U.S. Customs Agency Rules Against Jones Act Changes


You are absolutely right! That triple damages taxation money should then be used to subsidize American shipping at all levels. Rather than give oil companies tax breaks to rape our resources and flush American workers and industry down the toilet it should be used to “make America great” instead of enriching political criminals and fattening corporate swine.

There is no law that forces the oil companies to drill or refine, or even exist. I would be delighted to see 10 a gallon gas if it meant that the American taxpayer got the benefit of American petroleum resources and all the infrastructure required to extract it. We could all afford to pay that price because we are paying more than that now but are too stupid to see it or admit it. I would love to see the presidents of "big oil" have to sell their mansions and live in trailer parks next to the workers they laid off so they could increase their multi-million bonuses.

Think about how many state of the art support vessels could be built for the price of a single piece of shit fighter or useless naval vessel then tell me why we should have to employ illegal aliens or $10 a day villagers to save Shell or BP a few dollars a day in charter rates?

It disgusts me to read on this site a post that suggests we “cost too much” to compete. Compete with what? Compete with whom? It is our oil, it is our nation, we don’t have to compete with Mexico, Malaysia, or any other Bumfukistan country to sell our labor and our oil at the cheapest rate to the richest corporations on the planet.

If I didn’t know that the only group who could fuck up the process more than it already is, is the government I would be all for nationalizing the oil industry from the ground to the refineries and completely sever every connection between the boardrooms and Congress.


There are 12,000 workers who shuttle back and forth across the border from Mentirosa to Brownsville v.v. each day. Are you telling me that none of those are working in the shipbuilding, or ship breaking industries in Brownsville?

If they are, are they paid anything better than minimum wage in Texas?

Keppel AmFELS probably don’t pay anybody below the min. wage, or hire illegal workers, but who say that will apply to any other shipyard, or contractors working for a shipyard able to build hulls in the future?? Or are you telling me that such things doesn’t happen in the US of A??

As for foreign equipment on ships built in USA for the Jones Act market, it has been pointed out here that the local quota applies to “hull and superstructure”, not machinery and equipment, as long as it is INSTALLED at a US yard. (Nothing said about who do the testing and commissioning, which is normally contractually done by the manufacturer)

Is for me being an IDIOT, I respectfully disagree SIR!!! I will not even speculate on who may be qualified under that description.


This is the same model used for crewing the foreign construction vessel in the GOM.



I don’t really care if they make $300 or $3000, if an oil company is extracting American oil on a field leased by the American government then every boat, every worker, and every piece of machinery should be sourced in the USA from an American supplier. Every barrel of oil extracted should be landed and processed or stored on American soil.

If the oil companies don’t like it, too bad, let them go someplace else and defend their own people, ships, sites, and cargoes.

So what if it takes a couple of years to gear up and build the boats required, our people have been starving for the past few years anyway just because the oil companies dumped them to keep their profits up. laying off American workers and getting waivers to replace them with cheap foreign labor helped make Exxon a $4 billion profit in the first quarter of this year. How well did the coonass sailor do so far this year or last?

You want to know what is too expensive for American waters? Oil companies and their bloated greedy executives and their paid off politicians.


With the exception of the ABs and maybe some Engine room guys here and there, that’s not always the case. Most of the project crews are American, Canadian and European.


Are there any US Owners willing to invest in vessels like the above to be able to compete on efficiency and safety, not to mention actual “cost of operation” with those despised foreign vessels?
To hide behind “protective walls” does not get you into the big market, which is OUTSIDE US waters.

I guess it should be mentioned that ECO has Vessels working in Norway, The Med, Trinidad, Brazil, Africa, Mexico. Do you think that ECO’s involvement with Island Offshore is a coincidence? Had the Market not fallen apart you would have certainly seen at least one Jones Act XBow painted Orange and cream. Harvey Gulf appears to have every intention of jumping into the market heavy. Have you ever looked who is on the board at Island Offshore?


On CSVs most of the Officers are North Europeans, with a smattering of other nationalities on similar pay and overall costs. (Maybe the odd American among them?)

To claim that these vessels are run by low coast crews only are lunatic. The rankings may be from low cost countries in Asia, but not always. (To use Bangladeshis would be difficult, given the present sentiment against Muslims)
There are also East European crews, or a mixture of both. (NOR flag vessels use Norwegian crews, or at least pay Norwegian wages)

As you point out, the project crews are usually recruited based on their abilities and training, not by nationality. When working for American Contractors in the GoM there may be a lot of Americans onboard, but not necessarily Mariners. (ROV Operators, Divers, Technicians etc.)

On the large SSCVs and Pipelayers that visit the GoM occasionally and for short periods, the Marine crew don’t change, nor does the project crews. Client personnel and Contractors may be Americans, however.

Riggers are usually Ibans from Sarawak in Malaysia, because they have proven themselves very good at that job. They are used worldwide and by all Contractors, incl. McDermott and Global etc.


