How to Conduct Bunker Survey

What is Bunker Survey? The survey is carried out to measure and ascertain the quantity of Bunker on board at the specific time. This survey is produced the report that states the amount of bunker, usually Fuel Oil (FO) and Diesel Oil (DO), and sometimes Lubricating Oil (LO) is included.

marine cargo ship surveyors

In this post limits to how to conduct the Bunker Survey on the ship tanks only.

Survey Tools required for Bunker Surveyor
–        Notes Book,
–        Sounding Tape,
–        Thermometer,
–        Density Meter for Oil (0.750 -1.000),
–        Oil and Water Paste,
–        Petroleum ASTM Table 54B (for Product Oil) and Table 56,
–        Google and Glove,
–        Flashlight,
–        Sampling Can,
–        Bottle or Can for Sampling (if required taken samples).

Steps for Conducting Bunker Survey
–        Identify and records the number and Depth of Tank, Reference Height, and Measuring Method recommended to use (Ullage or Sounding) for each Oil Tank. Sounding is determined the level of liquid tank from the bottom of the tank to the liquid surface (typically applied for light liquid). Ullage means to determine the level of liquid of tank by measured the empty space from top of the Tank (the mouth of Sounding Pipe) to the liquid surface (typically applied for heavy liquid). The both methods will point to the same result.
–        Record the Last Bunker Report, Time and Place of last Bunker supplied, includes the Oil density.
–        Records the quantity of bunker onboard when the ship arrives at Port (arrival Condition) as per Engine Log Book.
–        Checking the accuracy of the Sounding Tape, it is recommended to use your own Sounding Tape. In case we used Ship’s Sounding Tape, please checking the tape.
–        Sounding each Oil Tank and records the level of Oil on the tank. Attached the sounding Tape with Oil Paste to make easy and clear to show of oil level (recommended for Light Oil).
–        Check the Ship’s Draft Marks to get the Ship Trim for Trim correction, and check the ship Inclination or Listing for List Correction, that is required to calculate the Tank Quantity Table.
–        Taken Oil sample, check temperature and oil density, for the accessible tank only. The Service and Settling Tanks are not accessible due to the oil on that tanks were in heating condition at the high temperature. We could records the tank gauging for determining the quantity, the temperature at the thermometer available on each tank, and the Oil Density from the Engine Log Book. If you could not taken the oil sample for checking density, it is recommended to calculate the Density Commingle, by means the Combine Density between two Oils (Old and New Oils) that has mixed on one tanks which they have different in Density. Where it is approaching the actual oil density, the pattern is {(Old Oil Quantity x Oil Density / Total Oil on Tank) + (New Oil Quantity x Oil Density / Total Oil on Tank)}.
–        Calculations, this stage will involved the Sounding level of each tank, Ship’s Trim and List, Tank Quantity Table (provided by Ship’s Chief Engineer), Oil Density and Temperature, ASTM Table 54B to ascertain the Volume Correction Factor (VCF – to convert from Cubic Meter to Kiloliter) and ASTM Table 54B for Weight Correction Factor (WCF – to convert from Kiloliter to Metric Ton).
–        Example to calculate Density Commingle: FO Tank No. 1 C, total oil on tank 400 Cu.M, Old Oil 200 Cu.M with density 0.9870, and New Oil 200 Cu.M with density 0.9720. Density Commingle = {(200 x 0.9870 / 400) + (200 x 0.9720 / 400)} = 0.4935 + 0.4860 = 0.9795.
–        Issued the Tank Sounding and Bunker Report.

I think now you could conduct Bunker Survey, the Detail of Bunker Survey Calculation will be post shortly. Let me know if I miss something by your comments and feedbacks.


Author: Faisal Yusuf

Hi, my name is Faisal Yusuf, but you can call me Surveyor. I live in Jakarta, Indonesia and work as a surveyor.

Share This Post On


  1. Dear Ning,

    Thank this is an improvement, Honestly I have just heard about VNET. Could you give me details or examples how they calculate by using VNET? Is there something incorrect with VNET Calibration? Sorry I didn’t mean to ask you back with these questions, i really want to know about VNET as well :).


