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20th Anniversary of Oil Spill Drill Program

Minerals Management Service (MMS) Director Liz Birnbaum today highlighted the 20th anniversary of the MMS Gulf of Mexico Region’s Unannounced Oil Spill Drill Program.  The first unannounced drill with an offshore oil and gas operator in the Gulf was held on July 25, 1989. Since the first unannounced drill, an additional 273 drills have been held in the Gulf.  The MMS designs the drill to exercise an oil and gas and pipeline operator’s Oil Spill Response Plan and evaluates its spill management team’s effectiveness in responding to a simulated spill event. “While preventing oil spills is our top priority throughout the offshore energy exploration and extraction process, operators must be ready to respond to a spill event,” Birnbaum said. “The Unannounced Drill Program enables MMS to monitor and enhance the operators’ response capabilities throughout the Outer Continental Shelf.” In order to test an operator’s ability and effectiveness in responding, there are different methods used in a drill.  A drill may consist of a table top exercise or the actual deployment of specific response equipment such as oil spill response vessels and dispersant aircraft. Every drill tests an operator’s ability to notify the appropriate contacts including federal regulatory agencies, affected state and local agencies, internal response coordinators and response contractors

NRC, Resolve Expand Firefighting and Oil Spill Response

National Response Corporation (NRC) and Resolve Marine Group announce the expansion of their 1Call response coverage for all vessels trading in U.S. waters. The service offers tanker and nontank vessel owners and operators full, single-source coverage in compliance with latest U.S. Coast Guard regulations for Salvage and Marine Firefighting (SMFF), and Oil Spill Removal Organization (OSRO). This announcement reflects the U.S

Coastal Marine Expands in Brazil

Coastal Marine Equipment has extended its presence into the Brazilian marketplace by teaming with Macnor Marine and Macnor Services to assist in equipment sales and service. This relationship has proven successful as Coastal Marine has been awarded the deck equipment for two Oil Spill Response Vessels’ being built in Brazil at EISA Shipyard. Each vessel will receive an ABS approved anchor windlass, two capstans and two tuggers

Arctic Voyage Underway for Both Shell Drillships

In the last week, both of Shell’s drill ships departed Unalaska for the Arctic. The Noble Discoverer drill rig, which made headlines when it dragged anchor and almost came aground on Airport Beach in June, is bound for the Chukchi Sea. The Kulluk drill ship is now halfway to the Beaufort Sea. But the drilling season is already almost over, with only a month left to drill in the Chukchi, and two months left in the Beaufort

Damen Shipyards Open Norway Office

Arnout Damen, COO of Damen Shipyards Group, officially opens a new office in Norwegian Stavanger. When asked why Dutch headquartered Damen Shipyards sets up an advanced base in Stavanger, its new Sales Manager said: “It is the European Oil & Gas capital and the place the ONS Exhibition and conferences are held. Stavanger is, so to speak, a mini-Houston”. The opening gave Mr Hottentot a chance to show what Damen is about and in particular that it is becoming more and

SeaHow Skimmer System


New SeaHow skimmer systems – designed to collect both light and heavy oils efficiently – can be implemented in almost any work boat, starting with vessels only six meters long. SeaHow operates one of northern Europe’s largest fleets of oil spill response vessels, and its hands-on experience of more than 30 years was central to the three years in developing its own line of SeaHow skimmers. SeaHow skimmers are suitable for vessels from 6m long to the largest vessels used in

Horizon To Build OSV Trio

Horizon Shipbuilding and SLOK Nigeria Limited have signed contracts for the construction of three offshore vessels - all of which will operate under a long-term contract with Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited. The contract calls for Horizon to build a 200 ft. (61 m) steel Single Point Mooring (SPM) Oil Spill Response Vessel with a total of 4,000-shaft hp. The vessel will be fitted with controllable pitch propellers and a dynamic positioning system

Harvey Gulf Contracts to Build First U.S. LNG-Powered Vessels

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Today, Harvey Gulf International Marine became the first U.S. vessel operator to contract for construction of vessels capable of operating exclusively on natural gas.  The agreement is for two, 302’ X 64’, Dual Fuel Offshore Supply Vessels, with an option for a third.  The contract was signed with Trinity Offshore, which will build the vessels at their Gulfport, MS shipyard.    In addition to being powered by cleaner burning natural gas

Hong Kong Conducts Oil Spill Exercise

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An annual oil spill response joint exercise, this year code-named Oilex 2013, was held on October 17 off Ha Mei Wan, Lamma Island, to test responses in combating oil pollution in Hong Kong waters. Under the Maritime Oil Spill Response Plan, the Marine Department coordinated the exercise and other government departments including the Civil Aid Service, the Auxiliary Medical Service, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department

Great Ships of 2013: Damen Modular Barge

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‘LEGO’ FOR PROFESSIONALS If there is one thing that we hear time and again in the maritime world is that the manufacture of boats, ships and maritime structures in general is not as efficient as found in larger, mass market transportation modes because of the unique peculiarities of each different vessel. Damen has long been a proponent of standardized production, a concept which is extended to the “Nth” degree via the Damen Modular Barge concept

