Cook Inlet News

12 Mar 2020

CITB Adds Shallow-draft Tug in Alaska

(Image: CITB)

Cook Inlet Tug and Barge (CITB) is adding a versatile shallow draft tugboat, the Bristol Wind, to its fleet in mid-April. The uniquely designed tug will join her sister vessel, the Capt. Frank Moody, in support of the construction, and oil and gas industries' remote cargo transportation needs along the Arctic coastline."Drawing just 3.2 feet, the Bristol Wind is uniquely designed to operate efficiently as a coastal tug. She has the unique ability to lighten the draft when water…

17 Jul 2019

CITB Expands North Slope Operations

image credit: CITB

Cook Inlet Tug & Barge (CITB), an independently managed subsidiary of Foss Maritime Company, has announced that operations on Alaska’s North Slope are officially underway for the 2019 ice-free season. Three newly acquired tugs, along with barges and shore equipment, will be operating out of Prudhoe Bay for approximately the next three months.“It is great to see these vessels on the water and ready to work,” said Jeff Johnson, President of CITB. “These shallow-draft tugs and barges…

17 Jan 2019

Cook Inlet Tug & Barge Acquiring Assets on Alaska’s North Slope

John Parrott (Photo: Foss Maritime)

Cook Inlet Tug & Barge (CITB), an independently managed subsidiary of Foss Maritime Company, entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement with Crowley Vessel Sales Group and completed the purchase of all of Crowley’s Prudhoe Bay, Alaska assets – including tugs, barges, heavy machinery and other vehicles and equipment.“These assets are already positioned on the North Slope,” said John Parrott, President and CEO of Foss. “They are operationally ready to perform shallow draft tug and…

04 Jan 2019

Cook Inlet Tug & Barge Announces Interim Manager

Amber Thomas, interim Business Operations Manager for Anchorage. (Image: Foss)

Project Manager to Temporarily Lead Alaska Operations. Cook Inlet Tug & Barge (CITB), an independently managed subsidiary of Foss Maritime Company, announced that Foss project manager Amber Thomas has been selected as interim Business Operations Manager for Anchorage. Beginning January 2, Thomas will serve as the central point person for administrative and commercial operations, leading all shoreside activities in Anchorage and Seward. Thomas will take on the temporary position while the search continues for a new president to replace former CITB head Ben Stevens.

29 Oct 2018

Foss Redeploys Hybrid Harbor Tug to Anchorage

The Bering Wind (CREDIT Foss)

5,000 HP workhorse to enter Alaska service this month.The Bering Wind, a powerful Dolphin Class tugboat, is being transferred from the Foss fleet in Long Beach, California to Cook Inlet Tug & Barge in Anchorage. The tug, formerly known as the Campbell Foss, is scheduled to begin service in Anchorage this month.The vessel was renamed in October of this year and is scheduled to enter service in Alaska in approximately November 15, 2018. “The addition of the Bering Wind to our Anchorage based fleet of tugs will improve our current level of service in the Port…

23 May 2018

Tim Bush Promoted to Crowley VP, Deputy General Counsel

Tim Bush, Crowley vice president and deputy general counsel

Crowley Maritime Corp. has announced that Tim Bush has been promoted to vice president and deputy general counsel. In his new position, Bush will help support the company’s growth as a provider of solutions for the U.S. government and various public-sector agencies. He will be based in Houston and report to Michael Roberts, senior vice president and general counsel. “Tim is an outstanding lawyer, and adds a great deal of value to the Crowley team,” Roberts said. Bush will continue to serve as Crowley’s lead attorney on several large projects for the U.S government…

30 Jan 2018

Alaska Requests Limits on US Offshore Drilling

© eqroy / Adobe Stock

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…

19 May 2017

BOEM Offers Cook Inlet Blocks Offshore Alaska

Pic: BOEM

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.

