't got the name of the British Signal mixed up with another...surely not?!.... No!.I doubt this as each of us has a record of each ship in his discharge book,if not etched in his mind.


* ..just in case somebody reading in doesn't know,it is an instruction given to the Master to proceed towards the U.K.:- Lands End For Orders.

Ivan Cloherty
18th June 2012, 10:25 PM
[QUOTE=Gulliver;92983]
Thinking about what you say about Japan,and one must generally bow down to someone like yourself who knows so much more about everything than almost everyone else,I feel it more likely to be the case that the U.A.E. news media assumed 'LEFO'* to be the name of a port in Japan..........9840

Sometimes Gulliver you can be a real pain in the backside, camaflaging your insults with silly little icons, I was giving, or at least trying to, just give an example of what went on in the UAE from my experience of living there at that time, there was NO malice in my post

What comments I do make are made from personal experience, whether that gels with or not is really immaterial. What I cannot understand why someone like yourself who can be so helpful to others most times occasionaly comes up with something insulting, you have done it on many occasions to others, it does you no credit, stick to being helpful because that is what you are appreciated for.

JamesL
21st June 2012, 10:38 AM
Just to continue the debate - with more research, I think the British Signal's destination may well have been the BP refinery at Aden, since that is where much of the Gulf oil was shipped at that time. Not sure how that gets John to Glasgow for August 4, but perhaps he can fill in the details? Every official version here lists the destination as Japan, so this will upset a few apple carts!
A big ceremony for the 50th anniversary is planned for December- it's too hot to hold it in July, and most of the big wigs have left for the summer.

John Arton
21st June 2012, 03:36 PM
Just to enter the arguement regarding the first shipment out of Das Island.
It was, and maybe still is, common to have on the export docs (b/l's etc) one destination that was chosen for political or financial reasons. Once the vessel sailed then the Master would either receive a wire or open a sealed envelope that had the new destination together with the correct documents.
We used to run crude from the P.G. down to th eoffshore terminal at Durban in the days of aparthtide, cannot recall what was on the original B/L's on loading in the Gulf but everyone knew when you aw the orders you were never going to see that port this trip but only the S/A. coast south of Durban as you sat on the sea bouy discharging.
Another regular run for one tanker (german) I was speaking to was the P.Gulf to Eilat and this was before, during and after the Israli/Eygptian war.
They too had "false" papers on loading, that were destroyed after clearing the Gulf, yet everyone must have known what was going on, but money, especially oil money, talks.
rgds
Capt. John Arton (ret'd)

Captain Kong
21st June 2012, 04:49 PM
Many times after a cargo of Crude has been loaded, the cargo is on the NY Stock Exchange and can be sold many times over to different destinations.
I have left Sea Island with a cargo for Singapore and then altered to the Mississippi, then to Galveston , then to Rotterdam and ended up in Slagen Norway.
Several times we had no destination, we stopped engines after the Commores and drifted with many other tankers including BP and rode the Aghulas Current down towards Cape Town , steamed around the Cape and then stopped engines again and drifted North on the Benguela Current whilst the Cargo was bought and sold again and again, each dealer making a profit before we got our final destination.
Hope this helps.
Brian.

happy daze john in oz
22nd June 2012, 06:29 AM
Many times after a cargo of Crude has been loaded, the cargo is on the NY Stock Exchange and can be sold many times over to different destinations.
I have left Sea Island with a cargo for Singapore and then altered to the Mississippi, then to Gavelston , then to Rotterdam and ended up in Slagen Norway.
Several times we had no destination, we stopped engines after the Commores and drifted with many other tankers including BP and rode the Aghulas Current down towards Cape Town , steamed around the Cape and then stopped engines again and drifted North on the Benguela Current whilst the Cargo was bought and sold again and again, each dealer making a profit before we got our final destination.
Hope this helps.
Brian.

Brian mate, you have just described how many governments work.

Gulliver
22nd June 2012, 06:34 AM
Just to continue the debate - with more research, I think the British Signal's destination may well have been the BP refinery at Aden, since that is where much of the Gulf oil was shipped at that time. Not sure how that gets John to Glasgow for August 4, but perhaps he can fill in the details? Every official version here lists the destination as Japan, so this will upset a few apple carts!
A big ceremony for the 50th anniversary is planned for December- it's too hot to hold it in July, and most of the big wigs have left for the summer.


I suppose it's over to John Small now to see if he can confirm the date he paid off in Glasgow-and did they proceed via Aden refinery.
Come on,John !

John Small
23rd June 2012, 03:42 PM
Hi James

Have tried to send E/Mail on Your given site address.

I am having no luck with it.

Hotmail site will not acknowledge it.

Regards John

John Small
23rd June 2012, 04:06 PM
Well Gulliver

My memory is still serving me well.

It is obviously my eye-sight needs checking, I actually signed on the British Signal 28th December 1961.

Did the first 6mth Articles untill 1st June 1962 then re-engaged because I was so popular on June 2nd 1962.

Discharging myself on the 4th August 1962 at Glasgow.

I will in due course send visual proof of this.

If you look at the dates above from June the 2nd we were still in port (Good old Tilbury) we didnt leave exactly on that date,and then the final arrival date back in the UK August 4th Having opened DAS ISLAND on July 4th 1962.

It doesn't take a genius to work things out. Ha Ha:smashPC:

Regards John

Gulliver
23rd June 2012, 04:45 PM
Thanks for replying John. It's always great that someone who was there can remember!
As James L;the Abu Dhabi 'National' editor ,has said, all reports of the event seem to be under the impression that the 'Signal' loaded that inaugural consignment for Japan.

