Tankers are ships designed to transport oil between destinations.

“Shuttle tankers” are specially designed to load oil from offshore GBS and FPSO storage facilities and deliver it to transhipment facilities or refineries.

Smaller “commercial tankers” then load oil from these facilities and deliver it to market for sale to consumers. Some of the oil from Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore goes as far as India!

The shuttle tankers bring oil from the Hibernia, Terra Nova and White Rose fields to refineries such as the North Atlantic refinery in Come by Chance and to transhipment facilities such as  Newfoundland Transhipment Limited in Whiffen Head.

There are many tankers operating in the local industry. Some names you may recognise are the MT Mattea, MT Kometik, MT Jasmine Knutsen and MT Heather Knutsen, all operated by the company Canship Ugland, as well as the Alsterstern, Havelstern and Travestern, operated by Coastal Shipping Limited.

As tankers are ships, all the positions are marine-based so sea legs are a must!  Work shifts are  usually rotational in nature, with about five weeks on followed by five weeks off.


  • Captain – in ultimate command of the vessel and responsible for all aspects of the ship’s safe and efficient operation.  Often need the highest Transport Canada certification level, which is Master Mariner.
  • First Mates – top officer on board a ship, after the Captain.  Also known as Chief Officer or First Officer.  Frequently a watchkeeper and in charge of the ship’s cargo and deck crew.  The First Mate takes over command of the ship in the absence of the Captain.
  • Marine Engineers – maintain and operate the machinery and electrical and electronic equipment on board ship. There are usually multiple engineers on a vessel, including chief engineer, second engineer, etc.