05 Apr 2017

Oil Firm Penalized by DOJ for Jones Act Violation

Alaska Oil Company Agrees to Pay $10 Million in Penalties to Settle Federal Claims for Violating the Jones Act. Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced today that Furie Operating Alaska LLC (“Furie”), a company whose focus is exploration and production of natural gas and oil in Cook Inlet, has agreed to pay $10 million to satisfy a civil penalty originally assessed against it by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) for violating the Jones Act. Furie was penalized when…

26 Feb 2017

BOEM : Potential Cook Inlet Lease Sale

Courtesy BOEM

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today announced it plans to offer approximately 1.09 million acres in Cook Inlet off Alaska’s southcentral coast in a proposed lease sale this year. Cook Inlet Oil & Gas Lease Sale 244, scheduled to take place in June 2017, would offer 224 blocks toward the northern part of the Cook Inlet Planning Area for leasing. The blocks stretch roughly from Kalgin Island in the north to Augustine Island in the south. “Following a robust environmental analysis…

18 Nov 2016

Obama Administration Bars New Oil, Gas Exploration off Alaska

A drilling ship Polar Pioneer in the Chukchi Sea, August 2015 (Photo: Mark Fink / Shell)

The Obama administration on Friday blocked new exploration for oil and gas in Arctic waters, in a win for environmental groups that had fought development of the ecologically fragile region. The Department of the Interior released a 2017 to 2022 leasing plan that blocked drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off northern Alaska. It also limited petroleum development in the Cook Inlet off south-central Alaska. Environmental activists have battled drilling in Alaska to protect whales, walruses and seals, and as part of a broader movement to keep remaining fossil fuels in the ground.

18 Oct 2016

Jensen Evolves With Crowley's Support

San Francisco’s Fireboat 3, recently named one of the 10 Significant Boats of 2016 by WorkBoat magazine Photo Jensen

As the City of San Francisco commissions its latest fireboat today, the vessel, designed by Seattle-based Jensen Maritime Consultants, exemplifies the evolution and growth of the naval architecture and marine engineering firm since it was acquired by Crowley Maritime Corp. in 2008. “Eight years ago I’m not sure this project would have been in our sweet spot,” said Johan Sperling, vice president of Crowley’s marine solutions group, which includes Jensen. “But over the past eight years, Crowley has made a considerable effort to give us all the tools we need to expand into new areas.

04 Oct 2016

Foss Maritime: Hard at Work in the Arctic

Glacier Wind in Cook Inlet (Image courtesy of Foss Maritime)

As the oil industry awaits a much-needed rebound, Foss Maritime’s robust presence in the Arctic region underscores its commitment to the region, the environment, and a business plan that looks ahead to the next chapter. Reports of the death of commercial Arctic activities have been greatly exaggerated. While Arctic energy projects have, by and large, been put on the back burner – like most things related to energy in other places – there are still many projects ongoing; and still others being planned.

08 Dec 2015

Precision Work between Volcanoes and Strong Currents

MV Svenja during the subsea installation of Monopod. (Photo: SAL)

SAL Heavy Lift announced the completion of one of its most challenging projects: the crew of MV Svenja has installed an offshore development platform over a subsea gas well conductor in Alaska's Cook Inlet. It is the largest exploitation area in Alaska’s Cook Inlet – surrounded by active volcanoes and extremely strong tidal currents. “Kitchen Lights Unit # 3” is exposed to a tidal range of 25 feet which provokes currents in excess of 5 knots. And here SAL Heavy Lift faced one of the most challenging missions in its 35 years of history.

24 Sep 2015

Riding Waves & Tides to a Cleaner Energy Future

The European Way The Meygen tidal stream energy project is currently under construction off the coast of Scotland. By the early 2020s, MeyGen Limited intends to deploy up to 398MW of offshore tidal stream turbines to supply clean and renewable electricity to the UK National Grid. (Credit: Atlantis Resources Ltd.)

When one thinks of offshore renewable energy, one usually thinks of offshore wind. For the first time progress is being made in the U.S. to develop offshore wind resources. The first steel foundation jacket has been placed in the ocean floor to support the Deepwater Wind project off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island. (See www.dwwind.com/press/#/1). But recently, progress is also being made in the development of tidal and wave energy resources closer to shore, which are known as marine hydrokinetic or MHK resources.

23 Jul 2015

CITB Employees Vote Down Union Petition

Photo: CITB

Representative employees of marine transportation company of Cook Inlet Tug & Barge Inc. (CITB) on Monday voted to reject a petition that would see a union organize to represent the company’s marine employees, CITB announced today. The employees rejected the petition from the Inland Boatman's Union (IBU) by a vote of 11-4, as tallied by the National Labor Relations Board in Anchorage, Alaska. "Cook Inlet Tug & Barge is gratified by the outcome of the election," said CITB president Scott Merritt,  "It was the right decision by and for the valued men and women at Cook Inlet Tug & Barge.

