Training Program Seeks to Develop Alaskan Shipbuilders
A new shipbuilding and repair training program in Alaska aims to develop an advanced manufacturing workforce comprised of state residents. Shipbuilder and repairer Vigor has teamed up with the maritime workforce development network Maritime Works for a public, private and philanthropic initiative called Advancing Alaskan Workers, which will train Alaska’s next generation of advanced manufacturing workers. The initiative strives to combat the high turnover rates seen at Vigor’s Ketchikan shipyard and elsewhere that result when non-Alaskans are recruited to fill the state’s critical skills gap.
Tug Grounding Causes Fuel Spill in Alaska
Emergency personnel continue their response to the tug boat Samson Mariner which ran aground and spilled fuel while towing a barge in the vicinity of Rosa Reef in north Tongass Narrows, Alaska, Wednesday evening. Approximately 1,100 gallons of diesel spilled from the tug prior to being patched by Alaska Commercial Divers Wednesday night. The Samson Mariner has been refloated and is anchored in Ward Cove alongside the barge it was towing. A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew conducted an overflight with Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Ketchikan personnel aboard to determine the extent of any possible sheen or environmental impacts. A sheen has been reported in the area and SEAPRO has been tasked with fuel containment and recovery using boom and absorbent pads.
Southwest Alaska Pilots Order Gladding-Hearn Pilot boat
The Southwest Alaska Pilots Association in Homer, Alaska has ordered a new pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation. Delivery is scheduled for 2018. With a length overall of 75.7’, beam of 20.6’ and draft of 3.11’, the all-aluminum Galveston Class pilot boat features the C. Raymond Hunt-designed Deep V hull. It will be powered by twin Cummins QSK38-M1, EPA Tier 3 diesel engines, each delivering 1,400 Bhp at 1,800 rpm and connected to twin ZF-5000 gear boxes. The launch will be propelled by a pair of Hamilton HM651 water jets. Top speed is expected to reach 28 knots.
BP Oil Well Spills Out of Control in Alaska
The oil giant British Petroleum (BP) oil and gas well on Alaska’s Northern Slope that blew out on Friday continues to spill crude oil and gas uncontrollably. There have been no injuries or reports of damage to wildlife, but crews trying to secure the well have failed amid frigid winds gusting to 38 miles an hour. Well pressure was monitored throughout the night and excess pressure was bled off to keep it within a safe rang. There was no estimate about volumes of natural gas and oil released.
Global Opens New Alaska Office
Global Diving & Salvage, Inc. has expanded its regional operations with the addition of a new office in Juneau, Alaska. The new Juneau office will support southeast Alaska through several of Global’s primary service lines: marine construction, marine salvage and emergency response, diving operations and more. Global has been providing marine services in southeast Alaska for years through its Anchorage and Pacific Northwest offices; the new Juneau office is being established in response to client requests for a dedicated base, which will bolster the capacity of operations in that region. Bill Akan, a longtime member of the Global team, will serve as Southeast Alaska Operations Coordinator for the new Juneau location. “I’m thrilled to be returning to Juneau with Global,” Akan said.
Out of Service Tug Sinks in Alaska
An out of service tug has sunk at the Samson Tug and Barge Company pier in Sitka, Alaska. The 81-foot vessel Powhatan owned by Samson Tug and Barge Company sank at the pier on the evening of April 19 and subsequently slid under the pier approximately 200 yards along an underwater ledge. U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Sitka and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation personnel are responding. Samson Tug and Barge Company is developing a salvage plan and has contracted Southeast Alaska Petroleum Response Organization for oil recovery and Hanson Maritime to dive and survey the tug. The vessel, which has been out of service for over 10 years…
EPA Paves Way for Stalled Mine in Alaska
U.S. environmental regulators have cleared the path for a stalled copper and gold mine in Alaska by agreeing to settle current lawsuits and other issues over the project, which had drawn environmental concerns over its potential impact on the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery. U.S. The Pebble Limited Partnership mining company had filed a lawsuit against the EPA under the previous administration of Democratic president Barack Obama, which had sought to block it. Backers of the project had been hopeful that Obama's Republican successor, Donald Trump would allow it to proceed. Shares of Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd , which owns the massive Pebble deposit, have surged since Trump won the U.S. election back in November. Trump took office Jan. 20.
