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Tankers (1960-1969)
The "County" - class Tanker 1961-1964
From the Book Sailing ship to Supertanker.

Included in the huge tanker-building programme of the 1950s-60s were orders for six vessels to reach an estimated 84,000 tdw.
Three ships were ordered from the German builders A. G. Weser at Bremerhaven, two were from Kockums, Maimo, and the remaining one from the Verolme yard at Rozenburg. At first the ships were planned for a 73,000 tdw capacity and the carrying capacity was then increased to 85,000 tdw by giving more depth to the ships, while the last two of the group, Esso London and Esso Yorkshire, were widened, with a resulting capacity of 96,000 tdw.
The first ship completed was the Esso Pembrokeshire. At the time she was the largest merchant ship ever built on the continent of Europe, exceeding the displacement of the famous Norddeutscher Lloyd passenger liner Bremen, of 1929.
The ships had dimensions of 861.5 feet length overall, a breadth of 112.7 feet and a draught of 48 feet 3 inches but, as stated above, the last two were widened to 125 feet 3 inches. In these there were twenty-six tanks as compared with thirty-five in the first four. Two steam turbines provided 26,500 shp and were geared to a single shaft to give 17 knots. The trial speed of the Esso Lancashire reached 18.19 knots. Facilities for the crew included a swimming-pool and an air-conditioned cabin for each crew member.
Another innovation was that a bulbous bow was designed into the hull shape of the Esso London-certainly the first time that a large bulb had been adapted for use on a British-flag tanker. The plans of the Esso London were amended twice for an increased carrying capacity and as Yard No. 1340R (revised) she took the water on 14th November, 1963.

Completed 11.1961
48,898 Gross tons
Built by A. G. Weser, Bremen.
24.10.1975: Arrived Kaohsiung for breaking up.

Completed 5.1962
48,141 Gross tons
Built by Verolme Dok en Scheepsbouw Maats. N.V.,
15.9.1975: Arrived Kaohsiung for breaking up.

Completed 12.1962
48,049 Gross tons
Built by A. G. Weser, Bremen.
1983: (Esso Exploration & Production (UK) Ltd.).
1984: (Esso Petroleum Co. Ltd.)
This ship was chosen for conversion to enable her to take on crude oil from the Esso/Shell Brent oilfield offshore installations, east of the Shetlands, from a specially designed buoy facility known as the Brent Spar Buoy. The 56-day ship conversion work was done by Western Shiprepairers, Birkenhead, where she arrived on 23rd April, 1976, and the first oil from the North Sea Brent oilfield was discharged from the Esso Warwickshire at Fawley on 18th December, 1976.

Completed 10.1962
49,397 Gross tons
Built by Kockums Mekaniska Verkstads AB, Malmo.
1975: Petrola XXVIII Q. S. Latsis, Greece).
1976: Petrola 28. 22.5.1975
14.1.1977: Laid up Piraeus.
25.1.1977; Arrived Barcelona, in tow, for breaking up.

(Improved "County"-class)

Completed 12.1963
52,544 Gross tons
Built by Kockums Mekaniska Verkstads AB, Malmo.
20.11.1975: Arrived Kaohsiung for breaking up.

Completed 2.1964
53,342 Gross tons
Built by A. G. Weser, Bremen.
1975: Petrola XXVII (J. S. Latsis, Greece).
1976: Petrola 27
1.6.1982: Arrived Split for breaking up.

These tankers were to have fairly short lives, for in 1975 the Nissho-Iwai Company Ltd., of London, purchased three of the  ships, for demolition in Taiwan. The vessels involved, Esso Pembrokeshire, fourteen years old, Esso Hampshire, thirteen  years old, and Esso Yorkshire, only twelve years of age, were comparatively young in shipbreakmg terms. Two more, Esso  Lancashire and Esso London, were also sold in 1975 to John S. Latsis and raised the Greek flag, leaving only the Esso  Warwickshire, which continued moving crude oil from the Brent Terminal to Fawley.