who said it was anyone’s fault or that anything was stolen? you asked what happened which I answered but you already knew the answer to your question so I answered it rhetorically. Yes, American offshore contractors and vessel owners were stuck in the past for many decades and in many ways still are (operating large offshore vessels as if they are still boats) but that is changing in the GoM. Here is ECO now with the ISLAND VENTURE which is 100% European technology and engineering. Gary Chouest has based his fleet on Ulstein design throughout the growth of the company and yes, while he still is a good old bayou bubba he is not set in stone when it comes to adopting European designs and engineering. If the GoM was entirely a US show, you know full well he’d be building sisters to the I.V. in Tampa today. Hell, he’d probably build a $600M spool or vertical pipelayer if he had a lock on the work but won’t if he has to compete against Technip or Heerma with equipment already on the way to being fully paid off. I don’t blame him for not spending that money and focusing on the cargo carrying part of the business which he does have a lock on (along with his US competitors). This is why the OCSLA needs to be fully enforced by the US to get the shipbuilding and offshore work for Americans because without that protection, no one in the USA is going to make the massive investments required.
and as far as having the engineering know how, there is plenty of US knowledge but there is also hiring Europeans to serve as consultants to the US companies to fill in knowhow gaps. I don’t think any Europeans are so proud to turn down a couple of grand a day to serve as an advisor in a deepwater field pipelay job but only to be an advisor and not incharge of the work. That needs to still be Americans if we are going to build that part of our industry we have failed to do for far too long.