Foreign Flag Vessels in GOM


#61

Yes, P&I is expensive, but so is land based workers comp. In some states, if you pay a high risk employee , like a roofer, $1000 per week, you’ll end up paying about $500 per week in worker’s comp. Its been awhile since I’ve owned a commercial vessel and bought P&I, but I was last paying about $3,000 per crewman per year. That’s a lot better deal than buying worker’s comp for a roofer.


#62

One more point, seamen are exempt from workers comp in the US. So they cannot collect workers comp.

It is mandatory that all employers in the US provide virtually all land based employees with worker’s comp. Worker’s comp pays promptly. If the employer has failed to provide worker’s comp, the state steps in and promptly pays the employee. In exchange for coverage by the worker’s comp system, the employee is not allowed to sue the employer.

If shipowners were worried about being sued, they would get the law changed so that seaman are included in worker’s comp, and thus could not sue for personal injury. Owners have never tried to get the law changed.

I can understand why our European friends with free universal National Healthcare, strong unions, and a lot more government regulation find the US system of compensating US seamen so strange and confusing.


#63

Why cant’t you hire independent contractors like everybody else?


#64

[QUOTE=tugsailor;195149]One more point, seamen are exempt from workers comp in the US. So they cannot collect workers comp.

It is mandatory that all employers in the US provide virtually all land based employees with worker’s comp. Worker’s comp pays promptly. If the employer has failed to provide worker’s comp, the state steps in and promptly pays the employee. In exchange for coverage by the worker’s comp system, the employee is not allowed to sue the employer.

If shipowners were worried about being sued, they would get the law changed so that seaman are included in worker’s comp, and thus could not sue for personal injury. Owners have never tried to get the law changed.

I can understand why our European friends with free universal National Healthcare, strong unions, and a lot more government regulation find the US system of compensating US seamen so strange and confusing.[/QUOTE]

The lawyer’s lobby is a lot stronger then the one the shipowners belong to.


#65

I know a few cases of usa megaycht crew suing.
The uS owners shy away from usa flag and crew in many cases.
Basic rule for red duster vessels is crew insurance and the cert must be displayed on board somewhere.
Along with food and shelter but you dont have to pay seamen on red flag boats well not till mlc 2006 came along.


#66

[QUOTE=powerabout;195154]I know a few cases of usa megaycht crew suing.
The uS owners shy away from usa flag and crew in many cases.
Basic rule for red duster vessels is crew insurance and the cert must be displayed on board somewhere.
Along with food and shelter but you dont have to pay seamen on red flag boats well not till mlc 2006 came along.[/QUOTE]

So why are not US a signatory to MLC??


#67

[QUOTE=ombugge;195157]So why are not US a signatory to MLC??[/QUOTE]

Because in America we have the right to starve to death while living under a bridge, unless we die first because we can’t afford simple medical care. We will fight to the death to defend that right and refuse to let some foreign idea of pandering to working people interfere with it.


#68

The Jones Act personal injury provisions and other US laws also cover foreign seamen and foreign flag vessels while in the US. Foreign seamen can sue and foreign flag vessels can be sued in the US.

I’m not sure whether a foreign seamen injured outside the US can sue in the US if the foreign flag vessel enters the US. If the US were the first port of call after the injury and the seaman received medical care in the US, I have little doubt that the foreign seaman could probably sue the foreign flag vessel in the US.


#69

I don’t know. Some US owners are following MLC anyway. I don’t see any reason why the US shouldn’t adopt MLC. A lot of the things in the MLC come from previous IMO treaties that the US is a signatory to, so they already apply to US vessels.

I would like to see a reasonable minimum wage scale for US Mariners. There are currently too many companies getting away with paying ridiculously low wages.


#70

http://gcaptain.com/public-comment-period-extended-for-jones-act-proposed-revocations-and-modifications/?utm_campaign=twitter&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitter

I got plenty of comments to make on this one.


#71

[QUOTE=tugsailor;195120]I agree that US companies should be able to reflag some reasonable number of existing foreign built vessels for use in the US EEZ when comparable US built vessels are not available. For example, the big pipe layers. No foreign built vessel should be allowed to work in the US unless no similar US vessel is available. I have to think that one or two big US built pipe layers could be kept fairly busy enough in the US. The same with the big cranes and the heavy lift ships.[/QUOTE]

A US Built pipelayer, IF utilized properly, would stay busy when projects are going on. But it’d have to be with the right company that has that know-how. As far the heavy lift ships…no way, no how. They come and go with projects. They’ll be here for a couple of years, then leave the GoM for several years.

