Vard's Houston VP Lind to to Retire
Bill Lind, current vice president of Vard Marine’s Houston operations, has announced his plans to retire from the company at the end of June.Lind has led the Houston team since 2013 and has transformed the office into a key contender in the marine engineering industry in the Gulf Coast and in U.S. government programs. He was also instrumental in expanding Vard Marine’s clientele base and helping to mold the Houston office into what it is today.Moving forward, Vard Marine has announced that Darren Truelock…
Judge Rules Against U.S. Government on Oil Drilling
According to a Sept. 1 report from Reuters, a federal judge rejected the U.S. government's request to dismiss an industry lawsuit challenging its deepwater oil and gas drilling moratorium, dealing another blow to the Obama administration. Hornbeck Offshore Services Inc. and other drilling companies sued the administration on June 7 after it first ordered a halt to deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico following BP Plc's well ruptured. As a result of the lawsuit, a U.S. District Court Judge in New Orleans blocked implementation of the drilling ban on June 22. The Obama administration then issued a reworked second drilling moratorium and asked that the Hornbeck lawsuit be thrown out because the first ban was no longer relevant. (Source: Reuters)
Last Port of Call for the US Merchant Marine?
The privately owned U.S.-flag foreign trading fleet, which is an essential component of U.S. sealift capability, stands on the edge of a precipice. The fleet – roughly stable in terms of cargo carrying capacity from 2000 to 2012 – has declined from 106 vessels in 2012 to 78 vessels at October 30, 2016 primarily because of a substantial decline in available U.S. Government-reserved cargo. The size of the fleet has reached a point where the viability of the U.S.-flag industry involved in foreign trade – including its trained mariners…
US Weather Forecaster says La Niña Conditions Have Faded
A U.S. government weather forecaster on Thursday said La Niña has faded and neutral conditions are likely to continue through at least the Northern Hemisphere spring, even as it forecast the chance of El Niño may appear in the coming months. The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), an agency of the National Weather Service, in a monthly forecast said that neutral conditions have returned and are favored to continue. However, the CPC noted some chance of the appearance of El Niño as early as March to May 2017. (Reporting by Chris Prentice)
Last Port of Call for the U.S. Merchant Marine?
Part II in a two-part series, continued from the January 2017 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News. Read Part I here. If reliance on the foreign commercial market is risky because of uncertain reliability, then what of U.S. Government ownership of a fleet of vessels? That has also been on the menu since the early 20th century. President Woodrow Wilson proposed in September 1914 that the U.S. Government acquire commercial cargo vessels. Congress disagreed, which delayed enactment of the President’s proposal until the Shipping Act, 1916. A compromise was struck to permit U.S. Government ownership as a war time measure – but all vessels so acquired had to be sold to private owners within five years of the end of the war.
Financing Sources for U.S. Government Programs
Recent growth in ferry construction, particularly in the U.S., has been significant. The U.S. Department of Transportation recently reported that the U.S. marine transportation system annually transports 134 million passengers by ferry. Although the U.S. fleet represents a small percentage of the worldwide fleet, the U.S. fleet has recently experienced one of the largest and most rapid growth rates. This growth represents an increase both in sheer numbers as well as in the size of new vessels. The DOT recently reported that the U.S. currently has more fast-ferry shipbuilding under way than any other country, with an estimated 14 fast ferries under construction. With this increased demand and growth in newbuildings and transaction size, U.S.
