New Orleans: Right Venue at the Right Time for IMCA

press release
Friday, October 14, 2011
IMCA Chief Executive, Hugh Williams

Delegates from all over the world will be gathering in New Orleans in a matter of weeks for the 19th Annual Seminar of the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA).


With its theme ‘The Future of Marine & Subsea Operations’, the two day event gets off to a flying start on Wednesday 9 November with a powerful keynote address session involving five key players in the industry addressing the seminar theme – to be followed the next day by a BOEMRE keynote address.

“We are delighted to be welcoming IMCA President Andy Woolgar of Subsea 7, Gary Luquette of Chevron E&P; Randall Luthi of National Oceans Industries Association; Erik Milito of the American Petroleum Institute and Secretary Scott Angelle of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) each addressing ‘The Future of Marine & Subsea Operations’,” explains IMCA Chief Executive, Hugh Williams. “Their views will make compelling listening.
“Then, on Thursday 10 November Lars Herbst of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation & Enforcement (BOEMRE) will be addressing our delegates. IMCA members work hard to deliver safe and efficient projects. One particular aspect, competence, has increasing importance. IMCA provides a competence framework from which members can develop their own schemes across a common format that aids cross industry recognition.

“After Macondo, the US authorities have been emphasising the skills and experience expected from personnel in the Gulf of Mexico. This is being handed down by BOEMRE through its Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) requirements. IMCA is working with the Bureau through the Offshore Operators Committee (OOC) to clarify what skills and experience should be expected and how it should be demonstrated in our sector by using the existing IMCA competence material – so it will be particularly interesting to hear Mr Herbst’s views on this, and other highly relevant topics.

  • Strong support

”With a highly active Central and North America Section, we are proud to be holding the seminar in New Orleans at such an apposite time, and to have achieved very strong support from American speakers and organisations – indeed we have more endorsing organisations than ever before,” says Hugh Williams.

Taking place at the operational base for offshore activity in the Gulf of Mexico, at a time when the industry is looking forward to the next phase of developments, the IMCA Annual Seminar has attracted strong support for both American and international endorsing organisations including ADCI, API, IADC, MTS Dynamic Positioning Committee, OCIMF,  OGP, OOC, and OSJ. “Given that we are holding the Annual Seminar on the Gulf of Mexico, it is not surprising that ‘lessons learned’ figures high on the list of topics under consideration,” says Hugh Williams. ”But there is much more than looking back coming under the conference spotlight. In our plenary and parallel sessions and in workshops we will be closely considering where our sector is going and what the vital tools are that we need in order to constantly deliver added value for clients. The discussion will inevitably continue at our networking events, and in the associated exhibition.”


  • Deep ocean mining on the conference agenda

Following the opening morning keynote session a plenary session will address three topical issues: Deep ocean seafloor mineral extraction – operational challenges and opportunities for a new industry; Aegir, a multi-purpose vessel with a new way of reeling; and Diver workability through DSV integration. The conference will then divide into three sessions addressing marine, diving and ROV and survey topics, before breaking into workshop sessions addressing Blackout recovery for DP vessels; ROV installations on vessels; Working in Arctic conditions; Lifeboats – changes in SOLAS; and Security.

  • Day Two’s compelling programme

Following the keynote address by Mr Herbst of BOEMRE on Day Two delegates will hear from three speakers in the plenary session addressing Video games and the offshore industry – how gaming technology can help; Marine incidents and their investigations – a case study; and The Horizon project on the impact of fatigue on the performance of ships’ watchkeeping officers.

As on Day One, this session will be followed by parallel sessions dealing with marine, diving and ROV and survey issues. The conference will then reconvene for a plenary session with two presentations looking at process safety – Safety oriented design and realisation of control systems for offshore machinery; and Programmable electronic systems; as well as a presentation on The 2010 amendments to STCW and the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 – application to the offshore sector.  Workshops on Pitfalls of position references; MLC – its impact on marine contractors; Diving industry for 21st century – what next?; SEL – process workshop; and the ever-popular “Delegates choice” then follow.

Networking is an important aspect of the IMCA Annual Seminar. A drinks reception in the Courtyard of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel will be held on Tuesday 8 November (the evening before the Annual Seminar begins); the Seminar Dinner will be held on 9 November on a steamboat travelling down the Mississippi, whilst there will be a drinks and buffet reception on the evening of 10 November at the Aquarium of the Americas. An exhibition of products and services mounted by IMCA supplier members – the highest number ever - is an integral part of the IMCA Annual Seminar, with delegates having access at all coffee, tea and lunch breaks throughout the event.

Further information is available on IMCA’s website at, from  and from IMCA, 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0AU, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0) 20 7824 5521.

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