By your logic, America should pull up the drawbridge and go back to isolation. No damned foreigners allowed, no trade with the rest of the world and no American companies operating outside USA?
How long could that last before you exhausted your resources and ability to survive without cheap import from low cost “slave labour” countries??

To assume that other countries would succumb to threats of force to allow American companies to trade freely, while their home market is closed is a pipe dream of “Trumpish” proportions.

America has been a champion of free trade, but not necessarily on even terms. Even the TTP was a concession to American special demands, which Trump tore up unread.

Let’s get back to reality and accept that in the real world of today there is no way to survive on an “island” without trade and cooperation across oceans and boarders. You produce what you are good at and buy what you can get cheaper and/or better from somewhere else.

There were few protests when America reign supreme after WWII, as the only major country that survived without being bombed flat. That time is past and the world is able to compete on even footing with American industries on most if not all fronts. (Except military force)


Defining oil as a strategic resource is far from raising drawbridges. Oil has been one of the many strategic resources of many nations that prohibit completely or place strict controls on the export of those resources.

I never said it should be absolutely prohibited to export oil I said very clearly that any oil extracted from American fields must be handled by Americans with American equipment from wellhead to product tank farm. Personally, I am opposed to exporting a drop of oil unless we are totally self sufficient and apply the export profits to domestic improvements such as infrastructure repairs, healthcare, or education.

That is far from isolationist, it is good husbandry of a critical non-renewable resource for the benefit of its owners and the nation. We are being raped by multinational oil companies, our industries and labor are being driven down to the lowest common denominator under the banner of “free trade.”

If, for some reason, it is impossible for an oil company to source technology or equipment in the US as I have described then we should allow them to apply for a license to temporarily use foreign services for a very limited period but pay that triple damages tax cCaptain suggested. They would soon help finance development of an American source … they can certainly afford it. This is a matter of taking care of our own families and our own future, not slamming our doors on anyone.


YesI’m fully aware of the fact that ECO is operating outside US waters and that the Chouest family is in partnership with the Ulstein family in all or part of their business ventures. This is a well known and oft mentioned fact, not something that come as a surprise to anybody in the business, or at least should not be.

Here is the structure of Island Offshore Shipholding LLP registered in British Virgin Islands: www.islandoffshore.no/media/news-archive/2014?...file...island_offshore

There are already one large X-Bow vessel painted orange and cream in the GoM; the Island Venture. The sister vessel to be built in the US and Jones Act compliant has unfortunately been cancelled, or at least postponed.

ECO also operate another Island Offshore vessel in the IMR and/or Well intervention segment, but that one is not likely to be working in the GoM in the near future, I believe: https://www.workboat.com/news/offshore/shell-edison-chouest-sign-deal/

BTW: Things are looking up for Island Offshore, since they have a young,modern and diversified fleet: http://norwaytoday.info/finance/300-crew-members-back-work-island-offshore/


[quote=“Steamer, post:51, topic:44910, full:true”]
Defining oil as a strategic resource is far from raising drawbridges. Oil has been one of the many strategic resources of many nations that prohibit completely or place strict controls on the export of those resources. [/quote]
Most oil producing nations are both exporters and importers of crude oil and products, hence the term “net exporter” to define countries that is self-sufficient oil producers.
Indonesia is importing much of it’s crude from Saudi Arabia and products from Singapore, although it is a major exporter of crude oil and LNG. (No longer “net exporter” though)

Nice thought, but were is the American capacity to do so?

  • Your deepwater rigs are foreign flag, foreign built and fitted with foreign made machinery and equipment. There is no American yards building such rigs, or making the machinery and equipment required. (NOV make their high end drilling equipment and cranes in Norway)
  • The Spar platforms are built in Finland and transported to USA on Dutch HLV, with much of the deck modules manufacture abroad, for assembly at Ingleside.
    -There are no US-flag SSCVs to do the installation, or heavy Pipelayers to lay pipes in deep water, nor is any likely to be built in USA.
    In stead of trying to build up a fleet of inefficient vessels that will not be able to compete outside GoM, you are better off concentrating on what you CAN do and get foreigners to do the rest with already existing equipment.

Aren’t many of the “multi-national Oil companies” of American origin and working worldwide, with little or no consideration to local “sensitivity”, where they can get away with it?
I realize that Oil Companies of foreign origin is operating in the GoM, many of them wholly or partly state owned. (Statoil, Petrobras, ENI, CNOOC etc.) But aren’t they operating through US subsidiaries, paying taxes in the US and employing thousands of US citizens?

The taxation bit would only work if there were a shortage of oil and places to explore in the world. Do you believe that ExxonMobil, Chevron et al. would drill in the GoM if they could not make a profit? They would high tail it to more friendly environ faster then you could say “national duty”. (Russian Arctic maybe??)

Like I said, pipe dreams and “alternativ facts” are for Trumpists, not for realistic thinking Mariner that can see the real world.


