The Top 10 Workboat Stories for 2019
Choosing the year’s ‘top stories’ is always a difficult task. Many compelling story threads played out, each dramatically impacting the North American waterfront, and in particular, the workboat sector – each in their own unique way.The Infrastructure Battle ContinuesThe EXECUTIVE SUMMARY H.R. 2396, the “Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Act”, will ensure that the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is used for its intended purpose – maintaining Federally-authorized harbors. The legislation would allow the U.S.
OMSA Responds to Proposed CBP Modifications to Jones Act rulings
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) proposes to modify and revoke various prior ruling letters relating to CBP’s application of the Jones Act to the transportation of certain merchandise and equipment between coastwise points.Comments must be received by 22 November. Customs Bulletins & Decisions, Vol. 53, No. 38, starting at page 12 (October 23, 2019). LINK to the CBP proposal by clicking HERE. CBP made a similar proposal in 2017 that was later withdrawn.OMSA President Aaron Smith…
MN100: Texas A&M Maritime Academy
Dynamically Positioned for the Future, the Texas A&M Maritime Academy takes its place among our 2019 MN100 best of industry winners. It's 'no accident' that today's early adoption of DP curriculum puts the school and its students front and center when it comes time to man tomorrow's futuristic offshore energy support tonnage.Late last year, the Offshore Service Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority (OSVDPA) announced that the Texas A&M Maritime Academy at Texas A&M University at Galveston was now the first maritime academy in the nation accredited to provide OSVDPA courses to its cadets.
OP/ED: Stronger Together
In 1941, geologist Orval Lester Brace stated “it may be tentatively assumed that the Gulf of Mexico is a potential source of salt-dome oil. Whether or not it will be economically feasible to explore these waters for the domes that must exist is a question for the future to answer.” The future hypothesized by Mr. Brace was not nearly as far off as it seemed. Less than six years after his proclamation, Kerr-McGee Oil Industries, along with Phillips Petroleum, Stanolind Oil and Gas Co…
OMSA Names Fuhrmann to Regulatory Affairs Post
The Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) announced the resignation of long-time Vice President, Richard Wells. Subsequently, OMSA announced the association will be hiring Chad Fuhrmann as Director of Regulatory Affairs in June.OMSA President, Aaron Smith said, “We are sorry to see Richard go, he has loyally served OMSA and the offshore industry for more than 10 years. We wish he and his wife, Joan, the best as they move to the next stage of their lives.”Chairman of the OMSA Board of Directors…
OMSA Announces Formation of Wind Committee
Open to all OMSA Members, the Committee Seeks to Further the Domestic Offshore Wind Industry and the Jones Act.New Orleans, LA – Today, the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) announced the formation of the OMSA Wind Committee and announced that membership on the Committee is now open to all OMSA members.OMSA President, Aaron Smith said, “Over the past 46 years, OMSA has done a tremendous job in promoting public policy that benefits the vessels, operators, and mariners engaged in the offshore oil and gas industry.
NOSAC to USCG: Allow Domestic OSVs in Disaster Recovery
Last week, the National Offshore Safety Advisory Committee (NOSAC) overwhelmingly approved recommendations that the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) remove the hinderances that prevented U.S. energy-industry vessels, from assisting Puerto Rico with recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria.The offshore energy industry is serviced by highly specialized vessels. Offshore supply vessels (OSVs) have large open decks to carry cargo to offshore rigs. OSVs typically also have massive internal tanks to carry and pump water, drilling mud, or fuel to offshore facilities.
OSVDPA Announces 2019 Membership Enrollment
Announcement also includes new membership policies and enrollment procedures.The Offshore Service Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority (OSVDPA) is now accepting Individual and Corporate Membership Applications for the 2019 calendar year.Membership provides individuals and companies involved in the dynamic positioning industry the ability to advise the OSVDPA on the content and requirements of the OSVDPA DPO Certification Scheme. Specifically, members elect two representatives to the OSVDPA Technical Advisory Council (TAC).
Dynamically Positioned for the Future
OSVDPA accredits Texas A&M Maritime Academy to provide dynamic positioning (DP) training to its cadets.In early September, the Offshore Service Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority (OSVDPA) announced that the Texas A&M Maritime Academy at Texas A&M University at Galveston was now the first maritime academy in the nation accredited to provide OSVDPA courses to its cadets. For any U.S. maritime academy, most if not all of them traditionally focused on sending out graduates ready for blue water, deep water service, this represents a sea change in training.
OSVDPA Accredits Texas A&M Maritime Academy
A&M becomes first U.S. Maritime Academy to teach accredited DP courses.The Offshore Service Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority (OSVDPA) has announced that Texas A&M Maritime Academy (TAMMA) is accredited to provide OSVDPA courses to its cadets. TAMMA, in Galveston, Texas, is the first Maritime Academy in the United States to be accredited by a dynamic positioning operator (DPO) certification body.In announcing the accreditation, OSVDPA Executive Director, Aaron Smith, said, “The OSVDPA Board of Directors and our staff are very excited to issue this accreditation.
OSVDPA Announces MSC Approval of OSVDPA Credentials
U.S. Navy’s Sealift Body Accepting OSVDPA DPO Certificates. The Offshore Service Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority, Inc. (OSVDPA) announced the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) is accepting OSVDPA DPO Certificates for mariners seeking employment by MSC. Dynamically positioned vessels are a growing part of MSC’s fleet and operations and are being utilized at a higher rate in recent years in an effort to conduct operations, often times dive and salvage operations, in a safer and more efficient manner.