I'm sure James will read in to this thread and reply,but if you wanted you could always send him a PM via this site.

But thanks again John.

Gulliver

John Small
24th June 2012, 10:10 AM
Hello Guliver

Have just spoken to James Langton in Abu Dhabi.
I must say I found him to be a Gentleman.

He was very Interested in what I had to say.

I have attatched the visual proof as promised, which has also been forwarded to Abu Dhabi.

Regards John99129913

JamesL
25th June 2012, 08:30 AM
Thanks John -

for those interested- the official BP record for 1962 shows the British Signal sailing to Aden. I would guess this was changed en voyage. John does not recall the ship going to Aden, but has proof it reached Glasgow a month later. Normally he sailed to the Isle of Grain, so it seems most probable it went to Scotland - perhaps to a refinery there?

In case it jogs any memories, here is a list of the Signal's crew from dry dock to June '62, so just before John signed on. It comes from the website BP Marine Engineering Apprentices (http://www.bpapprentices.com)
I'll post a link here to the article when it appears.

SS British Signal

Master F S Hall
1/O R M Rowntree
Ex.1/O J T Duncan
2/O J A M Taylor
3/O P Cuttell
R/O C H Hemsley
Nav/App. P F Grout
Nac/App. E Jones
Nav/App J A Wiseman
Nav/App I G C McAffer
C/E J Wilson
2/E J F Rose
3/E D Burleigh
Ex/E 4th S C Armet
4/E D Oliver
J/E J Watson
J/E A D Tosh
J/E O Lanaghan
J/E D H K Simpson
Electn. A J Lawrence
Ch/Stwd G P Allan
2/Stwd J Fowler
Ch/Cook H M Spivey
2/Cook M R Bonney
Carpenter J E Dickerson
Boatswain J Breen
ERS D McKellar
ERS R S Cogger
DKM J McFarlane
DKM J F Rea

john firmin
3rd July 2012, 08:35 PM
Thanks John -

for those interested- the official BP record for 1962 shows the British Signal sailing to Aden. I would guess this was changed en voyage. John does not recall the ship going to Aden, but has proof it reached Glasgow a month later. Normally he sailed to the Isle of Grain, so it seems most probable it went to Scotland - perhaps to a refinery there?

In case it jogs any memories, here is a list of the Signal's crew from dry dock to June '62, so just before John signed on. It comes from the website BP Marine Engineering Apprentices (http://www.bpapprentices.com)
I'll post a link here to the article when it appears.

[/I]
As John paid off in "Glasgow" the British Signal would have berthed at Finnart on Loch Long, on the West Coast of Scotland. This was a deep water oil terminal port. The oil was then pumped across Scotland to BP's Grangemouth refinery on the Firth of Forth.

Kind regards,

John.

Gulliver
4th July 2012, 09:15 AM
As John paid off in "Glasgow" the British Signal would have berthed at Finnart on Loch Long, on the West Coast of Scotland. This was a deep water oil terminal port. The oil was then pumped across Scotland to BP's Grangemouth refinery on the Firth of Forth.

Kind regards,

John.

Thanks John.I agree that would be most likely.

A small article HERE . (http://www.clydesite.co.uk/articles/hunterston_finnart.asp)(Courtesy of Clydesite)

Graham Wallace
13th July 2012, 03:12 AM
Hi John F,

Glad to hear you are around once more. I had a bit of a surprise seeing the crew list you put up,did not remember that I had put drydock lists up on my website and that was one of them. I had an email direct from James Langton, but when I could give him a proper reply the 4th July had passed, so far he has not replied to me. Just returned home after spending 5 weeks in UK, had a visit to BP HO in Sunbury, there is a story to that!

Incidentally JAM Taylor( 2M on Signal April 1962) is still alive, he was also Chief officer of the Loyalty (Dec 1966) when she took off the 12000 tons of cargo remaining on the Crown after the fire burnt itself out

Graham

Michael Parkes
27th May 2013, 04:56 PM
12843
I was not aware where British Signal loaded, but the discharge port could not have been in Japan looking at the dates.

I did three trips on this ship as an assistant steward, joining her in Glasgow (Finnart) on the 4 August 1962, and left her 4 February 1963 at Tilbury (Isle of Grain). I still have my discharge book.



Michael

Tabinda Iqbal
24th March 2015, 07:57 AM
Hi Guys,

I am doing a research on BP tankers that were active in the Middle East between 1960 to 1980. Can anyone help me on this?

j.sabourn
24th March 2015, 08:14 AM
LEFO could of been another USA city the Japanese built for dubious reasons. Doesn't surprise me in the least that a newspaper has its facts wrong, would have surprised me more if had got right. JS

Tony Randerson
12th February 2016, 04:14 PM
I was an Acting Junior Engineer on her 1970 worst vessel I ever sailed on. Built in Italy the engine room was a mightmare. Joined off Dubai went to La Selina in Venezuala paid off in Falmouth.

Red Lead Ted
12th February 2016, 06:37 PM
Just goes to prove that you can't believe everything you read in the paper Davey:eek:, even in those days. I often think that if the web was only filled with truth it would be a very small entity compared with what it actually is.:)

How very true Tony, The net has that many conflicting reports and is never to be thought of as 100% Correct i couldn,t agree more Regards Terry.