Marine Link
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Offshore Workers News

Offshore Workers Earn More Paid Vacation

North Sea workers have won an extra 14 days of paid holiday in a tribunal held in Aberdeen, according to a report on www.EnergyCurrent.com. The Offshore Industry Liaison Committee (OILC) and Unite sited the European Union working time directive in the bid to get more vacation for 10,000 offshore workers, including those in subsea, drilling and catering. In a 150-page ruling, the current 26 week field break was deemed compensatory rest for time workers could not take while offshore. (Source: www.EnergyCurrent.com)

Amicus Calls for Improved Guidelines for Offshore Workers

Offshore workers union, Amicus, met with Health and Safety Minister Lord Hunt in Aberdeen today to call for better safety regulations for the oil industry. Meeting with the Minister, Amicus has called for a complete revision of the Health and Safety Representative Regulations for offshore workers. The trade union's representatives say that the current legislation urgently needs revisiting. "The current health and saftery legislation for offshore workers is out of date in an era that encourages greater participation in health and safety issues and management and better workplace invlovement and consultation. "The second class legislation that currently exists is fundamentally failing workers in the offshore industry which should be in a position of excellence.

3D Body Scanning

Research Associate Robert Ledingham has been appointed to work on the size and shape study.

Research to measure offshore workers’ body size with 3D scanners to inform the future design of safety equipment, survival clothing and space requirements on offshore installations has been launched in Aberdeen. The research, which will generate an ongoing capability for measuring the size and shape of the offshore workforce, is reported to be the first of its kind in more than 25 years and is being led by researchers at Robert Gordon University’s Institute of Health and Welfare Research (IHWR) in collaboration with Oil and Gas U.K.

Rev. Rice Joins SCI as Gulf of Mexico Chaplain

Photo courtesy SCI

Beginning April 1, the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) welcomes a new chaplain dedicated to serving mariners and other workers in the offshore exploration and production industry. The Rev. Winston Rice, a former offshore worker and maritime lawyer, joins two current chaplains for SCI’s Ministry on the River, the nation’s only full-time pastoral care ministry on the Ohio and Lower Mississippi River systems, extending the Institute’s inland ministry efforts into the Gulf of Mexico. SCI’s new chaplain understands the challenges faced by offshore mariners and workers.

ISS Offers Advice on Philippines' Passenger Charge

ISS GMT Manila has issued clarification in respect of a change to the procedure for the collection of the International Passenger Service Charge which was introduced earlier this month. Following updated advice from the Manila authorities, ISS GMT can confirm that the tax of Philippine Peso 550 (US$12) applied on passengers departing the Philippines does not apply to “locally-recognized” marine and offshore workers. This means that for tickets purchased outside of the Philippines from February 1, 2015, where the tax must be included, it can be reclaimed on presentation of a certificate at the airport on departure. However, if the ticket is issued inside of the Philippines, the charge is automatically not included.

North Sea Unions Call for Better Lifeboats

Lifeboats on oil and gas installations in the North Sea are not fit for purpose, union leaders claimed yesterday in Aberdeen, according to a report on www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk. The Offshore Industry Liaison Committee (OILC) reportedly called for a new and safer way of evacuating offshore workers by boat and gave a damning verdict on the two methods currently in use.

ISOA Award Recognizes SCI’s Offshore Outreach

The International Support Vessel Owners Association (ISOA) has made an award to support maritime industry workers served by the Seamen’s Church Institute. The International Support Vessel Owners Association (ISOA) recognized the Seamen’s Church Institute’s (SCI) service to the industry by conferring an award of £5,000 GBP (approximately US $8,541) to support the work of the Institute serving offshore workers in the Gulf of Mexico. An association representing the interests of shipowners and operators of vessels providing support services to offshore installations, ISOA assembles members each year to discuss common interests in technical matters, safety and universally applied standards in the industry. At each annual meeting, ISOA makes an award to support the welfare needs of seafarers.

Six Dead in Offshore Helicopter Crash

Six offshore workers were killed and another missing feared dead after a helicopter belonging to an Aberdeen-based firm ditched into the Irish Sea. The aircraft, carrying five Centrica employees and two crew, ditched into freezing water 25 miles off the between the Isle of Man and Morecambe Bay on the Lancashire coast. The Aerospatiale SA-365N Dauphin 2, operated by CHC Scotia Ltd, ditched close to a gas drilling plaftorm on its last journey ferrying workers back to shore. The search continued last night as hope faded for the one remaining crew. Two RAF helicopters - one from RAF Valley and one from RAF Leconfield - as well as RNLI lifeboats from Fleetwood and Barrow were also helping with the search as were several support vessels.

