New seafaring jobs on Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) vessels will go to Americans licensed as ships’ officers under an agreement reached between the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Shell International Trading Company
Under the agreement, Shell becomes one of the first major oil producers to actively recruit American seafarers for its growing fleet of 25 new LNG vessels, all of which will be put into service in the next four years.
“The growing worldwide demand in the LNG industry creates a significant opportunity for the U.S. maritime industry," said Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton
LNG vessels are the fastest-growing segment of the international shipping industry, and require highly skilled seafarers to crew them, Connaughton said. The agreement will provide an opportunity for American mariners to enhance their careers through Shell’s international and domestic ventures, he said.
“The addition of the highly skilled and trained U.S. mariners will positively enhance Shell’s diverse seafarer skill pool,” added Bob Salmon, general manager of Shell’s U.S. shipping division.
Connaughton noted that the agreement coincided with the adoption of universal training standards facilitated by his agency which will ensure that LNG officers are trained under uniform standards in all of the maritime academies.
This is the fourth crewing agreement the Maritime Administration has negotiated within the past year with a company operating LNG tankers. In the past year, the Maritime Administration has also expanded training opportunities for maritime cadets with international shipping companies, and facilitated the adoption of universal training standards in the LNG shipping industry.