Academy 300


Welcome to the Petrospot Academy

The Petrospot Academy offers a wide range of high quality, professional training courses on bunkering, LNG, shipping, agency, marine surveying, maritime law and risk management.

Since 2003, we have trained in excess of 4,000 students from almost 70 countries in 29 different cities around the world. Our courses are taught by some of the most experienced and knowledgeable experts in the maritime sector who – uniquely – are willing and able to offer informed advice to former students throughout their subsequent careers.

With core training approved by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) and endorsed by the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA), the courses can also be taught in-house and adapted to suit particular leaning requirements.

Through the Petrospot Academy, the company offers some of the world’s most highly-respected training courses, including:

    • The Oxford Bunker Course 
        • Duration: five days, residential
    • The Oxford Bunker Course (Advanced)
        • Duration: two days
    • The Oxford Bunker Course (Advanced Commercial)
        • Duration: two days
    • An Introduction to Shipping
        • Duration: one day
    • An Introduction to LNG Bunkering
        • Duration: one day
    • Managing Bunker Claims
        • Duration: one day
    • An Introduction to Fuel Measurement
        • Duration: one day
    • An Introduction to Bunker Disputes
        • Duration: one day
    • Bunker Financial Risk Management
        • Duration: two-three day
    • Bunker Trading and Operations
        • Duration: one day
    • Ship's Agency Course
        • Duration: five days
    • Marine Fuels Analysis Course
        • Duration: one day

Petrospot also runs the unique hands-on bunker training course, BunkerExperience, in Rotterdam, Singapore and Panama. 

The company runs courses with the Malta Petroleum Training Academy and the University of Gibraltar.


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Accredited by IMarEST

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Endorsed by





Petrospot organises in-house training around the world for government departments, such as the UK Department for Transport and the Panama Canal Authority and for private companies such as Hapag Lloyd, DFDS and Arte Bunkering. All of our courses can be delivered exclusively for your organisation at a date and location that suits you best. In-house training is highly effective in delivering new knowledge and skills quickly. It focuses on the needs of your teams and achieving your business objectives.

To find out more about training simply email

Llewellyn Bankes-Hughes
Managing Director, Petrospot Limited





Nigel Draffin

Nigel Draffin


Technical Consultant, Lecturer and Author, IBIA Board Member

Nigel Draffin has been involved in shipping for over 50 years and in bunkering for over 25 years. He joined Shell Tankers in 1966, serving on all classes of vessel, including VLCCs and LNG tankers. In 1979, he joined the newbuilding department of Shell International Marine and later transferred to Shell’s R&D unit, specialising in control systems, fuel combustion and safety systems.

In 1986, Nigel moved to the commercial department as a bunker buyer and economics analyst, two years later becoming Head of Operational Economics, responsible for all of the fuel purchased for the Shell fleet. In 1996, he joined E. A. Gibson Shipbrokers which, in 2006, merged with US-based broking house LQM Petroleum Services, where he was Senior Broker and Technical Manager. He retired from LQM in July 2015.

Nigel is a founder member of IBIA, serving several times on its council of management, the board and as its Chairman. He is currently chair of the Board Development Committee. Nigel has written 10 books on bunkering, shipping and marine lubes published by Petrospot, and is Director of the Petrospot Academy. Nigel is a member of IMarEST and Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Fuellers.

Neal Bolton

Neal Bolton

Bunker Broker, OceanConnect Marine

NEAL BOLTON is active member of the bunker market on a daily basis; in his role as a broker for OceanConnect Marine UK Ltd. he is responsible primarily for customers using the Online Reverse Auction system.

Starting in 1987 with the old Mobil Shipping Company in the Fleet purchasing department, he was responsible for procurement of all vessel requirements. In 1990 Neal moved to Mobil Oil Company Limited. Mobil oil was a physical supplier in just a small number of bunkering ports around the world, the roll was to expand the supply network and increase sales in already existing bunkering locations.