  2. Recently, many Chinese built vessels using the VNET calibration table for calculation of the bunker received on board and many a time, ended with dispute.
    What is VNET?

  3. Hi,

    Am a trainee surveyor frm Singapore. Two question for mentor to advice:
    1. How we know the tank is VNET.
    If so how can we do a correct calculation
    2, could u kindly email me a copy of the table 54 B.

    Mu email is:

  4. Hi my friend,
    I need the calculation software of bunker survey.

    I thank you for reply


  5. Dear Phuc Ha Anh,

    Your are welcome.. Sorry that I don’t get the link you are requested.


  6. Dear Surveyor,

    Could you send me the formula to calculate fuel quantity as below example:
    Tank 1:

    – Sounding capacity before bunker: 10,000 liters with density @ 15 degree: 0.8455 and Temperature: 32 degree.
    – Sounding capacity after bunker: 20,000 liters with density @ 15 degree: 0.8433 and temperature 34 degree.

    Please send me the formula to calculate the real loading capacity.


    Ha Anh Phuc

  7. Thanks for your information.
    Could you send me the link to download table 54A & table 54B

    Thanks & Regards,
    Ha Anh Phuc

  8. Dear Surveyor,

    Have not heard from you regarding our Draft Survey program.
    Would like to inform you and your visitors that we had just released Bunkers Calc program. Demo version is now available for download at
    Any comments or requests, please write to mwmarineservices@ or visit our web-site:

    Best regards,

    Capt. Michael

  9. excellent lesson, thumbs up, i however want u to clarify me on how to read d table 54B and how to understand what degree fahrenheit is all about. Thank you

  10. please Capt. will you let me know if they is any draft survey program that MW Marines Service they promissed about to release to anyone or if you got a bunkers survey program can you email it to me Sir.

    Many Thanks


    I am IFIA certified with experience in petroleum Inspection, Please i would like to know if you can assist in getting a job in the industry, Am available to change location to work in any given places.

  12. Thank you very much, Its always good to read back steps before you go to do the duty. also thumbs up for the tools required list!

  13. thanks for info.

  14. Dear Mahdi,

    Thanks for your advice.


  15. Many thanks for your useful information.
    also if possible please take some link of calculation file table in each page.


  17. Hi,

    Like to check how to become a bunker surveyor…need any qualification??Thanks


  18. Capt. Arie,

    Thanks for your advise.


  19. Dear sirs
    I am a P&I surveyor in Israel. if you need any job to be done in Haifa/Ashdod just
    advise me.

  20. Terrence,

    Joining the Surveyor Company is the best way to be a Surveyor. You could learn directly from the expert surveyor on that company.


  21. Hi Faisal,
    Can you lighten me the step to become a bunker surveyor.I m keen to know and in-order to become one, need you guide me.

    Thanks& Regards.


  22. Hi Ali,

    You are welcome.


  23. Salam Faisal,
    Well done for your efforts. Really appreciate it. It really help a lot of newbies in marine surveying. I use your explanations to my junior for better understanding. Thanks a million!

  24. Hi sandeep,

    See my new post..

  25. calculation of bunker for hfo . formula required

  26. Thanks Sadanand,

    Hope it useful.


  27. Excellent explanation. I appreciate.



  1. Hold Cleanliness Survey | Marine Cargo Surveyor Webblog - [...] of Conduct, Draft Survey : Procedures and Calculation, Draft Survey : Specimen of Calculation, How To Conduct Bunker Survey, and Bunker…
  2. Bunker Survey Calculation | Marine and Cargo Surveyors - [...] bunker survey, marine survey 62 Comments In my last post How To Conduct Bunker Survey, I have explained…
  3. Bunker Survey Calculation « Marine and Cargo Surveyors - [...] Survey Calculation 27 03 2010 In my last post How To Conduct Bunker Survey, I have…

Says something.. Leave your comments..