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.

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  1. thanks for info.

  2. Dear Mahdi,

    Thanks for your advice.


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


  5. Hi,

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


  6. Capt. Arie,

    Thanks for your advise.


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

  8. Terrence,

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


  9. 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.


  10. Hi Ali,

    You are welcome.


  11. 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!

  12. Hi sandeep,

    See my new post..

  13. calculation of bunker for hfo . formula required

  14. Thanks Sadanand,

    Hope it useful.


  15. Excellent explanation. I appreciate.



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