Neal brought in responsibility for the Mobil Fleet requirements, and used this volume to bring other shipowners on board to allow Mobil Marine Fuels to buy on their behalf. By 1998 the group were selling and buying in excess of 7 million MT’s per annum. In the year 2000 Mobil merged with Exxon to make ExxonMobil Marine Fuels. Neal moved to Miami to establish a Marine Fuels office and train employees to manage all supplies in the Americas.

Returning to the UK, a new challenge was needed and the start of the dotcom era was certainly a new challenge. With knowledge of buying, selling and supplying it was time to join other industry professionals and set up an online exchange for Marine Fuels. Various companies were trying and Neal helped to start OceanConnect whose online auction site now closes around 1.5 - 2 million MT’s per year. 

Nicholas Browne

Nicholas Browne

Global Director, GAC Bunker Fuels

Nicholas Browne was appointed Global Director of the GAC Group’s marine fuel and lubricants, trading and brokerage arm – GAC Bunker Fuels in January 2012, based at the company’s headquarters in Dubai, UAE.

Responsible for strategic, commercial, financial and operational development, Browne manages a global team of 30 staff across five continents, dedicated to meeting the operational requirements of GAC’s diverse customer base around the world.

Browne has almost ten years’ experience in risk management, beginning his career with MRC (now Lloyd’s List Intelligence) in 2005 and joining GAC as Credit Manager in 2009. Since joining GAC Bunker Fuels, the company has added four new strategically located offices to its global network and doubled the staff of its dedicated team.

GAC Bunker Fuels is one of an elite group of ISO 9001 & TRACE-certified companies in the bunker industry, committed to compliance and operational excellence in everything it does.

Browne holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Modern History & politics from the University of Durham.

Peter David

Peter David

Technical Consultant, BP Marine

PETER DAVID joined the BP Research Centre, Sunbury-on-Thames in 1977 after graduating from the University College of Swansea, University of Wales with BSc (Hons) and PhD degrees in Chemistry.

After a short period in the Analytical Laboratory applying infrared spectroscopy to research the structure of crude oils and petroleum products, he joined the BP Global Fuels Technology Team and over a period of 25 years at Sunbury-on-Thames gained experience on all transport and power generation liquid fuels. From 1995, he was Team Leader of the Product Quality Team, with responsibility for design and implementation of development projects to support BP’s worldwide fuel marketing and manufacturing strategies.

He left BP in 2003 and is currently working as a Technical Consultant for BP Marine, other petroleum companies and equipment manufacturers.

José A Digeronimo

José A Digeronimo

Graduated as Maritime Economist from Universidad Argentina de la Empresa in 1991, have a post Degree and Master in Shipping form ULACIT, Panama in 1997. Have act as lecturer on several universities since 1999 and designed and stablished the Post degree on Bunkers program for the Panama International Maritime University.

He started his shipping carrier in 1992 as vessel operator for Panamanian Carriers Corporation growing to became Tanker Manager, in 1999 he started as Project Manager for Petrolera Nacional, where he stablished Transmarine Transportation and Barging in 2001, a bunker barge operation, that he lead as general manager. In 2009 he partners with Dutch Barge operator, VT group and stablished VT Shipping Panama becoming his director until February 2019. Today he is the Executive Director of the Panamanian Bunker Association, work as lead consultant for Maritime Procurement inc,

He has been very active on business associations being chair of committees. He created and was the first chairman the Bunker committee for the Panamanian Shipping Chamber and the Panama bunker cluster. He was also board member for 8 periods and president of the Panama Shipping chamber in 2010-2011.

Mr. Digeronimo is a regular speaker at multiple bunker events in Latin America, including MWA, he is lecturer on the Petrospot bunker courses in Spanish and organizes and directs the BunkerExperience Panama. 