US Judge Approves BP Civil Settlement with US Government over 2010 Spill
U.S. Judge Carl Barbier granted final approval on Monday to BP Plc's civil settlement over its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill after it reached a deal in July 2015 to pay up to $18.7 billion in penalties to the U.S. government and five states. The company at the time said its total pre-tax charges from the spill set aside for criminal and civil penalties and cleanup costs were around $53.8 billion. Under the terms of the original agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Gulf Coast states…
As Concerns About Seaport Security Mount, the U.S. Government Reacts
"Maritime Domain Awareness" is the new watchword for the maritime community. The discovery of a well equipped, suspected Al-Qa'eda member in a cargo container in Italy was one of the recent stark lessons in the vulnerability of maritime transportation security. In addition, the U.S. Coast Guard temporarily denied entry to the liquefied natural gas tanker Matthew to Boson for insufficient security and a crew member on another vessel who jumped ship in New Orleans was later found to have the telephone number of an Al-Qa'eda terrorist. Congress and the Executive branch are now turning their attention to improving seaport security in ways that could disrupt the movement of ships, freight, crews, and passengers and result in major operational changes for companies in the industry.
U.S. Forecaster Sees Chance of El Nino By Summer, Fall 2017
Neutral or El Nino conditions are nearly equally likely in the Northern Hemisphere this summer and fall, a U.S. government forecaster said on Thursday. The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center said in its monthly outlook that the forecaster consensus reflected slightly lower chances of El Nino development than it did last month. The last El Nino, a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific that typically occurs every few years, went away in 2016 and was linked to crop damage, fires and flash floods. (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru)
US Forecaster Sees El Niño Unlikely through Fall 17
A U.S. government weather forecaster on Thursday said there are no active El Niño or La Niña patterns and that neutral conditions are likely in the Northern Hemisphere during fall 2017. However, chances for El Niño remain elevated, between 35 and 50 percent, relative to the long-term average into the fall, the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center said in a monthly forecast. (Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru)
Contractors, B&W, Comment on US Government Shutdown Effect
"B&W is closely monitoring the government shutdown and the effect it could have on our business results and operations. We do not expect any delays or impacts to the Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Operations Group for the foreseeable future. Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Group (B&W TSG) continues to follow direction from the U.S. Department of Energy at project sites where B&W TSG has a presence. Many of the sites at which we have management and operating contracts or environmental management contracts have seen activities curtailed and are preparing for furloughs, which will be occurring over the next two weeks if the government shutdown is not ended. If the shutdown continues into November, it could begin to have a modest adverse impact on B&W TSG segment operating income.
BP Marine Wins US Government Award
BP Marine has collected its third accolade after the innovation of its SEA Card – Ships’ bunkers’ Easy Acquisition Card – solution was recognized by the US Government. Created as a solution to the US Defense Energy Support Center’s (DESC) search for a more efficient marine fuel procurement process, SEA Card played a significant role in the Government Fuel Card Program winning the 2007 David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award. The Government Fuel Card Program team received the honor for making the acquisition system for air, fleet and sea fuels more efficient, responsive and timely.
U.S. Army General to Lead to Puerto Rico Recovery Effort
The Pentagon named a senior general to command military relief operations in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico on Thursday and the Trump administration sent a Cabinet emissary to the island as U.S. lawmakers called for a more robust response to the crisis. The U.S. territory of 3.4 million people struggled through a ninth day with virtually no electricity, patchy communications and shortages of fuel, clean water and other essentials in the wake of Hurricane Maria, the most powerful storm to hit the island in nearly 90 years. The storm struck on Sept.
US Forecaster Sees 55-65% Chance of La Niña
A U.S. government weather forecaster said on Thursday conditions were favoring La Niña weather pattern during the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter 2017-18. The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), an agency of the National Weather Service, in a monthly forecast said the chances of La Niña were seen at 55 percent to 65 percent. Reporting by Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru
US Weather Forecaster Reduces Outlook for La Nina
A U.S. government weather forecaster reduced its outlook on Thursday for La Nina conditions to develop during the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter 2016/17, saying neutral conditions were more likely. The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), an agency of the National Weather Service, said in a monthly forecast there was a 55 to 60 percent chance of El Nino-Southern Oscillation neutral conditions, after last month saying that La Nina conditions were slightly favored to occur. (Reporting By Luc Cohen)
U.S. Government Offers $600M for Transport Projects
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will join President Barack Obama today to announce that $600 million will be made available to fund transportation projects across the country under a sixth round of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s highly successful Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) competitive grant program. The announcement will be made at the Union Depot in St. Paul, which received $35 million in the first round of TIGER to renovate the facility and restore tracks.
