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British Respect

by Peter Biľak (695 words)

The story behind the enigmatic photo of a beached supertanker.

British Petroleum ordered the construction of this supertanker a year after the 1973 oil crisis. Having lost most of its direct access to crude oil sources in the Middle East, BP was looking to diversify its operations and commissioned Japanese shipyard Kawasaki Heavy Industry Ltd in Sakaide to build this VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier). Originally named British Respect, and operating under the UK flag, she was one of BP’s largest tankers, capable of holding over 2,000,000 barrels of oil, which is approximately the daily oil consumption of the United Kingdom today. Bob Bryne served on the ship as a radio officer in 1980.

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