Wärtsilä to Equip US LNG Fueling Barge
Wärtsilä said it will provide a broad scope of products and solutions for a new articulated tug barge (ATB) that will be used to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel to cruise ships along the east coast of Florida, U.S. The 4,000 m3 capacity ATB is being built at the VT Halter Marine (VTHM) shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss. on behalf of Quality Liquefied Natural Gas Transport LLC (Q-LNG). When delivered, the vessel will be on a long-term charter with Shell Oil Co. The barge will be fitted with a Wärtsilä LNG cargo storage, handling and control system.
NAT Time Charter with Oil Firm
Nordic American Tankers Limited (NAT) announced that it has entered into two Time Charter arrangements (TCs) with Shell Oil for a period of 18 months for each vessel, commencing in August/September this year. The terms of the confidential contracts include upside for both parties as well as downside protection. NAT now has three TCs with Shell. NAT has six TC arrangements with large oil companies - from three months up to 18 months. "We are pleased to announce these important…
Harvey Gulf Grows Fleet, Inks Long-term Contracts
As vessel many vessel operators are stacking vessels and reducing fleet size, Harvey Gulf International Marine said it has signed four non-cancelable, long-term contracts for stacked vessels and has taken delivery of two new vessels, as well as redelivery of a vessel reconfigured for subsea services. Harvey Gulf announced the signing of long term contracts for the MPSV Harvey Intervention, 175' FSV Harvey Hustler, 180' FSV Harvey Runner and 220' FSV Harvey Express. These charters…
Obama Bans New Drilling off Alaska, Part of Atlantic Shore
U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday banned new oil and gas drilling in federal waters in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, in a push to leave his stamp on the environment before Republican Donald Trump takes office next month. Obama used a 1950s-era law called the Outer Continental Shelf Act that allows presidents to limit areas from mineral leasing and drilling. Environmental groups said that meant Trump's incoming administration would have to go court if it sought to reverse the move.
JF Subsea Inspects Shell Oil Rigs with New ROV technique
James Fisher Subsea (JF Subsea), a world leading subsea services division of James Fisher Marine Services (JFMS), has reduced inspection downtime to 2% for Shell UK, through the innovative use of asset-based remotely operated vehicles (ABROVs) on oil rig inspection programmes in the North Sea. Traditionally, oil rig inspections are undertaken using a dedicated remotely operated vehicle support vessel (ROVSV), on which an ROV is secured. To remove the need of a ROVSV and the hazards involved with securing an ROV to the offshore platform…
Changing Spill Risk in a Changing Arctic Landscape
Industry analyst and environmental consultant Dagmar Schmidt Etkin, PhD, takes a hard look at a rapidly shifting operational landscape in the Arctic. Always an honest broker of information, Etkin tells it like it is. Oil spill risk is present anywhere that oil is present in reservoirs, or is transported, consumed, stored, and handled in some way. The Arctic is no exception. Not only are there oil reserves in the Arctic, some of which are being or will soon be considered for exploration and production, there is also oil being transported as cargo or as fuel to Arctic communities.
HUMMEL LNG Hybrid Barge Begins Second Season
For over one year the HUMMEL has been contributing to improved air quality at the port of Hamburg. Becker Marine Systems’ LNG Hybrid Barge will also be supplying lower mission power to the AIDAsol this year. The cruise ship has already made three calls since the middle of May and will have made a total of 16 stops at the Hafencity terminal by October. Operations of the HUMMEL LNG Hybrid Barge have started up again at the beginning of the new cruise ship season. “Due to some restrictions making the work more difficult…
High Correlation of Biomass to Species Diversity in Northern Chukchi Sea - BOEM Study
Last summer, researchers began a five year study to monitor biodiversity in the Arctic Chukchi Sea from an ecosystem perspective, looking at microbes, whales and everything in between. health and critical ecosystem services that contribute to human life. Monitoring it improves our ability to interpret and forecast changes. The unprecedented effects of climate change combined with strong seasonal cycles and increasing human activities in the Arctic make this region particularly important to monitor. In August 2015, the AMBON team of researchers from the University of Alaska’s School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, the University of Maryland…
Polar Pioneer Returns to Port Angeles
The Polar Pioneer oil rig arrived in Port Angeles on Wednesday. Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said Port Angeles was an “excellent location for load-out” before the drilling season and remains fit for that purpose. The 400-foot tall rig is expected to spend a “handful of weeks” at the port for offloading, he said. Its final destination hasn't been determined yet. Due to legal wrangling and protests in Seattle, Shell Oil is sending the Polar Pioneer here for offloading instead of Seattle.