Accident Claims One in BP North Sea Incident

A man has died after an incident on a North Sea oil platform owned by BP Plc, the company said on Thursday. "BP is deeply saddened to confirm that an offshore worker has died following an incident on the Unity platform," BP said in a statement. It did not name the man but said the man's immediate family had been informed. The Edinburgh-based Scotsman newspaper website said it was understood the death had resulted from a fall. BP's safety record on its oil rigs has been under heightened scrutiny since the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The offshore worker was an employee of British energy services firm Cape Plc. The Unity platform does not produce any oil but is part of the BP-operated Forties Pipeline System (FPS), which brings oil to shore in Scotland.

BSEE Addresses Near Miss Reporting

Allyson Anderson (Courtesy BSEE)

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Associate Director Allyson Anderson addressed the Independent Petroleum Association of America’s (IPAA) Offshore Committee last week during their meeting in Houston. In her address, Anderson highlighted the bureau's work with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) on the Near-Miss Reporting System and the critical role that industry will play in the success of the program. Anderson said the bureau needs offshore workers to feel empowered to voluntarily report near-misses and be active participants in creating a robust safety culture.

Interior Officials Convene Safety Meeting

James Watson

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director James Watson and Acting Assistant Secretary for Lands and Minerals Management Tommy Beaudreau convened a meeting today in Houston, Texas, with senior executives from the offshore oil and gas industry to continue the dialogue on improving safety in offshore operations, particularly in shallow water in the Gulf of Mexico. The meeting follows three loss of well control incidents in shallow water operations since February.

Offshore Gas Leak – Union Calls for Evacuation of More Platforms

High pressure gas leak from North Sea oil rig off coast of Scotland – union expresses safety concerns about gas cloud Oil and gas union leaders have called for all platforms within a five-mile radius to be evacuated after fears the gas cloud may be travelling in their direction, according to a report in Scottish local newspaper 'The Press and Journal' As a direct result of the risk the gas leak poses to its staff on nearby platforms, Shell has also suspended production on the Shearwater and Noble Hans Deul drilling rig. Unite union regional officer for offshore workers, Wullie Wallace, said other platforms should follow suit for a greater focus on health and safety offshore.  

Cobham to Debut Offshore Safety Systems at OTC

Cobham Life Support will introduce its new maritime safety system, Survivor+ at OTC 2014, May 5-8 in Houston, Texas. The Survivor+ Personal Overboard Survival System, a new class of ‘wearable’ PFD (Personal Flotation Device), uniquely incorporates both a SOLAS approved inflatable life jacket and a personal life raft into a single system worn as a compact vest for maximum readiness and survivability. “Survivor+ is designed to address key factors during vessel or platform evacuation and Man Overboard scenarios where death through drowning or hypothermia is all too common,” comments Don Blackman, Engineering Research Manager, Cobham Life Support.

Statoil Cancels Rig Contract, COSL Cuts Jobs

COSLPioneer. Photo by COSL Drilling Europe

COSL Drilling Europe is reportedly being forced to make 229 rig staff redundant as a result of Statoil’s decision to cancel the charter for semi-submersible unit COSL Pioneer. Statoil announced the termination of contract since 8 October 2014, which is 13 months before the expiry date. Statoil explained that contract was canceled, as company has not managed to find alternative activity for the semi-submersible drilling rig. The rig was one of three contracted from COSL Drilling Europe, a subsidiary of China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL).

Eastern Launches Harvey Sub-Sea

Image: Eastern Shipbuilding

Eastern Shipbuilding Group launched M/V Harvey Sub-Sea (Hull 249) for Harvey Gulf International Marine, Inc. M/V Harvey Sub-Sea is a first of two (2) 340 ft. Class Multi-Purpose Service Vessels (MPSV), designed by VARD Marine. M/V Harvey Sub-Sea will feature a 250MT AHC Knuckle Boom Offshore Crane with lift capabilities in up to 4000M of water, a helideck and accommodations up to 150 crew and offshore workers. M/V Harvey Sub-Sea is expected to deliver in 2016, after outfitting and sea trials are completed. Its sister ship, Harvey Blue-Sea, is also currently under construction. 

