Skip to Main Content
Home / News / Dirty Tankers Reinforce Need for Regular Maintenance and Inspections
Back to News

Dirty Tankers Reinforce Need for Regular Maintenance and Inspections

Brendan Cook   |   February 14, 2017

Dirty Tankers anchored off the coast of Venezuela due to the coating of oil and sludge outside of the hull - How underwater drones are used to maintain and inspect ships to prevent this issue.

Prevention and containment legislation is championed by international organizations and is enforced around the globe at local and national levels to protect our world's fragile environment. These initiatives will help keep our planet habitable and extend our access to the earth’s precious resources. However, enforcement of some of these policies is creating significant challenges for the oil and shipping industries in Venezuela and the Caribbean.

Dirty Tankers in the News

At the end of January 2017, more than 4 million barrels of crude oil and fuels was sitting in tankers off the coast of Venezuela in “Dirty Ships”. These vessels are so-named because their hulls have been coated with oil and sludge. Maritime law prohibits dirty tankers from navigating in international waters until hull cleaning is performed, therefore they are unable to leave Venezuelan waters without being properly cleaned.

dirty-tankers-Oil_tankerState-owned Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) is one company with "Dirty Ships" who is unable to send their cargo to the destinations because they cannot afford to pay for hull cleaning, inspections or other port services to assist. In additional, the leaks in the Venezuela port have not been repaired, so dozens of more vessels have traveled on the country’s waterways and spread the problem to other ports.

PDVSA recently indicated that there is a significant backlog of tankers requiring hull cleaning. In some cases, it will take up to two months before it can be addressed. All these laden tankers can do is anchor offshore until their hulls can meet international standards and allow them to proceed to their destinations.

Venezuela is still in the midst of a deep recession that began years ago. Crude oil exports are the major source of Venezuela’s export revenues and are a critical component of the government’s budget. It is likely that more than $200 million of fuel is currently involved in this predicament. The lack of available finances has unquestionably contributed to the pollution, neglect, and disrepair evident at oil terminals throughout the country.

The challenges and consequences facing PDVSA and their “Dirty Tankers” are a red flag to everyone involved in maritime industries, initiatives or research. Preserving the environment, protecting our physical plants and turning a profit are important aspects of most endeavors. PDVSA has become another textbook example that when you forego regular inspections and routine maintenance you adversely affect the environment and bottom line.

Underwater Drone Solution

At Deep Trekker, knowledge is power. Paying attention to the state of your facilities and environment provide peace of mind and financial stability. Routinely inspecting and assessing your gear and operating environment can prevent undesirable downtime and unexpected, expensive repairs. Our remarkably portable, affordable and robust ROVs (Remote Operated Vehicles) make such tasks easy.

The Deep Trekker DTG2 and DTX2 ROVs can be custom built to meet your needs. Each unit incorporates onboard lithium batteries that run for up to 8 hours and recharge in about an hour and a half. There is no need for a generator or any surface power with a Deep Trekker ROV. To see how Deep Trekker ROVs are being used for hull inspection right now, watch this video:

All models have built-in LED lighting units and are piloted with a hand-held controller incorporating a brilliant, built-in screen for easy viewing and operation. Deep Trekker’s standard onboard camera sweeps 270 degrees around the body to make inspections even easier. An optional 4K camera is also available.

PDVSA’s “Dirty Tankers” are a stark reminder of the need for effective underwater monitoring and facility inspections. Allow Deep Trekker to assist you in maintaining a healthy environment and successful business. If you need to effortlessly see under water, you need Deep Trekker ROV.

Contact us today to learn more.



Learn More About Our Products

View Products

Looking for Resources on Our ROVs?

View Resources

See What Our Customers are Saying

Our Stories