04 May 2015

USCG Monitors LNG Carrier Repair in Alaska

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is monitoring repairs aboard the liquid natural gas (LNG) carrier Excel in Homer, Alaska. The vessel was received an order from Coast Guard Sector Anchorage to remain anchored in Kachemak Bay near Homer after the 908-foot, Belgium-flagged vessel experienced a loss of propulsion due to a failed engineering gasket while inbound to Cook Inlet. The Excel was examined by USCG inspectors from Marine Safety Detachment Homer, who conducted a Port State Control annual exam and verified the engineering gasket was replaced. While preparing to get underway, the vessel experienced an automated engineering casualty and canceled its voyage until a Bureau Veritas (BV) classification surveyor could arrive and verify the engineering casualty was fully resolved.

21 Apr 2015

Simulation & Ice Navigation Training

In a anticipation of the growing need for deck officers and masters experienced in operating in ice covered waters and as evidenced by the relatively rapid increase in vessel traffic in areas of the Arctic Ocean due to the receding ice coverage, the Alaska’s Institute of Technology (AVTEC) in Seward, Alaska has developed a comprehensive course of instruction in Ice Navigation. This two week course is directed toward masters and mates without or with minimal experience in ice covered waters. The course of instruction is a combination of classroom lectures, case studies and simulation exercises, operating various vessel models in a myriad of ice conditions. The AVTEC Ice Navigation course of instruction is U.S.

27 Jan 2015

US Proposes Allowing Oil, Gas Drilling off Atlantic Coast

The Obama administration on Tuesday proposed allowing for the first time oil and gas exploration in a wide swath of U.S. waters off the Atlantic Coast. The 2017 to 2022 drilling plan begins a process that could take many years before waters off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina or Georgia are cleared for drilling. It expands on the last five-year plan initially issued in 2010 that allowed drilling off Virginia. The administration canceled a lease sale there after BP Plc's deadly explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that year. The plan includes a potential lease sale in the Atlantic around 2021 but it could be withdrawn if scientists discover that the area is too fragile.

16 Jun 2014

US Crude Oil Exports at 15-year High

Crude oil exports from the United States were 268,000 barrels per day in April, the highest in 15 years, with almost all of the oil delivered to Canada, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Monday. Exports have increased sharply since the start of 2013 and have exceeded 200,000 bpd in five of the past six months. The EIA, the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, said the increase was largely the result of sharply rising U.S. crude production. Congress banned most U.S. crude oil exports after price shocks from the 1973 Arab oil embargo led to the notion that the United States was running out of oil. For the kinds of exports that are allowed, including sales to Canada and shipments from Alaska's Cook Inlet, U.S.

02 Oct 2014

Fire Aboard Alaska Natural Gas Platform

The U.S. Coast Guard launched several assets in response to a report of a fire on board a natural gas drill platform in Cook Inlet Thursday. The Coast Guard diverted a Coast Guard Hercules HC-130 crew and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew to conduct an overflight of the Baker Platform in Cook Inlet, near Nikiski. The Coast Guard also launched the Coast Guard Cutter Mustang and the diverted the Coast Guard Cutter SPAR to the location. A five-mile, no-fly safety zone at 5,000 feet and a two-mile safety zone have been established around the platform. All four people aboard the platform were safety evacuated. "Our goal is to mitigate any potential risk to the environment," said Cmdr. Shane Montoya, the Coast Guard Federal On-Scene Coordinator and acting Coast Guard Sector Anchorage commander.

23 Oct 2014

A History of U.S. Oil Export Controls

On Oct. 20, 1973, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia imposed a total embargo on oil shipments to the United States among other countries in response to their support for Israel during the Arab-Israeli war. Faisal's decision led directly to the introduction of a ban on U.S. crude exports, which remains in force in a slightly modified form and is now the focus of an intense struggle for reform. Following the U.S. mid-term elections next month, Congress will take up the issue again, a debate that would benefit from an understanding of the history behind the ban. On Oct.

10 Nov 2014

WHOI: Fukushima Radioactivity Detected Off West Coast

Monitoring efforts along the Pacific Coast of the U.S. and Canada have detected the presence of small amounts of radioactivity from the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident 100 miles (150 km) due west of Eureka, California. Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) found the trace amounts of telltale radioactive compounds as part of their ongoing monitoring of natural and human sources of radioactivity in the ocean. In the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami off Japan, the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant released cesium-134 and other radioactive elements into the ocean at unprecedented levels. Since then, the radioactive plume has traveled west across the Pacific, propelled largely by ocean currents and being diluted along the way.

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