I know all about the little gift that ENSCO gets from the USCG by calling the ENSCO7500 a nonselfpropelled barge even though it is propelled by it’s thrusters. Every other DP semi in the GoM is self propelled regardless if it is drilling or in transit but the difference is that the 7500 is US flagged but all the others aren’t.
My question is if the ENSCO8500 (and her 4 sisters or is it 5?) going to be US flagged or foreign. If is it going to foreign then they are going to have to find a flag state that will issue them a safe manning certificate that does not include a marine crew. If they do, it will have to be a flag state that does not have any other DP rigs under its flag because if the Marshall Islands or Vanuatu give ENSCO what they want, what will TransOcean say? It would be a huge double standard.
If it is going to be US flagged, then we all can petition the Congress on that matter just as with the foreign mariners matter as well. It just will take more letters.
ENSCO might find themselves playing on a different field now than they did in 2000 when they took delivery of the 7500 in Port Arthur. Like you Jeff, I hope that they get their balls crushed! Couldn’t happen to a nicer company!