Shell Moves Ahead in Arctic with Exploratory Well
Shell Oil's icebreaker MSV Fennica weaved through nine remaining protesters hanging from the St. Johns Bridge and made its way toward the Pacific Ocean. Authorities have removed protesters dangling from a bridge and in kayaks in Oregon, allowing an icebreaker to get through and head toward the Arctic, The Associated Press reported. Demonstrators had been trying to stop the Fennica from leaving Portland, Oregon, and heading for an oil drilling operation, the AP reported. The ship had tried to leave earlier Thursday, but was forced to turn around by the protesters dangling from the bridge.
'Kayaktivists' to Launch Blockade of Shell Icebreaker
A small group of protesters and activists are gathering at the Cathedral Park boat ramp in Portland, preparing to stay for a 24-hour vigil as they wait for Royal Dutch Shell Oil's icebreaker ship, the MSV Fennica, to depart from Portland for the Arctic, reports Reuters. Following the lead of protesters in Seattle who tried to block ships headed for Shell's planned oil exploration in the Chukchi Sea, the Portland "kayaktivists" said they would conduct a vigil overnight on the Willamette River, which runs through downtown Portland.
US Senator Introduces Bill to Stop Arctic Drilling
A piece of legislation aiming to stop offshore Arctic drilling was introduced last week by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. The legislation, entitled Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2015, would prevent new or renewed leases for the exploration, development or production of oil, natural gas or any other mineral in the Arctic planning area. "A spill in the Arctic would be an environmental catastrophe of extraordinary proportions – and such a spill is inevitable if drilling proceeds," Merkley said.
Shell Arctic Vessels, Capping Stack Inspected
Shell Oil Co. marine vessels Noble Discoverer and the semisubmersible drilling unit Transocean Polar Pioneer were inspected by two Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) personnel in Dutch Harbor, Alaska July 7-12, BSEE announced. BSEE said its inspectors were on board the vessels to review drilling equipment, assess overall readiness and test key safety devices, also verifying BOEM lease stipulations, environmental mitigation measures and air quality equipment, as well as Environmental Protection Agency National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit requirements.
Shell Rig Departs for Arctic Despite Protest
U.S. Coast Guard and police boats cleared a way through protesters in kayaks at a Seattle-area port on Tuesday so a drilling ship could head for the Arctic on behalf of Royal Dutch Shell. The Noble Discover is the second drilling ship Shell has sent to the area in recent days. The activists, who have staged frequent demonstrations during the past two months against Royal Dutch Shell's oil exploration in the Chukchi Sea off mainland Alaska, said 21 protesters in kayaks took to the waters just beyond the Port of Everett north of Seattle where the oil rig launched for sea. The activists had entered the safety zone around the Noble Discover and were intercepted by small boats of the U.S.
Activists Planning Protest Against Shell's Arctic Business
U.S. environmental activists said they planned to protest on Tuesday against the launch of the second of two oil rigs central to Shell's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic. The Washington state activists, who have staged frequent demonstrations over the last two months against Royal Dutch Shell's oil exploration in the Chukchi Sea off mainland Alaska, said they expected the rig to leave a Seattle-area port in the early morning and were planning a water-borne protest. Shell did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The company could begin drilling for oil in the Arctic off Alaska as early as the third week in July, when it expects sea ice to begin clearing.
