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World's largest FSO to retire from Qatar waters

by Daniel Canty on Aug 16, 2009

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The Knock Nevis being positioned for conversion to an FSO at Dubai Drydocks in 2004.
The Knock Nevis being positioned for conversion to an FSO at Dubai Drydocks in 2004.

This month is the expiry date set out in the contract with Mærsk Oil Qatar for the huge FSO Knock Nevis – once the world’s largest ship. The demobilisation from the Al Shaheen field offshore Qatar has started, and Knock Nevis will remain on the field for another month to perform crude oil washing of the storage tanks and complete demobilisation.

Fred Olsen Production will continue to market Knock Nevis for future opportunities world wide. Before starting any new employment, FSO Knock Nevis would have to go through a Special Class Survey.

The huge vessel was previously a supertanker and as such held the record for the world's largest ship. As a tanker the ship was known under the names Seawise Giant, Happy Giant, and Jahre Viking.

The ship has a draft of 24.6 m (81 ft) when fully loaded, which means it is unable to navigate the English Channel, the Suez Canal or the Panama Canal

In terms of length, Knock Nevis has a length overall of 458.45 metres , making her the largest ship ever constructed. The vessel is longer than many of the world's tallest buildings are tall, for example the Petronas Twin Towers at 452 metres. She is more than half the length of the skyscraper Burj Dubai, which stands around 818 metres tall, though is not yet completed.

Knock Nevis is not the largest ship in all measures, though. By gross tonnage, for example, she ranks fifth, at 236,710 GT, behind the four Batillus-class supertankers, which range from 274,838 to 275,276 GT. These ships are the largest self-propelled objects ever constructed.

Knock Nevis was built in 1979 at Sumitomo Heavy Industries's Oppama shipyard in Japan. In 2004, she was bought by First Olsen Tankers, renamed Knock Nevis and converted into a permanently moored storage tanker. On November 30, 2004 the conversion to FSO was completed at Dubai Drydocks. The ship has since been permanently moored in the Qatar Al Shaheen oil field in the Gulf, operating as an FSO.


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