Matson Completes Upgrade of Alaska Fleet
Matson has welcomed Matson Anchorage back to Alaska following three months of work to upgrade the vessel, including the installation of new equipment that virtually eliminates particulate matter and sulfur from engine exhaust, making it one of the cleanest ships operating in Alaska. Matson Anchorage was the last of Matson's three D7 Class containerships serving Alaska to receive the new equipment. Sister ships Matson Kodiak and Matson Tacoma underwent the same upgrade work and were returned to service last year.
BOEM Offers Cook Inlet Blocks Offshore Alaska
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced it will offer approximately 1.09 million acres off Alaska’s southcentral coast in a lease sale scheduled for June 21. Cook Inlet Oil & Gas Lease Sale 244 will offer 224 blocks toward the northern part of the federal Cook Inlet Planning Area for leasing. The blocks stretch roughly from Kalgin Island in the north to Augustine Island in the south. “We conducted a robust environmental analysis and look forward to holding Alaska’s first OCS lease sale since 2008,” said Dr. Walter Cruickshank, BOEM’s acting director.
Salvors to Raise Sunken Tug in Alaska
A crane barge that will be used to hoist a sunken tug in Sitka, Alaska has arrived to the wreck site. The evolution to raise the tug is expected to take up to 10 days, the U.S. Coast Guard said. U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Sitka and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation have been monitoring the out-of-service tug Powhatan, which sank at a pier in Sitka, April 19 and slid approximately 300 yards down a bank ultimately settling in 160 to 180 feet of water. The tug's owner, Samson Tug and Barge Company, contracted Southeast Alaska Petroleum for pollution recovery and Alaska Commercial Divers to plug vents and survey the vessel underwater. Since the sinking, an estimated 400 gallons of mixed product has released from the sunken tug.
Trump Administration Approves Eni Plan to Drill Offshore Alaska
Eni US will become the first energy company allowed to explore for oil in federal waters off Alaska since 2015 after the Trump administration this week approved a drilling plan on leases the company has been sitting on for 10 years. The approval is conditional on Eni getting other state and federal permits, which in past cases are generally granted once BOEM gives the green light. "We know there are vast oil and gas resources under the Beaufort Sea, and we look forward to working with Eni in their efforts to tap into this energy potential," said BOEM's acting Director Walter Cruickshank.
Akutan Response Continues off Alaska
The response to potential pollution from the fishing vessel Akutan continues in Captains Bay near Unalaska, Alaska. The U.S. Coast Guard, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the city of Unalaska established a unified command, and responders are continuously monitoring levels of anhydrous ammonia and removing various petroleum products from the vessel. 5,000 gallons of oily water from the engine room bilge and 1,200 gallons of oily mixture from one of the slop tanks were removed Friday and Saturday.
Man Medevaced from Chinese Research Vessel near Alaska
A man with a broken arm was medevaced from the Chinese research vessel Xue Long, 15 nautical miles from Nome, Alaska, Saturday morning. A smallboat crew from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley embarked the man and transferred him to the Alex Haley for further transfer to Nome. Coast Guard District 17 command center watchstanders received a relay notification from a Coast Guard liaison to China who reported a Chinese national aboard the Xue Long suffered a broken arm while conducting research in the Arctic Ocean.
TOTE Deploying State-of-the-Art Telematics in Alaska
TOTE Maritime Alaska has announced that the installation of ORBCOMM’s telematics devices across a broad equipment platform will be complete in the coming months. ORBCOMM was selected to provide a broad portfolio of telematics solutions to monitor and control its refrigerated, dry and flatbed equipment. TOTE Maritime Alaska is a leading Jones Act carrier serving the Alaska market, connecting greater Alaska to the Continental United States and beyond. This is the second deployment for TOTE Maritime…
Cargo Barge Launched for Alaska Marine Lines
Alaska Marine Lines celebrated the launch of its newest barge, Skagway Provider, at a ceremony July 7 at Gunderson Marine in Portland, Ore. where the vessel was constructed. The heavy deck cargo barge will make its maiden voyage from Seattle to Southeast Alaska July 29 and will begin serving Alaska Marine Lines customers on the Seattle to Southeast Alaska route. “We are proud to offer our customers additional capacity between Seattle and Southeast Alaska via the Skagway Provider,” said Kevin Anderson, president of Alaska Marine Lines.