Chris Fisher

Chris Fisher

Marine Engineering and Bunker Consultant

Chris Fisher served as a marine engineer on tankers after studies at Poplar Marine College, and, having sailed as Chief Engineer for a number of years, he came ashore into the position of Marine Superintendent with Texaco Overseas Tankship in 1981. During this period he became particularly interested in the changes of the quality of marine fuels, brought about by more intense refinery techniques, and became involved with related technical issues in the maintenance and repair of the Texaco fleet.

In 1984, he moved into consultancy, providing expert services to shipowners, and insurers, mainly in the field of liquid cargo losses and contaminations. He teamed up with Stephen Hodge, a chemist, and they wrote Fisher & Hodge on Bunkers. This was the first technical book devoted to the subject.

In 1987, Chris joined Det Norske Veritas Petroleum Services (DNVPS), which had pioneered routine marine fuel quality testing and at that time tested some 20,000 samples a year. In 1990, Chris moved with his family to The Netherlands, where he set up a new fuel testing laboratory in Rotterdam for DNVPS. The business of fuel testing grew rapidly in this period and by 1996 DNVPS was contracted to test around 50,000 samples a year. In 1994, he joined up with Jonathan Lux and they produced Bunkers.

Following his interest in laboratories and all aspects of liquid cargo loss control, he joined the Inspectorate group of companies in 1995, as Director of their Northern European companies in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. He quickly established a new dimension to Inspectorate – Bunker Claims – which focused on providing laboratory and technical services to those involved with bunker disputes. Between 1995 and 2003, he attended many arbitrations and court hearings as a technical expert.

During 2003, Chris decided to end his period in the inspection business and he and his family returned to England where he established his own company, Bunker Claims International Ltd, once again providing expert opinion in court and arbitration hearings on bunker matters. He also visits ships to investigate engine damages and bunker problems. Chris enjoys teaching and spends as much time as he can giving lectures and attending training course workshops. He is a fellow of INMAREST and past Chairman of the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA).

In 2011, Bunker Claims International was taken over by Brookes Bell and Chris now provides marine fuel consultancy services to customers of Brookes Bell.

Paul Millar

Paul Millar

Managing Director, Bomin Ltd / Head of Global Credit, Bomin Group

Paul entered the marine credit industry in 1984 when he joined ECS Marine as a credit analyst.  

In 1991, he joined MRC Business Information Group Ltd which later became Lloyd’s MIU and subsequently Lloyd’s List Intelligence.

As Intelligence Director, Paul was responsible for the entire credit reporting business and data gathering side for Companies and Ports.

He left Lloyd’s in June 2009 to join Bominflot Ltd as the Head of Global Credit for the Bominflot group – the position he still holds to this day as well as Managing Director for the London/Cape Town offices.

John Phillips

John Phillips

Head of Credit Risk - Bunkers, Gulf Petrochem

With over 30 years experience in the Maritime sector, John is a well known expert in the industry and will focus on areas such as Credit Management (focused on Bunker business), Credit insurance & Bunker business development.

Before joining Gulf Petrochem, he held the role of Global Head of Credit and Director at Soyuz Bunkering Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd, handling customer selection and promotion as well as liaising with legal departments and insurers on ship arrests and insurance claims. Prior to this, Phillips worked for Chemoil Energy Ltd, where he was responsible for the creation, implementation and management of global credit and counter party risk policy.

Phillips is a graduate in Maritime Business with Maritime Law and has completed his MSc in Port Management at University of Plymouth, UK in 2002. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, a chartered member of the Institute of Logistics & Transport, and a Member of the Institute of Petroleum, IBIA and IECA.