What Hurricanes Teach Us About Energy Security

© Daniel / Adobe Stock

After a few years of relative calm, the 2017 hurricane season wreaked havoc in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, causing widespread damage and human suffering, and exposing the vulnerabilities and strengths of American energy security. As the flood waters from Hurricane Harvey receded and Gulf coast residents embarked on the arduous road to recovery, the offshore energy industry took stock and counted its losses and blessings. Offshore energy facilities faired remarkably well compared to onshore energy facilities, many of which suffered catastrophic damage from flood waters.

First US-flagged Wind Farm Vessel Delivered

Photo: Blount Boats

Blount Boats has delivered the Atlantic Pioneer, America’s first U.S.-flagged Crew Transfer Vessel (CTV) for Atlantic Wind Transfers that will begin service for Deep Water Wind Block Island at the end of May. The 21-meter aluminum vessel was designed by South Boats IOW (Isle of Wight), who has designed and built approximately 81 crew transfer vessels for the European Offshore Wind Sector servicing wind farms throughout Europe. In 2011 Blount Boats signed an exclusive licensing agreement with South Boats covering the U.S. offshore wind industry.

US Builder Secures Wind Farm Supply Vessel Order

Photo: Blount Boats

Rhode Island based shipbuilder Blount Boats signed a contract with Rhode Island Fast Ferry for the construction of a crew transfer vessel (CTV) that will operate for Deepwater Wind Block Island, the shipbuilder announced today. The 21-meter aluminum vessel was designed by South Boats IOW (Isle of Wight), a company that has designed and built approximately 85 CTVs for the European Offshore Wind Sector. In 2011, Blount Boats signed a licensing agreement with South Boats to become the exclusive shipyard to manufacture U.S. Flagged aluminum catamarans of South Boats IOW designs for the U.S.

Norwegian Offshore Strike Implications for Smedvig

The Norwegian Shipowners Association and the Federation of Offshore Workers Unions (OFS) have not succeeded in reaching agreement at arbitration on the annual settlement. This means that the OFS has called out on strike its members on four rigs. As from July 9, the strike will be extended by one more rig. For the time being none of Smedvig's mobile units are affected by the strike. However, if the strike is extended, Smedvig's rigs and/or the Company's activities on fixed platforms in the Norwegian sector may be affected.

Shell Orders from Survival Craft

Shell UK Ltd placed an order for two new 72 seat lifeboats from Survival Craft Inspectorate Ltd in Aberdeen. The lifeboats will replace two 56 seat lifeboats aboard the Anasuria FPSO operating in the North Sea. The new lifeboats will use the vessel’s existing davits but due to their design, will enable an increase in crew carrying capacity. The two lifeboats will be fitted with Survival Craft’s patented Safelaunch on-load release hook mechanism. This was the first release hook…

More Workers Walk Out of Norway's Oil Wage Talks

More workers in Norway's oil sector walked out of wage talks on Wednesday, sending the dispute to a state mediator and raising the prospect of a repeat of a 2012 strike. Workers who operate onshore supply bases broke off talks, joining platform oil workers and oil service employees in breaking off wage negotiations, the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, the energy companies' interest group, and trade union Industri Energi said. "This was the third wage negotiation this year and the third one that is going to mediation," Jan Hodneland, the chief negotiator for oil firms said. The association said unions had made unreasonable pay demands for work on holidays and outside regular business hours.

Gulf Companies Brace for Hurricane Dean

Oil and natural gas producers were evacuating offshore workers and shutting small amounts of production over the weekend as they watched powerful Hurricane Dean storm across the Caribbean Sea toward an entry into the Gulf next week. Forecasts and computer models point Dean away from the paths taken by 2005's devastating hurricanes Katrina and Rita through offshore oil production areas and onshore refining centers. Taking a lesson from Katrina, which defied forecasts showing it would confine its damage to Florida, companies with operations from the central to western Gulf continued pulling support workers who were not essential to keeping offshore production running. The U.S.

E’LOO Electronic Toilets for Maritime Industries

Offshore rig workers to big shipping and yacht to cruise enthusiasts are always looking for new gadgets to enlighten their daily lives. How about this for innovation. Our Electronic Toilet washes and dries you within minutes without needing toilet paper ever again. Yes, you heard right, E’LOO electronic toilets popularity among the elite yacht population is growing by leaps and bounds and is crossing over to the offshore industry. Just recently, E’LOO Global Enterprises, Inc. has introduced this state-of-the-art Electronic Bidet fit for kings.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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