General Dynamics Delivers Third BP Double-Hull Tanker

The 'Alaskan Navigator,' is the third of four Alaska-class double-hull crude oil tankers to be delivered. It was built for BP Oil Shipping Company, USA, a subsidiary of BP PLC, and completed on November 22.

"We are now focused on completion of the fourth ship in the class, which is progressing well in the shipyard as we have ramped up production on both the BP tankers and Navy new construction work," said Richard Vortmann, NASSCO President.

The Alaskan Navigator will join her sister ships, the 'Alaskan Frontier' and the 'Alaskan Explorer,' which were delivered in August 2004 and March 2005, delivering crude oil from Alaska to BP's refineries in Los Angeles and Cherry Point, Washington. The fourth ship will be delivered in late 2006.

The state-of-the-art Alaska-class tankers are the most environmentally friendly oil tankers ever built. Their double hull construction has been designed for a life of 35 years and their deck structure has a life of 50 years -- a robust configuration that will perform at peak efficiency for decades in the rigors of the Gulf of Alaska waters.

The diesel-electric propulsion system, with redundant engines, shafts and screws, significantly increases reliability and reduces air emissions and maintenance downtime. The ships use seawater instead of oil to cool and lubricate their propeller shafts, eliminating the possibility of accidental oil leaks. Cargo piping, normally installed on the deck, runs inside the cargo tanks to reduce the risk of small spills.

The Alaskan Class tankers are 287 meters (941 feet) long, with a beam of 50 meters (164 feet) and a capacity of 1.3 million barrels of crude oil. The 'Alaskan Navigator' will be part of the largest oil-industry-owned oil and natural gas shipping fleet in the world and will be operated by the Alaska Tanker Company of Portland, Oregon, which operates BP-chartered tankers used in the Alaska North Slope trade and is 25% owned by BP.

BP is the single global brand formed through the combination of the former British Petroleum, Amoco Corporation, Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) and Burmah Castrol.