MTN Launches Social Media Threat Intelligence
MTN Government (MTNGOV), a subsidiary of MTN Communications (MTN) and a company in satellite communications, cybersecurity and integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) solutions serving U.S. DoD and civilian agencies worldwide, announced the introduction of the industry’s first “Social Media Threat Intelligence” managed service. This service is a predictive cyber solution that enables U.S. government agencies using social networking, mobile devices and distributed workforces to protect against the onslaught of cyber threats. The solution identifies and analyzes malicious actors, threats and targeted attacks against U.S. government leaders and agencies, and provides proactive, actionable threat analytics and intelligence in advance of any network compromise.
Krepp Comments on GSA Storis Auction
Denise Rucker Krepp, former Maritime Administration Chief Counsel who currently advocates on behalf of the U.S. domestic ship recycling industry, issued a statement at the Coast Guard Shipping Coordinating Committee Meeting March 12, 2014, in Preparation for the April 2014 Maritime Environment Protection Committee Meeting. Below are her comments. Good morning. My name is Denise Krepp and I am representing EMR-Southern Recycling. As I mentioned last year, EMR-Southern Recycling is the premier metal recycling operation in the U.S.
Exxon Quits Some Rosneft Joint Ventures Citing Sanctions
Exxon Mobil Corp will exit some joint ventures with Russia's Rosneft, citing Western sanctions first imposed in 2014, while the Russian company said the pullout will result in serious losses for its U.S. partner. The move is an about-face for Exxon, which had opposed the sanctions over Russia's invasion of Crimea and argued they unfairly penalized U.S. companies while allowing foreign energy rivals to operate in the country, the world's largest oil producer. Yet the sanctions…
The US Government Must Fund Icebreakers Now
Congress last funded the purchase of polar icebreakers for the U.S. Coast Guard in the early 1970s. The USCCG Polar Star (WAGB-10) was commissioned in 1976, followed by the USCGC Polar Sea (WAGB-11) in 1977. Polar Sea has been out of service since 2010 due to a major engine failure. Polar Star was ‘in commission, special’ status from 2008 through 2012 while undergoing a service life extension. It is currently the only active heavy polar icebreaker in the U.S. fleet. The less capable USCGC Healy (WAGB-20) is a medium icebreaker and is equipped to support research missions in polar waters.
Intellian Debuts New Terminal for Defense Applications
Intellian Technologies, a provider of maritime satellite antenna systems has announced the launch of the GX100PM, a 1m GX terminal specially designed for use in Defense and Intelligence applications. The GX100PM is the 1m military grade maritime terminal, Type Approved for use on Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network. It is compatible with Inmarsat’s Global Xpress ‘SATCOM as a Service’ capability, which allows maritime users to access seamless reliable commercial wideband connectivity delivered as managed service worldwide.
US Forecaster Sees La Niña Likely to Persist in Coming Months
A U.S. government weather forecaster on Thursday said that La Niña conditions are present and slightly favored to persist into the Northern Hemisphere winter 2016-17. The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), an agency of the National Weather Service, in a monthly forecast said it observed La Niña conditions during October and sees a 55 percent change they will persist through the winter. Last month, the agency pegged the chance of La Nina developing this fall at 70 percent. (Reporting by Chris Prentice)
EPA Block Further BP US Government Contracts
BP says it is working with EPA to demonstrate "present responsibility" and have temporary suspension lifted. BP also wishes to make it known that the announcement by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding BP’s temporary suspension relates only to future potential contracts with the US government. The temporary suspension does not affect any existing contracts the company has with the US government, including those relating to current and ongoing drilling and production operations in the Gulf of Mexico. They continue: The EPA’s action is pursuant to administrative procedures providing for discretionary suspension until a company can demonstrate "present responsibility" to conduct business with the US government.