31 Years Ago Today: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
On March 24. 1989, the single-hull tanker Exxon Valdez was departing the Port of Valdez, Alaska with a full load of North Slope crude oil (approximately 1.26 million barrels) destined for Long Beach when it grounded on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound. The resulting oil spill (approximately 258,000 barrels), while not the largest in US history, was clearly the most important. It engendered much litigation. Public concern over the spill led directly to enactment of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90)…
Stephens Elected PVA President for 2020
Colleen Stephens, President of Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruises will be President of the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) for 2020, the trade association announced.Elected during the PVA Annual Convention at MariTrends 2020 held February 3-6, 2020 in Tampa, Fla., Stephens reaffirmed PVA's commitment to continuously improving safety in passenger vessel operations as well as the association's engagement in being good stewards of the environment. "PVA's Green WATERS program…
Armstrong Marine Delivers R/V to University of AK
The 40’ x 13’ research vessel Nanuq recently entered service for the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. In a competitive solicitation process last year, the University selected Armstrong Marine’s proposal to design and build the vessel.Nanuq is customized for research and teaching operations. The monohull features 28 – 32 knot cruise speed, hydraulic A-frame, overnight accommodations for five, full-service galley, head, Northern Lights 5kW diesel generator…
Vessel Response Plans: A Primer for the US Waterfront
Congress enacted the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) a mere 17 months after the disastrous oil spill following the grounding of the tanker Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound. Among the many provisions in the voluminous bill was a detailed planning requirement. For the first time, tank vessels and facilities handling oil in bulk were required to develop extensive plans for responding to a worst case discharge of oil into waters of the United States. As regards vessels and marine-transportation-related facilities, the U.S.
PVA Elects 2018 Leadership
Gus Gaspardo, President of the Padelford Packet Boat Company, was elected Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) President for 2018 at the PVA Annual Convention at MariTrends 2018, held January 28-31 in Savannah, Ga. Gaspardo is President of Padelford Packet Boat Co. Inc., St. Paul, Minn. Founded in 1969 by Capt. William Bowell Sr., Padelford provides a wide variety of public cruises and private events on the Mississippi River with three passenger subchapter K vessels at Harriet Island Regional Park in downtown St. Paul.
North American Ferries: Faster, Greener & Safer
Domestic ferries adjust their business models to met regulatory pressures and exceed environmental standards with an eye towards improved service. And, not a minute too soon. In North America, stalwarts in the ferry business continue to shorten journey times compared to surface alternatives, while at the same time, bring accessibility to barrier and coastal islands that would otherwise be impossible to reach. Established stakeholders continually fine-tune their operations in a…
From Across the Big Pond
With familiar faces, new partnerships and Houston office, Damen widens its North American profile with a flurry of new work orders. With a flourish and a flurry of new business, Damen’s new U.S.-based office officially opened in Houston, Texas on July 1, 2016. Registered as Damen Area Support North America BV Co., it has been established to provide a local presence and work hand-in-hand with the North American market, offering a full range of ready built, standard and custom design vessels as well as the products and services of Damen Shipyards group ‘License to Build’ program.
Smith Berger Tow Pins Lead the Way
Smith Berger Marine, Inc. said it has been selected by Edison Chouest Offshore to design and manufacture the Tow Pin Stern Roller units required on its nine new vessels, including five escort tugs and four docking tugs. Edison Chouest is building the new tugs in order to execute a 10-year Ship Escort-Response Vessel System (SERVS) contract with the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, for which the tugs will provide tanker escort and spill response services in Prince William Sound. The Tow Pin unit has the capacity to sustain 250 tons of line tension and features three individually raised and lowered towing pins, one hold down hook and a 14” diameter stern roller.
Edison Chouest to Build 13 Damen Tugs
Marine transportation provider and the United States’ largest operator of OSVs, Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO), has teamed up with Damen to build 13 heavy duty mooring assistance and escort tugs. The vessels will be built in the U.S. using ECO’s network of five shipyards with support from Damen under its Technical Cooperation program. The new tugs will be deployed on two major maritime projects for which ECO has recently won contracts. The first of these is a contract that ECO won earlier this year with a new Corpus Christi based LNG export terminal.
USCG Foundation to Present Alaska Awards
The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today that they will honor the men and women who serve on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sycamorefor outstanding service to the 17th District and our nation. The Alaska Awards Dinner will be held at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorageon Wednesday, August 10, 2016. Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, commandant of the Coast Guard will deliver keynote remarks and RADM Michael McAllister, commander of the 17th Coast Guard District will also address attendees.
Alaska Oil Spill Protection: Crowley Bid for Alyeska Deal Unsuccessful
Press Release: Crowley Marine Services will not be providing oil spill prevention and response services in Valdez and Prince William Sound when its contract expires June 30, 2018. Crowley has provided marine services in Prince William Sound since 1990. Despite bidding aggressively for the SERVS contract extension, Crowley was not chosen by Alyeska to retain the entire scope of the current contract. Crowley is fully committed to continued professional service and full compliance as the marine service provider until the end of June 2018, and will be engaged in any transition process.
Crowley Celebrates Seven Million Man Hours Without LTI
Crowley Maritime Corporation’s tanker escort and docking services group in Valdez is celebrating over seven million man hours and more than six years since logging its last Lost Time Injury (LTI). In addition to this remarkable number, the company announced that it had not had an OSHA recordable case in over two million man hours while performing tanker assist and escort work for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. In 2015, the company logged over one million man hours while safely escorting 236 tankers through Prince William Sound…
Crowley Appoints Tornga as VP - Stakeholder Relations
Crowley Maritime Corporation announced today that company veteran Craig Tornga has assumed the role of vice president of stakeholder relations for Alaska, and will coordinate with all of Crowley's Alaska business units to leverage relevant company relationships. Tornga will relocate from Houston to Anchorage, and continue to report to Rocky Smith, senior vice president and general manager, petroleum distribution and marine services. “Crowley has been serving Alaska for more than 60 years and we are deeply rooted in the state,” said Smith.
