Exxon Mobil Corporation’s marine affiliate, SeaRiver Maritime, Inc., named on Friday (April 25) the Liberty Bay, the first of its two new U.S.-flag crude oil tankers, at a ceremony at Aker Philadelphia Shipyard.The first-in-class vessel, constructed at the shipyard, incorporates the latest safety, navigation and engine room technologies and will begin supplying crude oil from Alaska North Slope to refineries along the U.S. west coast later this year. The double hull Liberty Bay is 820-feet long and has capacity to carry 800,000 barrels of oil.SeaRiver Maritime’s contract with Aker for two tankers, valued at $400 million, delivered a significant economic boost to the greater Philadelphia region where it generated employment and millions of dollars in revenue. When placed into service, the new tankers’ economic contributions will extend across the United States to Alaska, California and Washington as they begin to support oil production and refining operations. They will replace two existing double hull tankers.“We knew that this project would have a positive economic impact, creating more than 1,200 jobs and generating millions of dollars in revenue for the city of Philadelphia, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and beyond,” said Darren Woods, president of ExxonMobil Refining & Supply Company. “What we celebrate today is a reminder of what America’s energy industry can do and is doing – investing in our country. Expanding supplies of affordable, reliable energy has been a major contributor to our economy, creating jobs and helping meet our government’s fiscal challenges.”Woods highlighted the key role Pennsylvania is playing in the US energy and manufacturing renaissance. “Domestic natural gas production has risen by about 25 percent over a 10-year period. At the same time, U.S. crude oil production has risen by 13 percent,” he said. “Today, the Marcellus Shale produces 20 percent of U.S. natural gas supply. The impact this growth in domestic energy production is directly having on the U.S. economy is remarkable.”In addition to double hulls for all cargo and fuel tanks, the Liberty Bay is equipped with redundant components for key systems, including main engine components and controls as well as fuel, lube oil and electrical systems to deliver energy efficiencies and better performance.These features reflect the results of SeaRiver Maritime’s consultation with independent specialists to complete an extensive evaluation of the vessel’s design using Failure Mode and Effects Analysis, a methodology used by the aerospace industry and the U.S. Department of Defense. This study analyzed key operating systems under a variety of scenarios at sea. The ship’s main engine and auxiliary systems will be energy efficient and generate lower air emissions than what regulatory standards currently require.Delivery of the second Liberty-class vessel is expected by year-end 2014.
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