Digital Feature Extraction with PropCad Premium 2018
A new utility automates feature extraction from 3D CAD data.Marine propellers can last a long time – it is not uncommon to find a vessel running on its original set of propellers. Sometimes, these propellers even outlive the companies that produced them. For example, some large volume propeller manufacturers have permanently closed their doors and patterns, molds, and design data have been scattered to unknown corners of the globe. It’s fair to say that while the propeller manufacturing industry has seen growth…
INSIGHTS: Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby, USN (Ret)
Rear Admiral Mark Buzby is the Maritime Administrator, U.S. Maritime Administration.Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby was appointed by President Donald Trump and sworn in as Maritime Administrator on August 8, 2017. Prior to his appointment, Buzby served as president of the National Defense Transportation Association, a position he has held since retiring from the U.S. Navy in 2013 with over 34 years of service. A 1979 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Buzby earned his Bachelor of Science in Nautical Science and U.S. Coast Guard Third Mate License.
BY THE NUMBERS - Offshore Supply Vessels: Balanced Continued Pressure with Gradual Recovery
Global consulting firm AlixPartners, in a new paper entitled, “Too many ships, too few rigs: why recovery is still a distant dream for the OSV sector,” warns that companies counting on a quick return to stability in the OSV sector are in for a rude awakening.The September report goes on to say that OSV companies continue to face pressure due to a radically changed oil industry and must take quick and decisive action in order to survive in what should be considered the ‘new normal.’Separately…
Regulatory Reform: Good Ideas … Ready to Start?
Regulatory reform is one of President Trump’s priority agenda items. Upon taking office, the President issued a number of Executive Orders focusing attention and demanding action on the myriad of regulations impacting American businesses.Last May, the reform spotlight fell on maritime regulations when the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), published a Request for Information (RFI) on how the government should “prudently manage regulatory costs imposed on the maritime sector.” OMB…
Answering the Call for Environmental Answers
The Coast Guard has developed two separate mitigation system prototypes specifically designed for inland and offshore environments and tested them in the Kalamazoo River and Lake Huron.Whenever there is a need for oil, there will always be a risk of oil spills. This is no less true for bituminous sands, commonly known as oil sands or tar sands. Oil sands are mostly found in Alberta, Canada, and comprised of bitumen, sand, clay and water. They are typically viscous, with a texture similar to peanut butter.
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.
The Drones are Coming
Nimble and quick, unmanned aerial vehicles have evolved into a valuable tool for marine and offshore applications.When a U.S. oil tanker conducts a Critical Area Inspection Plan (CAIP) as required by ABS, it is an onerous process. For example, each tank requires seven days of set up with scaffolding and staging. An ABS inspector and UDT technicians must access, and be carefully lowered into the tank with instrumentation and tools. Inspection points in far reaching places are surveyed.
Exploring Class Approvals, Supported by CAD
ABS software supports designs across most vessel sectors. This pilot project focused on tug and barge designs, producing promising results.Jensen Maritime, the naval architecture and marine engineering arm of Crowley Maritime Corp, and ABS have completed a precedent-setting pilot project using three-dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) models to support plan reviews for class approval.In what is believed to be an industry first, the innovative pilot was not proprietary to specific brands of CAD software…
Smarter Energy Policy Will Broaden Offshore Recovery
For the past few years, depressed commodity prices, stricter regulatory requirements and competition from onshore development at home and from other countries offering attractive offshore lease and royalty terms have had severe impacts on new exploration in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Thankfully, the tide appears to finally be turning.In August, Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 251 drew increased competition for offerings and $178 million in high bids, $53 million more than previous sale held in March.
Fouling Control on Workboats
As the domestic offshore energy industry stirs ever so lightly, the task of reactivating long-dormant vessels – some with extensive hull fouling – will become Job ONE. That’s easier said than done.Care and Preservation of Ship Hulls: Workboats vs. Deepwater VesselsNever before has there been such a wealth of data on the processes relating to the fouling of ship hulls. The formation of biofilms and subsequent micro- macro-and bio-fouling has been examined in minute detail and the…
The New York Bight – a Hydra of Difficult Issues
The greening of America’s energy signature will not come without the usual discussions, regulatory oversight – and opposition from a raft of special interests.Amidst an atmosphere of possible resurgence in the domestic offshore oil energy, maritime stakeholders are also reminded that there is more than one kind of energy available for development off the four collective coasts of the United States. That process is underway in the Great Lakes; it has already happened off of New England.
Subchapter M Casts Off
Initial reports show that the towing industry is adjusting well to the new normal on inland rivers. In fact, it is business as usual for most.July 20, 2018 was a critical date for tow boat operators. That was the deadline for all U.S.-flag towing vessels – over 26 feet, or less if used to assist with transport of oil or hazardous materials – to be in compliance with Subchapter M, the U.S. Coast Guard’s towing vessel safety regulations. It’s been a long time coming. As a regulatory program…
Olmsted: Online & Open
After more than 30 years of frustratingly slow progress, cost overruns and more than a few mistakes, Olmsted is finally poised for success. That’s something to celebrate.It is official: The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) wants Olmsted operational by October. After more than 30 years, the ribbon cutting to officially open the Olmsted Locks and Dam took place on August 30. The very old (1929) upstream locks and dams – Nos. 52 and 53, which Olmsted is replacing – will be dismantled by December 2020. Before that happens, Olmsted’s performance will be tested and confirmed.