[QUOTE=ombugge;195115]The Island Venture is now on her way to GoM: http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/index/itineraries/all/shipid:3700472/mmsi:577358000/shipname:ISLAND%20VENTURE

The sister ship, which was intended to be built in a US yard to the same Ulstein design and with the same machinery and equipment is history. (I believe?) It would be interesting to know the budget difference between the two would have been.

Simply put, it is impossible to compete internationally at the high end of the market with US built vessels.
If you take a foreign built vessel and put American flag and American crew on board, at least you could compete in the US market. Since ECO is taking the Island Venture to the GoM, that must be their calculations.

Reducing that to American officers and cheaper foreign crew you should be able to compete with eqv. Norwegian vessels with the similar arrangement. (Always assuming eqv. capabilities and equipment)

To harp up again and up again on the “$100/mth. villagers” who run foreign ships is NOT rational. ("Alternative facts"maybe??) It not worthy of a serious forum like this.

Go have a look at who ACTUALLY operate the foreign vessels that works in US water and check the ACTUAL crew cost, not “Day rate”.

Most such vessels works occasionally in the GoM. Although on charter to American companies they are mostly used worldwide.[/QUOTE]

It cost approximately 30%+ more to build a construction vessel here in the US than it does in Europe. I’m sure it’s because most of the hulls are built in Romania or Poland where labor costs are low. And if you compare the Harvey or Hornbeck vessels to Olympic, DOF, REM, etc. there is no comparison in terms of quality or comfort.

[QUOTE=Fraqrat;195111]There are more than a “couple” there if you bother to read. Between just those two companies there are 7 Jones Act MPSV’s already built and in the market. With two 370’ and two 340’ LNG Jones Act MPSV’s left to deliver over the next year or so. Im sure Chouest has large Jones Act vessels delivering also. Don’t forget we have flotel vessels in market as well.

I’m not worried about the worldwide market just this one and it appears there is plenty of tonnage to cover the work. Foreign interlopers can go scavenge for crumbs in the North Sea we got this area covered.[/QUOTE]

Even though you’re saying 340 or 370, it’s still not apples to apples. I can guarantee you that the deck strength, load carrying/distribution capabilities of the Norwegian vessels far surpass their US counterparts.

US companies have the capability to build capable vessels, but they’re too cheap to do it properly for the most part.


#72

A US Built pipelayer, IF utilized properly, would stay busy when projects are going on. But it’d have to be with the right company that has that know-how.

Wouldn’t that create a monopoly, which is against everything America stand for and believe in???


#73

[QUOTE=ombugge;195440]Wouldn’t that create a monopoly, which is against everything America stand for and believe in???[/QUOTE]

You would think so, but I’m no expert on monopoly law.


#74

Todd’s remarks from last weeks earnings call.

“I want to spend a few minutes discussing the developments that we’ve seen recently that are relevant to our MPSV fleet. We have said for years that U.S. regulators have viewed foreign vessels engaged in subsea construction and IRM activities in the Gulf of Mexico as problematic. The fact of the matter is that since 2009, Customs and Border Patrol (sic) [Customs and Border Protection], or CBP, appears to have been of the view that many of the activities that these vessels were engaged in were coast-wide trade, and therefore, covered by the Jones Act.
In 2009, CBP indicated that it was going to review these activities and notify the affected community in the “near future” of its views. The near future arrived a few weeks ago when CBP issued a notice stating that it intends to revoke a number of the letter rulings that have previously allowed foreign vessels to engage in transportation activities that are restricted by the Jones Act.
Our initial view is that CBP’s actions are appropriate and consistent with the statute. While we know certain foreign vessel owners seem to be surprised and complaining about CBP’s actions, we are surprised by their surprise. CBP has been on record since 2009 that it planned to do something in this area and has publicly expressed this view. CBP’s prior signal of disreversal of its interpretive ruling supported our decision to invest in Jones Act-qualified MPSVs suitable to do the kind of work that CBP seemed interested in addressing. While a positive development from a strategic point of view, the practical reality is that CBP notice will have little immediate financial impact if it becomes final. CBP’s decision comes at a historic low in this kind of offshore subsea activities it is addressing.
In addition, we weren’t the only ones listening to what CBP said in 2009. Other Jones Act-qualified operators made investments, too. There are currently 19 Jones Act-qualified subsea construction IRM vessels of all specs and sizes and an additional seven to be delivered in 2017 and 2018. So, just like the OSV space, at present, the domestic MPSV space is oversupplied.
It is noteworthy that 2016 of the foreign subsea construction IRM vessels that were here at the beginning of 2016 have now left. Only three foreign subsea IRM vessels remain in the Gulf of Mexico. The 16 vessels that exited this market did so because of soft market conditions here. So, now, we have 19 Jones Act-qualified vessel that will be fighting over the little work that was previously being fought over by the 19 foreign flag vessels.
That said, we do think that MPSVs will be a bright spot for us sooner than OSVs as development, inspection, repair and maintenance work are drivers that are more insulated from drilling and exploration budgets. And with respect to IRM work, much of it cannot be delayed. Because the CBP process is ongoing, we will not take questions about it today, but we will post an FAQ on our website for those of you that are interested in learning a little more about it.”