Protesters Gather in Seattle to Block Access to Shell Oil Rig
About 200 protesters gathered at the Port of Seattle on Monday to block access to a Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig headed for the Arctic this summer to resume exploration for oil and gas reserves. Holding signs reading "Shell No" and "Seattle Loves the Arctic," protesters gathered early to prevent workers from reaching the rig, one of two that Shell will store in Seattle before sending to the Chukchi Sea off Alaska. Environmental groups have planned days of demonstrations over Shell's plans, saying drilling in the icy Arctic region, where weather changes rapidly, could lead to a catastrophic spill that would be next to impossible to clean up.
Anti-Arctic Drilling Activists Hold 'Shell No' Protest in Seattle
Seattleites took a dramatic stand, er paddle, against Arctic oil drilling. Local Native Americans and concerned citizens took to kayak and canoe and surrounded a giant, Arctic-bound Royal Dutch Shell oil drilling rig currently making a layover in the Port of Seattle. The group that planned the event, called the “Paddle in Seattle,” said Saturday’s demonstration began a three-day “massive peaceful resistance,” the Associated Press reports. The group plans to block access to the oil giant’s rig parked in the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5 and delay preparations for drilling on Monday.
Greenpeace Boards Arctic Offshore Rig
Six Greenpeace activists boarded a Shell oil drilling ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and vowed to stay there to protest the company's plans to drill above the Arctic Circle, the environmental organization said. They boarded as the drill rig was transported across the Pacific Ocean toward Seattle, where it will be staged for drilling on Shell leases in Alaska waters. Royal Dutch Shell confirmed that the protesters "illegally boarded the Polar Pioneer" about 750 miles northwest of Hawaii on Monday morning.
Seattle Fears Arctic drilling, Shell Moves Rigs
Shell Oil Co is poised to restart oil drilling in the Arctic in the near future once it receives the go-ahead from the U.S. government, which could happen soon. The decision to allow the oil company access has been controversial among environmentalists groups as well as local communities that could be affected by the drilling. Seattle city leaders are fighting to keep Arctic oil drilling equipment out of the Puget Sound as the Shell works on a deal to store the equipment with the Port of Seattle near the mouth of the Duwamish River.
Shell to Get Permission to Drill in the Arctic
The US government is expected this week to give the go-ahead to a controversial plan by Shell Oil Company, one of the largest oil companies in the world to restart drilling for oil in the Arctic. The UPI reports that the decision rests on the U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who is expected to announce the decision on Wednesday. The green light from Sally Jewell, the interior secretary, will spark protests from environmentalists who have campaigned against proposed exploration by Shell.
Green Groups Sue Port of Seattle
A coalition of environmental groups has sued the Port of Seattle over a leasing agreement to host Shell Oil’s Arctic drilling fleet, claiming the deal was negotiated in secret and may pollute the port. They argued that the port needed to allow more public involvement and violated two state laws. The Port of Seattle earlier this month signed a two-year lease for 50 acres across from downtown Seattle to Foss Maritime, the company that will manage Shell’s drilling fleet here in Seattle at Terminal 5.
Refinery Strike Affects One-Fifth of U.S. Capacity
The largest U.S. refinery strike in 35 years entered its fourth week on Sunday as workers at 12 refineries accounting for one-fifth of national production capacity were walking picket lines. Sources familiar with the negotiations said talks may resume by mid-week to end the walkout by 6,550 members of the United Steelworkers union (USW) at 15 plants, including the 12 refineries. Representatives of both sides said no date has been set to restart negotiations, however. The strike comes as U.S. workers seek more pay in a strengthening economy. Wal-Mart Stores Inc has said its U.S. workers will get a raise to at least $9 an hour, while West Coast port workers have reached a tentative deal for a new contract after a months-long dispute. The refinery work stoppage began on Feb.
NOAA, NASA & BOEM to Monitor Biodiversity
NOAA, NASA and the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) have joined together to support three demonstration projects that will lay the foundation for the first national network to monitor marine biodiversity at scales ranging from microbes to whales. The projects, to be funded at approximately $17 million over the next five years, subject to the availability of funds, will demonstrate how a national operational marine biodiversity observation network could be developed.