INSIGHTS: Thomas S. Chance, Chief Executive Officer, ASV Global
Thomas Chance founded C & C Technologies in his home in 1992. Today C & C is a global oil field surveying and mapping company with more than 550 employees in ten offices worldwide. C & C was the first company in the world to offer autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) survey services to the oil industry and remains a world leader in the field. In April of 2015, he sold C & C Technologies to Oceaneering International. Complementing the autonomous underwater vehicle business, Mr. Chance started Autonomous Surface Vehicles, Ltd., or ASV, in 2010.
INSIGHTS: John Rynd / President , CEO and Director, Tidewater Inc.
Mr. John Rynd graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. He previously served as Chief Executive Officer and President, and as a director of Hercules Offshore from 2008 through 2016. Prior to his time with Hercules, Mr. Rynd spent 11 years with Noble Drilling Services, Inc., where he served in a variety of management roles. Earlier in his career, he served in various roles of increasing levels of responsibility with Chiles Offshore and Rowan Companies. Beyond this, Mr.
BY THE NUMBERS: U.S. Coast Guard - AWO Annual Safety Report
Issued at the National Quality Steering Committee (NQSC) meeting on July 31, 2018, the American Waterway Operators (AWO) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) issued their annual report that benchmarks and further serves as the annual safety report card for the domestic towing industry. This year, it comes at a particularly timely moment, just on the heels of the deadline for the so-called ‘subchapter M’ towboat rules.The NQSC uses three measures to track overall trends in safety and environmental protection.
SubM: The Coast Guard IS Still an Option
Not all towing vessel companies are choosing Third Party Organizations (TPOs) for their Subchapter M compliance option. One size does not fit all.Under Subchapter M, towing vessel companies may opt to use TPOs to conduct their audits and surveys instead of inspections by the Coast Guard. While many companies are going the TPO route, many are opting for traditional Coast Guard inspections.As a retired Coast Guard marine inspector, I have always advocated the Coast Guard option to our clients.
Decommissioning Gets into Deep Water in GoM
LOC Group’s Houston office provides perspective on decommissioning developments in the Gulf of Mexico.The Gulf of Mexico basin covers approximately 1.6 million km2 and is one of the most important petroleum production regions in the world. A significant portion of the area is shallow continental shelf waters. These areas were developed first by oil companies, with deeper water development only being undertaken once the ‘easier’ sites had been exploited. Many years on, numerous…
OP/ED: Maritime Industry Faces Compliance Standard from OSHA on Respirable Crystalline Silica
Companies with workers repairing and refurbishing ship components utilizing sand blasting have become the subject of a new U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard.All employers and employees in the maritime industry need to be aware of the new requirements as OSHA continues efforts to protect workers from the hazards of exposure to breathable silica dust. The new application of the "Respirable Crystalline Silica" standards requires…
Cautious Consolidation for OSV Companies Brings Market Change
Will a rising tide in the offshore oil markets float all the boats? In the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, that remains to be seen.Offshore services, exploration and production are on a roll. In early October, yet another business combination of big drillers was announced. In a sign of optimism, Ensco announced its plan for an all-stock acquisition of Rowan Offshore, worth around $2.4 billion. The new company will be domiciled in the United Kingdom, but will have a large presence in Houston.
Tripling the Service Life of Fish Holds
Epoxyamine Coating Extends Tank Maintenance Intervals: A Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings Case Study.A commercial fishing vessel that shows up at a seafood processing facility with its catch housed in rusty fish hold tanks is flirting with potential disaster. The processor may refuse the vessel’s entire haul if it sees rusty water or floating paint chips inside the holds. And when your vessel can hold more than $3 million of value at dock prices, you certainly don’t want to run the risk of corrosion eating away at your profits.“If we don’t have good fish holds…
Energy Storage - Now Relevant for Any Vessel Type
A primer on the quickly evolving topic of on board battery technology.Energy storage itself is actually old news. Since the sails were taken down for good, merchant vessels have crossed the oceans using some kind of energy safely stored on board. Be it Coal, Diesel, Gasoline or Natural Gas, and regardless of energy type, safe storage onboard has been vital for safety and completion of the planned trip. On the other hand, active use of batteries in propulsion systems is relatively new.
OP/ED: Mariner Credentialing Evolves – for the Better
As the Offshore Service Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority’s new dynamic positioning operator (DPO) certification body evolves, its pathway to training and certification gives mariners options, and a seat at the table.The other day I was thinking about what makes me a captain. What I came up with as the relevant points were the ability to handle the vessel and read the environmental conditions, leadership abilities, risk detection and mitigation, managing peers, and mentoring my crew.