Fishing Company Charged Over $1 Mln in Oil Spill Penalties

Photo courtesy of Tri-Marine

Tri-Marine Management Co., Tri-Marine Fishing Management and Cape Mendocino Fishing (Tri-Marine) have agreed to pay $1.05 million in civil penalties and to perform fleet-wide inspections and other corrective measures to resolve claims stemming from an October 2014 oil spill in American Samoa and

Oil Spills into Potomac River near D.C. Airport

Aerial view of the oil spill near the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Oct. 30, 2015. A safety zone was established with a 1,500-yard radius from source of the spill. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Nicholas Rodriguez)

An estimated 7,500 to 9,000 gallons of Jet A aviation fuel has spilled within Washington D.C.’s Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and into the Potomac River, Friday.   A Unified Command consisting of the U.S. Coast Guard; Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority personnel

Russian Icebreaker Construction Underway

The ceremonial launch of construction of the lead icebreaking support vessel for Gazprom Neft Novy Port was held today at Vyborg Shipyard, a corporate member of the United Shipbuilding Corporation.    Guests were greeted by Kirill Voroshilov

Technology Readiness Levels Defined for Oil Spill Response

Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility Courtesy BSEE

  Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) staff participated in a workgroup meeting at the bureau's Ohmsett facility in Leonardo, N.J., as part of the workgroup’s efforts to define Technology Readiness Levels for use in the oil spill response community.

Traffic Restrictions Lifted on Mississippi River

File photo: Thomas Rollins

The safety zone and traffic restrictions in place from markers 936 to 938 on the Mississippi River following a towboat collision and subsequent oil spill have been lifted, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.   A section of the lower Mississippi River was closed to all traffic except response

Spill Response Continues on Mississippi River

The unified command in Paducah continues its response to a spill in the Mississippi River at mile marker 937, Wednesday as active recovery efforts are underway to remove the submerged clarified slurry oil spilled as a result of a collision involving two towboats on September 2, 2015, the U.S

Responders Monitoring Sunken Tug in Alaska

A Coast Guard Station Juneau 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew and members of the Sector Juneau response department deploy containment boom around the sunken tug Challenger in Gastineau Channel in Juneau, Alaska, Sept. 13, 2015. The vessel sunk the day before while anchored in the channel. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Grant DeVuyst)

Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Natural Resources joined Coast Guard Sector Juneau personnel in responding to the tugboat, Challenger, which sank in Juneau's Gastineau channel September 12, 2015. Global Diving & Salvage and Southeast Alaska Lighterage

A Maneuverable Oil Spill Response Vessel

G.M. Penman (Photo: Twin Disc)

The maritime industry has seen an increased need for high speed spill response in step with expanding offshore oil exploration and production.   Meeting this need is the newest skimmer boat from Washington-based shipbuilder Rozema Boat Works: a 65-foot oil spill recovery vessel (OSRV), G.M

MN 100: Elastec

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The Company: Elastec manufactures and markets innovative pollution control and recovery systems. The company’s core competency is oil spill response: skimmers, fire and containment booms, boom deployment systems, portable vacuum equipment, workboats, dispersant spray systems

New Risks Moving Crude Oil by Rail

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The rapidly changing landscape of crude oil exploration and drilling in the US and Canada, together with economic considerations, logistical issues related to pipeline transport, and the availability of new types of crude oils, including Bakken crude and various forms of bitumen

ICCOPR Approves Updated Oil Pollution Research Plan


  The Interagency Coordinating Committee on Oil Pollution Research (ICCOPR) unanimously approved the Oil Pollution Research & Technology Plan (OPRTP) for FY2015-2021 at the committee’s quarterly meeting Sept. 29, 2015, in Arlington, Virginia.

Salvage & Wreck Removal: Market Trends and the US Perspective


The global salvage business continues to be very dynamic with emerging trends and significant moves made by major salvors. While not as heavily affected by primary economic factors such as the offshore market’s connectivity to oil prices

U.S., Alaska End Exxon Valdez Legal Action

The Exxon Valdez remains in place in Prince Williams Sound, Alaska after running aground on Bligh Reef March 23, 1989, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil (USCG photo)

U.S. and Alaskan authorities have ended their efforts to seek additional damages from Exxon Mobil Corp over the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and the subsequent settlement, the Department of Justice said on Thursday. The department said in a statement that it is "bringing to a close the

North Sea Trials for Inter-vessel Communications

MBR connects all vessels in complex offshore operations. (Photo: Kongsberg)

The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA), Norwegian Coast Guard and the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies (NOFO) took part in a full-scale trial of Kongsberg Maritime’s Maritime Broadband Radio (MBR) inter-vessel communication system in the North Sea this June.

Oil Spill Halts Loadings from Statoil's Statfjord A Platform

Photo: Statoil

Norway's Statoil has stopped all oil loadings from the Statfjord A platform in the North Sea after an oil spill occurred on Sunday, the company said on Monday, with no impact on production from the platform.   "We had a minor leak while preparing to load on Sunday

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