Andrew Preston

Andrew Preston

Partner, Preston Turnbull

He acts for a wide range of international banks, corporates and trade houses on all types of commercial litigation disputes. Andrew specialises in general commercial litigation, shipping and trading disputes. Over twenty five years, he has acted for a large number of corporates, oil majors, shipowners, insurers, charterers, operators, suppliers and cargo interests and their insurers both nationally and internationally. He has litigated in every level of Commercial Court up to the Supreme Court on two occasions (Datec –v- UPS and The Far Service). Throughout his career he has applied his skills to find commercial solutions for clients. Andrew has been rated by the directories as one of the leading shipping lawyers for many years acting for a wide range of shipowners, trading houses, charterers and their insurers. One client in the Directories said "Probably the best lawyer for head on the block advice. Andrew Preston exercises sound judgment as a gift simplifying even the most complex problems".

He steered Clyde & Co as the Global Head of Shipping for over a decade taking it to a tier 1 ranking.

Andrew is recognised as one of the leading lawyers in the world at liabilities arising out of bunker/fuel supply disputes. He was involved, together with James Kennedy, in the new Bimco bunker contracts and centrally involved in all of the major bunker events over the last years including the OW collapse, the collapse of Hanjin and the Houston problems of 2018. He is advising many industry figures in relation to 2020 issues and the forthcoming sulphur caps.

J. Stephen Simms

J. Stephen Simms

Partner, Simms Showers LLP / IBIA Board Member

J. Stephen (“Steve”) Simms is a Principal of Simms Showers LLP.  He serves as Chair of the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) Legal Working Group and is an immediate past member of IBIA’s Board.

Steve was selected for the United States Department of Justice, Honor Law Graduates Program and served as a federal prosecutor before entering private practice.  He is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law (Chicago) where he was Editor‑in‑Chief of the Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business. He holds an M.A. in International Studies from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and a B.A. in International Studies from The Johns Hopkins University.

Steve is extensively involved in bunker quality disputes, including the recent Houston-Panama-Singapore quality claims situation. He advises leading bunker traders, suppliers and brokers on the many issues arising in advance of 2020, including important revisions to sales terms and conditions, bunker delivery receipts, and sound credit and recovery planning.

He is a member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States and of the bars of the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeal for the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, and Eleventh Circuits; United States District Courts for the District of Maryland (Trial Bar), District of Columbia, Northern District of Illinois, the states of Maryland and the District of Columbia, the United States Court of International Trade, and through special admission practices in other federal and state courts throughout the United States.

Chris Turner

Chris Turner

Group Technical Manager, Cockett Marine Oil

With over 30 years’ experience in the Shipping sector and having spent the last 10 years exclusively within the Bunkering Industry Chris has extensive knowledge of Laboratories, Inspection Services, Physical Supply and Trading.

Chris started his career in laboratories and spent 20 years with Inspectorate progressing to Technical Manager of all UK Inspection and Laboratory Activities.

Moving to Bunkering in 2010, Chris now works for Integr8 fuels as their Global Manager of Bunker Quality and Claims and is based in Singapore. His main responsibilities currently include Management and Resolution of Disputes, Technical Support for pool partners, customers and traders, IMO 2020 strategy including IMO 2020 strategies, counterparty vetting, training and the management of Integr8 fuels ISO 9001 global accreditation.

Michael Atkinson

Michael Atkinson

Customer Services Manager – Intertek Lintec

Michael graduated from the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne with a BSc (Hons) degree in Chemistry in 2005. In June 2006 he joined Lintec Testing Services as a Laboratory Analyst, moving into the role of Shift Supervisor the next year.

Having spent just over 3 years in the laboratory, Michael moved to the Customer Services team in 2010 and having gained valuable experience in the client facing role, took on additional responsibilities as a Key Account Manager at the beginning of 2017, and added the role of Technical Supervisor in December 2019.

The start of 2020 saw Michael move into the Customer Services Manager’s role, where he is involved with the day to day running of the department, overseeing global testing and inspection operations which are coordinated from the Intertek Lintec office in Darlington.

Ruben Block

Group Regional Structurer, Bunker Holding Group

Ravi Parameswaran

Regional Technical Manager (O&P) Asia, Bureau Veritas

Keshminder Singh

Operations Manager, Bureau Veritas