Looks like the STOOOPIDTY is paying of for the Norwegian yards that utilize the options available to rake in contracts from other segments of business when the offshore market dries up:

Of course it is much SMOORTER to just sit on the fence and wait, while you complain about unfair competition from more efficient shipyards, using cheap labour.
Well, maybe waiting for Mr. Trump to “Make America Great Again” will pay off in the end. (Don’t hold your breath)
For those affected it doesn’t help to count on the unemployment benefits you have paid into all these years. Those monies are needed to build another LCS or two.


That would be nice. Let them go rape some other 3rd world nation instead of making one out of us.

Considering the phenomenal profits to be made from handling our petroleum resources I think it would only be hours before they were replaced by an American entrepreneur who might be happy to make only $1 billion profit the next quarter.

Why do you think it is such a great idea for us to have to compete with low rent labor on our own property? The best thing to happen to America might be to have $10 a gallon gas when all of that money stays in America.

I don’t care if the rapists are American or not or where they make their headquarters, they are still raping the American taxpayer and destroying what used to be a healthy and productive middle class society.

And that is profit, real profit, the amount of cash left over after using every possible method of accounting to minimize profit.

“Trumpist” ? Far from it, I would like to see him on the same dogsled as his cohorts heading to the Russian Arctic. He probably owns land there anyway and knows who to pay off.


How can I have missed replying to this one for sooo long.

The phenomenal profit to be made in the GoM may be an illusion these days, as is the American entrepreneurs ready to invest there.

I do think that having free and fair competition, not only in the GoM but worldwide, is a good idea and good both for business, mariners and the economy of the countries involved in the Offshore Oil & Gas industry.

In stead of paying excessively for services that can be better performed by others, it would make good sense to build up US expertise and services that excel on the world market, as was the case some decades ago. A small slice of a big cake is better than to try to hold on to a small and shrinking cake for yourself.

It can’t be done because US wages and costs are too high you say? Well, have a look at the costs in other countries that is now competing on the world market, incl. in the GoM. You want to tell me that the Netherlands, Norway, or even Singapore, is low cost countries??

I don’t hear much complains here when American companies operate in foreign markets. Tidewater has operations all over the world, as has Seacore, Gulfmark and ECO, not to mention American Oil Companies.

Why doesn’t other countries send them packing? Because they believe in the idea of free and fair competition, which Americans used to be the champions of. Now that other countries have become able to beat you at your own turf, “free and fair” is no longer so interesting. Now it is “America First”.

But we can agree that it doesn’t matter where the “rapists” of American resources come from, or where they make their HQ. Most of them are American companies who set up HQ wherever they get the best tax deal. But to call Transocean Swiss, or Noble British, doesn’t make them any less American. Last I saw, Houston and Sugarland was still in Texas.

There is not many thing I agree with Trump on, but that it is time to reform the US Tax code is one where I do think he is right.


Because there is no other way the supreme leader of Bumfukitswana can own multimillion dollar properties in European pleasure spots on a $10,000 a year salary.


Customs screwed us on this again. Obviously, foreign interests spent more money on lobbyists than the Bayou Mafia did.


Don’t know if you have noticed, but not EVERY country is Bumfuckitswana, or corrupt.
Besides, not all oil companies are American.

BTW; The countries that have boats, rigs, operations and/or concessions in the GoM have American owned boats, rigs and oil companies operating in their waters. What is the problem??

PS> I don’t mean the flag the boat and rigs are flying. All the deepwater rigs operating there probably fly FOC flags, but owned and operated by American companies. (With HQ somewhere else)


Actually, a lot of countries do send them packing. Depending on your level with in these companies, just about every country I’ve ever worked in overseas demands that foreign nationals be placed below a certain level. That’s cool. That’s their right. Certainly Brazil is rising that level (for example - I’m pretty sure that BAMA demands there be at least one Brazilian DPO on the bridge at all times). I haven’t heard of one European company hiring any Americans over the last three or four years for anything maritime related - but don’t quote me on that. I know they aren’t now. Only just with in the last three years has the USCG actually denied exemptions for any expat wanting to work in the GoM. This is where the scare is I think - we really AREN’T afforded any opportunities overseas unless you already have a foothold on a ship or rig. With the recent massive layoffs the scare for these guys is that our lovely law makers are just going to throw the Jones act to the wind and allow the USCG to issue exemptions for everyone. And then that’s it, game over for us. This whole thing is becoming a push me pull you in terms of companies overseas and getting a job with them as an American. You no longer issue exemptions? Fine, we won’t hire Americans then - back and forth it goes. Unless you want to work in Saudi for $250/day, then it’s game on!


We view jobs on the US OCS as being the same as Jones Act jobs, or shoreside jobs in the US, or at least they should be. At present US maritime needs every job it can get. We have several US mariners available for every existing job and tens of thousands of unemployed or underemployed US mariners.

We see no reason why jobs on the US OCS should go to Filipinos and Eastern Europeans just because the work for nothing. No reason why foreign vessels should get these jobs either.

There are virtually no jobs open to US mariners in foreign countries. A few, but damn few, and then almost all of them require an unlimited license. Almost no foreign jobs available to the vast majority of American mariners with limited licenses.