Congressional, Maritime Leaders Support Jones Act on the Hill
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation held a hearing Wednesday on “The State of the U.S. Flag Maritime Industry” during which congressional and maritime leaders stressed the importance of the Jones Act. RADM Mark H. Mr. Mr. The Committee and those testifying expressed bipartisan support for the Jones Act and enforcement of the law. “In order for us to maintain the way of life as we know it as a nation that is secure and is able to project power, be it Navy power or commercial power, the Jones Act is intrinsic to that.
Op/Ed: Facts Do Matter - A Defense of the Jones Act
I recently read a story in The New Yorker – but that sounds more intellectual than what really happened, let me start over. I recently clicked a link on Facebook, which sought to explain why the term “Fake News” has become so popular. The article claimed that facts no longer matter to the average voter. As evidence (yes, the article explaining why facts don’t matter included evidence), it detailed a study whereby the subjects had been given false information, then were asked to make a choice between two options.
Mariners, Shipbuilders Call on President to Put U.S. National & Economic Security First
Profoundly damaging announcement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) puts foreign companies first and American companies and workers last. The Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) today responded to an announcement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to withdraw its second proposal to modify and revoke letter rulings. This decision hurts American workers, vessel owners, and U.S. shipbuilders and prevents the creation of 3,200 new American jobs. Obliging to foreign interests…
Gulf of Mexico is Ground Zero for the Jones Act
A vastly modernized U.S. offshore support fleet awaits the opportunity to perform Jones Act work in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Foreign operators, already here, predict disaster if a cabotage rule change takes effect. A change proposed by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in its Customs Bulletin & Decision newsletter promises reversal of a 40-year practice that, until now, allowed the use of non-coastwise-qualified vessels in the transportation of pipeline repair material…
Louisiana OKs Use of Grants for DP Assessments
The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) has approved use of Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWTP) grants to cover the cost of Offshore Service Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority, Inc. (OSVDPA) Phase 4 Assessments. “It’s great to see the Louisiana Workforce Commission recognize the OSVDPA’s assessments as an important part of the professional development of mariners,” said OSVDPA Executive Director, Aaron Smith. In addition to two classroom courses and two periods of on board experience gathering…
Op/Ed: CBP’S Lawful Jones Act Revocation
In 2009, the U.S. offshore marine sector received a long over-due indication that the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) was preparing to close loopholes and enforce U.S. law in accordance with the Jones Act. This happened when the agency unhesitatingly issued its first revocation of more than 20 letter rulings that were inconsistent with the U.S. law of the land – the Jones Act. Almost immediately there was an outcry from foreign interests who claimed, untruthfully, that this…
DP Training: Expanded Choices & Evolving Methods
Perhaps one the most obscure skill sets in today’s rapidly emerging workboat landscape is also arguably its most important. Kongsberg today remains at the cutting edge of DP training and credentialing efforts. Not lost in last month’s Offshore Service Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority (OSVDPA) announcement that Kongsberg Maritime’s Houston training center had been accredited to conduct OSVDPA dynamic positioning operator (DPO) training courses and assessments was the fact that Kongsberg has been offering DP training for many years.
OMSA: CBP Revocation Notice Boosts U.S. Jobs
OMSA says CBP Action Prevents Foreign Companies from Taking Advantage of U.S. Law. The Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) today issued the following statement in response to erroneous claims and misguided research released by API and companies backing foreign workers. “This study is a desperate attempt by companies promoting foreign workers to distort facts to enable them to continue to skirt U.S. law,” said Aaron Smith, President and CEO, Offshore Marine Service Association.
Interview: Aaron Smith Zeroes in on the Offshore Sector
As the Executive Director for the Offshore Supply Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority (OSVDPA), Aaron Smith is charged with managing the day-to-day operation of the Authority. Along with the OSVDPA Board of Directors and Technical Advisory Council (TAC), Aaron has helped to craft the Authority’s dynamic positioning operator (DPO) certification program. This includes ensuring that the program is ultimately accepted by the offshore energy industry, and its many international and domestic counterparts.
Talking DP with Aaron C. Smith, Executive Director OSVDPA
When the Offshore Supply Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority (OSVDPA) held its first board meeting in March, it began charting the course toward a new dynamic positioning operator (DPO) certificate especially designed for the offshore service vessel industry. As the Executive Director for the newly created Offshore Supply Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority (OSVDPA), Aaron Smith is charged with managing the day-to-day operation of the Authority. Along with the OSVDPA Board of Directors and Technical Advisory Council (TAC)…
The Marine Training Institute Accredited for DP Training
The Offshore Service Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority (OSVDPA) in the U.S. has announced that the Marine Training Institute (TMTI) in Gray, La. Has been accredited to conduct OSVDPA dynamic positioning operator (DPO) training courses and assessments. Under the OSVDPA certification system, those wanting to become DPOs must complete two classroom courses, one focused on the theoretical knowledge behind DP operation and the other gaining DP experience via the use of DP simulators. By securing accreditation, TMTI can now begin conducting these courses. Accreditation provides TMTI the ability to conduct the OSVDPA final assessment and revalidation assessment.
Aaron Smith Takes the Helm at OMSA
Aaron Smith has been appointed as the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the Offshore Marine Services Association, Inc. (OMSA), the national trade association representing the U.S.-flag offshore workboat industry. Smith’s appointment follows the resignation of Ben Billings, who has led OMSA since 2013. Smith has held various positions in government and public affairs. He has been instrumental in the development of OSVDPA, a dynamic positioning certification authority for the OSV industry. Prior to that, he served in Washington, D.C.