Marcon International, Inc. of Coupeville, Washington announced the sale of the U.S. flag oilfield supply boat "Orion Pioneer" (ex-Orion Star, Acoustic Pioneer, September Morn) from WesternGeco Overseas Inc. to private buyers.
The vessel was originally built in 1981 by Halter Marine, Inc. as a standard design 180' x 40' x 14' depth supply vessel for Levy-Mellon Marine of Patterson, Louisiana to use in the Gulf of Mexico market. She was later modified for specialized acoustic work for the U.S. Government Naval Sea Systems Command with conversion of port and starboard No. 2 tanks to 13' x 15' enclosed storage spaces and liquid mud and drybulk tanks converted to carry additional ballast and fuel. "Orion Pioneer" was originally classed by ABS, but later only carried an ABS loadline. Vessel currently has tankage for 79,000g fuel, 9,800g fresh water, and 160,000g ballast water providing an endurance of 30 days. She is powered by twin EMD 12-567BC main engines developing a total of 2,500BHP.
New buyers plan to register the vessel in Panama and operate her in the Caribbean. Marcon acted as sole broker for the transaction. This is the 15th vessel Marcon has sold for WesternGeco. Marcon has concluded a total of seven charters and sales so far this year. Several additional transactions are pending and expected to close within the next couple of weeks. In 2011, Marcon booked 34 sales and one charter.