Fight over Alaska Arctic Drilling has Just Begun
Senator Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, won a decades-long battle on Wednesday to open part of an Arctic wildlife reserve in her state to oil and gas drilling, but Democratic senators and conservationists vow the war has only begun. The tax bill passed by Congress contains language pushed by Murkowski and supported by President Donald Trump to hold two lease sales in the 1.5 million-acre (600,000-hectare) 1002 area on the northern coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR.
Eni Begins Drilling Oil Well in Alaska's Beaufort Sea
Italian oil producer Eni this week began drilling a new well in U.S. waters off the north coast of Alaska, becoming the first company to do so since 2015, federal regulators said on Wednesday. The oil and gas firm is working from an artificial island in the Beaufort Sea about three miles off Oliktok Point in the Arctic Ocean. The well is expected to run more than 6 miles (10 km) long. The project could result in 20,000 barrels a day of oil production, according to regulator U.S.
Update: Alaska, Canada Tsunami Alerts Lifted
Alaska and parts of western Canada braced for a possible tsunami on Tuesday after a magnitude-7.9 earthquake struck the Gulf of Alaska, sparking evacuations in coastal Alaska and a tsunami warning for California that was later lifted. In Alaska, people packed into high schools and other evacuation centers after the quake hit shortly after midnight local time (0900 GMT). Officials had warned residents as far south as San Francisco to be ready to evacuate coastal areas but by 5:15 a.m. PST (1315 GMT) the U.S.
Alaska, ConocoPhillips Eye JV to Market LNG
The state-owned Alaska Gasline Development Corp. (AGDC), and ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. have executed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to form a joint venture company (JV) to market liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Alaska LNG project. AGDC said the joint venture would also focus on buying North Slope gas and pursue support of other major North Slope producers in the formation. The JV's ultimate goal is to bring global LNG buyers and North Slope wellhead sellers together.
Alaska Requests Limits on US Offshore Drilling
Alaska Governor Bill Walker said on Tuesday he has asked U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to pare back a Trump administration plan for oil and gas leasing off the state's coast. While Walker supports offshore oil development, he said the Interior Department should focus on the most prospective areas off Alaska – the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in the Arctic and Cook Inlet in southern Alaska – and drop all others from the leasing plan. In asking for proposed lease sales to be dropped…
Op-Ed: Alaska's Golden Offshore Opportunity
Offshore energy presents a golden opportunity for Alaska and the United States. As we enter the final quarter of the year, one of the last and most pressing pieces of business facing the Interior Department is to finalize its next offshore leasing program, which will specify exactly which parts of the United States’ Outer Continental Shelf will be open to oil and gas development between 2017 and 2022. Having already cut the Atlantic from its proposed program back in March, the…
Norwegian to Build New Ship for Alaska Cruising
Norwegian Cruise Line will commence a new era of Alaska cruising beginning June 2018, as the company announced today that its next new vessel, Norwegian Bliss, will be custom-built with features and amenities for Alaska cruising. Norwegian Bliss will cruise to America’s Last Frontier from Seattle and will be the first Norwegian Cruise Line ship to make its debut in the Emerald City. At a ceremony held at Port of Seattle’s Pier 66, Norwegian President and CEO Andy Stuart shared the news alongside Port of Seattle CEO Ted Fick and Port of Seattle Commission President John Creighton.
Five Rescued from Sunken Vessel Near Naked Island, Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Coast Guard boatcrew and a good Samaritan rescued three adults and two teenagers from a 32-foot personal craft taking on water in the vicinity of Naked Island Sunday morning. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Anchorage received a mobile phone call at 6 a.m. from one of the five people reporting they had abandoned ship and swam to shore after their boat began to sink. Sector Anchorage issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast to vessels in the area to render assistance. The 33-foot good Samaritan vessel Sweet Pea responded to the call and brought the five people safely aboard. There were no reports of injuries. A Coast Guard Station Valdez 45-foot Response Boat — Medium boatcrew transferred the five from the Sweet Pea and took them safely to Whittier.