U.S., Alaska End Exxon Valdez Legal Action
U.S. and Alaskan authorities have ended their efforts to seek additional damages from Exxon Mobil Corp over the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and the subsequent settlement, the Department of Justice said on Thursday. The department said in a statement that it is "bringing to a close the federal and state judicial actions" against the company and opting not to recover more damages under the reopener provision of the 1991 settlement following the spill. Alaska Attorney General Craig Richards said in the statement that although officials were not pursuing the additional damages…
Alaska Marine Lines Reduces Fuel Surcharge
Alaska Marine Lines, a marine transportation company providing barge service to and from Alaska and Hawaii, informs it has filed with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to decrease the fuel surcharge from certain locations as a result of fluctuating fuel costs. Effective September 6, the line’s fuel surcharge will be reduced from 29 percent to 28 percent on shipments to, from and within Central Alaska and Prince William Sound locations
Seminar to Address Safety in the Arctic
North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) is set to present “Safety in the Arctic”, a seminar addressing topics of preparedness, prevention and protection specific to the Arctic waters. The event will take place at the Hotel Captain Cook on August 13, 2015 in Anchorage, Alaska. "On the eve of offshore drilling in the Arctic, NAMEPA is gathering the experts in the field to outline the safety measures being deployed in this effort to protect the marine environment," stated Clay Maitland, founding chairman of NAMEPA. In addition to Maitland, other scheduled speakers include U.S. Senator (Alaska) Lisa Murkowski; Rear Adm. Dan Abel, Commander D17-U.S. Coast Guard; Mead Treadwell, Pt Capital; Kara Moriarty, AOGA; C.
Tug Crew Commended for Emergency Rescue Tow
Crowley crews commended by U.S. Captain Rodney Layton and his crew aboard Crowley’s Prevention and Response tugboat (PRT) Alert were recently recognized by U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Capt. Paul Mehler III, sector commander captain of the port, for their “professionalism, courage and flawless performance in extreme conditions” during the emergency rescue tow of the drill barge Kulluk off the southern point of Kodiak Island. Capt. Mehler was joined by other USCG members including Sector Chief Gustin…
Aker Delivers Tanker to SeaRiver Maritime
Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. (APSI) has delivered its second Aframax tanker to SeaRiver Maritime, Inc., Exxon Mobil Corporation’s U.S. marine affiliate. The 820 foot long, 115,000 deadweight ton tanker was delivered within the timeframe most recently reported by AKPS and will transport up to 800,000 barrels of Alaskan North Slope crude oil from Prince William Sound, Alaska to the U.S. West Coast. The vessel is equipped with double hull protection, the latest navigation and communications equipment, and an energy efficient engine.
Alaska Marine Lines Lowers Fuel Surcharge
Alaska Marine Lines has filed with the Surface Transportation Board to decrease the fuel surcharge from 31% to 29% on shipments to, from and within Central Alaska and Prince William Sound locations. The line has also filed to decrease the fuel surcharge from 14% to 7% on shipments to, from and within Southeast Alaska. The decreases will become effective on January 25, 2015. Alaska Marine Lines said it will continue to monitor fuel prices on a daily basis and will adjust the fuel surcharge when necessary.
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.
USCG Double Hull Tanker Rule Published
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) final rule on escort requirements for certain tankers operating on the waters of Prince William Sound, Alaska, was published Friday in the Federal Register. This rule finalizes the escort requirements in Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, Part CFR 168, which were previously published as an interim rule Aug. 19, 2013. This final rule mandates two tug escorts for double hull tankers of more than 5,000 gross tons, transporting oil in bulk in Prince William Sound. A double hull provides vessels with added protection from an oil spill resulting from a hull breach due to a grounding, allision or collision. While double hull tank vessels provide greater protection from oil spills compared to single hull tank vessels…
USCG Deploys Personnel, Assets to Cordova
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Air Station Kodiak deployed an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and support personnel to their seasonal forward operating location in Cordova, Alaska, to safeguard mariners in Prince William Sound and South Central Alaska, Thursday. With an increased number of vessels operating in the region during the spring and summer, the deployed Coast Guard aircrew will be able to rapidly respond to mariners in need of assistance. “Our strategically placed forward deployed assets and crews allow us to significantly decrease our response time during a distress call,” said Lt. Cmdr. Douglas Watson, the Coast Guard 17th District Command Center chief.
Offshore Energy Timeline:1806-2014
1806 - Spring pole cable drilling developed in US. 1844 - Fluid circulating rotary well drilling patented in England. 1845 - Circulated fluid used to remove drill cuttings for first time. 1860 - Fluid circulation rotary diamond coring drill developed in France. 1869 – T homas Fitch Rowland patents a “submarine drilling apparatus,” a fixed, working platform for drilling offshore to a depth of almost 50 feet. The anchored tower had telescoping legs, similar to modern offshore platforms. 1878 - First bulk oil tanker begins operation in the Caspian Sea. 1891 - First ocean-going tanker launched. 1897 - Wells drilled off piers in Summerland, Calif. 1905 – Oil discovered in the Caddo Pine Island field in Lousiana. 1911 - Gulf Refining Co.