#75

Since our ship building is on the skids and the only way to revive it is through heavy gov’t subsidies, which is not going to happen, it makes sense allow the re-flagging of foreign built vessels to operate in the Gulf and close the loopholes before the next boom, ensuring that the work goes to American crews.


#76

[QUOTE=Lee Shore;195444]Since our ship building is on the skids and the only way to revive it is through heavy gov’t subsidies, which is not going to happen, it makes sense allow the re-flagging of foreign built vessels to operate in the Gulf and close the loopholes before the next boom, ensuring that the work goes to American crews.[/QUOTE]

This would be my solution too. The steel and shipbuilding industry don’t have nearly as much power in DC as they used to, and judging by the nature of recent vessel construction in US shipyards, I’d hazard to say that there would be very little effect on shipbuilding jobs in the US. Especially when one considers that many of the builders are using foreign labor in their yards, so the net effect on “US Jobs” would be minimal. I’d rather be on a poorly built Ulstein, Bergen, or Hyundai hull than a well built NAASCO hull any day. There’s a night and day difference in quality and I think we’d probably wind up better off for it.


#77

[QUOTE=John Galt;195441]You would think so, but I’m no expert on monopoly law.[/QUOTE]

Neither am I, but it stands to reason that if there were only ONE US-flag vessel capable of doing a specific job and that job is reserved for US vessels, that would create a monopoly.
Besides, most oil companies require 3 competitive bids to award a contract.

The solution would then be to have more than one US vessel with the right capabilities, in which case there may not be enough work in the US market alone.
To build and equip a CSV to the latest and best standard at US yard exclusively for the US market may be technically possible, but is it economically feasible?

Alternatively; allow foreign built/US-flag vessels in US waters, but capable of competing internationally. Such vessels could be using US officers and foreign crews when outside US waters. (Better than no US crews at all)

If you look at today’s reality, the large well equipped CSVs are mostly working, but moving between jobs around the world, incl. in GoM.

Even simpler MPSVs are better off than plain PSVs and AHTS, but it takes more than to put an AHC crane and a portable ROV spread on a basic PSV to make it internationally competitive.


#78

[QUOTE=jbtam99;195446]This would be my solution too. The steel and shipbuilding industry don’t have nearly as much power in DC as they used to, and judging by the nature of recent vessel construction in US shipyards, I’d hazard to say that there would be very little effect on shipbuilding jobs in the US. Especially when one considers that many of the builders are using foreign labor in their yards, so the net effect on “US Jobs” would be minimal. I’d rather be on a poorly built Ulstein, Bergen, or Hyundai hull than a well built NAASCO hull any day. There’s a night and day difference in quality and I think we’d probably wind up better off for it.[/QUOTE]

I have always been impressed with the fitting out of such Norwegian vessels, but not so much on the hull work that is mostly done in Romania or Poland. Overall good vessels, but in comparison to North American Shipbuilding, the craftmans ship in terms of actual steel has always been better in the US, but the difference stops there.
This does speak to an advantage that Norway benefits from in terms of cost by sourcing out.


#79

[QUOTE=anchorman;195461]I have always been impressed with the fitting out of such Norwegian vessels, but not so much on the hull work that is mostly done in Romania or Poland. Overall good vessels, but in comparison to North American Shipbuilding, the craftmans ship in terms of actual steel has always been better in the US, but the difference stops there.
This does speak to an advantage that Norway benefits from in terms of cost by sourcing out.[/QUOTE]

I asked the Captain of an AHTS on one of a series of identical sister, half built in Norway and half in Korea if he noticed any difference? (He had served on both)

Oh yes, although identical design and equipment, there where a big difference in workmanship and even in the way they handled. He could not put words on that last one, but there were something with the “feel” of things.

I can not define it either, just take the words of an experienced Master for it.
Anybody here who have had similar experience with supposedly “identical ships”???
(After all Halter Marine spit of “hundreds” of identical GoM boats)


#80

McDermott have secured a construction contract in the GoM: http://splash247.com/mcdermott-international-wins-subsea-tieback-contract-from-hess/
But do they have any US flag vessel with US crew to carry out this work, even if it is in only 1500 ft. WD?