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 Post subject: Re: Imperial / British American Oil Company tankers
Unread postPosted: February 8, 2018, 7:00 pm 

Joined: November 2, 2010, 6:26 am
Posts: 305
As I understand it the decison to extend the pipeline to Sarnia was not made until 1953. I think Esso originally thought the pipeline from Edmonton would end at Superior and did not anticipate an extension.
However demand for the oil was such that Sarnia needed to run full 365 days per year and trying to stockpile during the shipping season was too unpredicatable. Many users (including the school I attended at that time, 60 miles from Sarnia!) including houses and factoreis, burned coal mined in the US or Nova Scotia. They switched to oil soon thereafter. That increased demand even more.
After all Esso was an oil company and not just a shipping company, so it was all about maximizing refinery production. I think they could justify selling off the three tankers and taking a loss which would be made up by increased volume after the pipeline was extended.
Intersestingly it was only another five or six years when natural gas supplanted oil for a lot of those same customers
B.A. was another story - they were a much smaller operator and probably could not afford to write off the investment. It must have cost quite a bit to build a whole new bow to bring B.A.Peerless up to ocean going standards. I can't cite any detailed references, but it seems that shortening the ship by 70 feet was also necessary to make it ocean-worthy. If that's the case then it wasn't designed for deep sea, but was re-made to work.
That would also explain why Esso got rid of their boats completely. It would cost too much to deploy them deep sea where they already had ships, and they could be converted to bulk carriers realtively cheeply. They did keep the Sarnia and put it into clean trades which they needed to serve.

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 Post subject: Imperial / British American Oil Company tankers
Unread postPosted: February 7, 2018, 4:48 pm 
When the four tankers built during the early 1950s for Imperial Oil and the British-American Transportation Company: Imperial Leduc, Imperial Redwater, Imperial Woodbend, and B. A. Peerless was there any consideration in having these ships eventually operate on saltwater as the completion of a pipeline between Superior and Sarnia would make them obsolete within a few years? I know that the three Imperial tankers were converted into Great Lakes bulk carriers during the 1950s but was just wondering what was the logic behind building these ships for a service life of only a few years. I imagine the pipeline was a several year process already underway when they were built. Was the profitability of operating these ships such that they paid for themselves over a short period of time?

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