Chouest in Valdez?

The colossal whitewashing of Chouest’s incompetence in Alaska appears to be paying off:

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[B][FONT=inherit][FONT=inherit][B]Longtime provider of oil tanker escorts in Prince William Sound is stepping aside[/B]

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[FONT=inherit]Alex DeMarban[FONT=inherit]March 11, 2016
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[FONT=Arial]Crowley tugboats Tan’erliq and the Stalwart sit docked at the SERVS facility in Valdez in February.[/FONT][FONT=Arial][I]Loren Holmes / ADN[/I][/FONT][/FONT]
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[FONT=inherit]A maritime company that for at least two decades has provided tugboats to escort loaded oil tankers out of Prince William Sound, is no longer competing for the contract to provide that service, causing alarm among observers who don’t want a repeat of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.
With Florida-based Crowley Marine out of the running for the contract, at least one candidate remains: Edison Chouest, the company whose tug, the 360-foot Aiviq, towed Shell’s drilling rig Kulluk before lines snapped and the rig wrecked off the Alaska coast in late 2012.
“We are competing,” said Roger White, with Edison Chouest in Louisiana. “We are a company that looks forward to having some additional success in Alaska.”
Other companies may also be in the running to win the contract, provided by Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., which runs the pipeline on behalf of its oil-company owners, principally BP, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips. The contract includes oil spill response services out of Valdez, where the 800-mile trans-Alaska pipeline ends and oceangoing ships take on oil.
Michelle Egan, director of corporate communications for Alyeska, would not say which companies bid on the contract. But she confirmed that longtime contractor Crowley, as of earlier this month, is no longer part of a bidding process that began in 2014.
Crowley’s contract extends through mid-2018, she said.
“We’re moving forward with another bidder,” Egan said, but would not name the company.
The new contract is expected to be awarded by the end of the year, Egan said, though White, from Edison Chouest, said he thought the process might be finished more quickly than that.
“I think you’re probably 60 to 90 days before we’re done,” he said.
Crowley has held the contract for more than 20 years and has provided marine services for Alyeska in Prince William Sound since 1990, when new safety requirements after the Exxon Valdez disaster included increased tug escorts.
The transition to a new escort company, presumably with new personnel and different tugs and oil spill response barges, is a “big, huge deal,” said Donna Schantz, executive director of the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council, the official watchdog group.
“We are very concerned about this,” said Schantz.
She said the council doesn’t know which company, or companies, may have a shot at winning the contract. But the fact that a new contractor will step in, requiring new training, at a time when state budget cuts could reduce regulatory personnel, is worrisome, she said.
Spill prevention and response officials with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation helped oversee increased protection about 15 years ago, after Crowley brought powerful new tractor tugs to Alaska to handle the escorts, she said.
This new transition will be bigger than that, she said.
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“This will be a huge burden on DEC,” she said. “A big concern is, will they have the staffing and people to oversee this change because all state departments are challenged with cutbacks? The Coast Guard will have a role as well, but the state statutes and regulations are really what drive the tug specifications that we’ve enjoyed in the past.”
She said Crowley has done a good job, but the company has had ups and downs, including the groundingof a tug, the Pathfinder, on Bligh Reef in 2009, the same spot where the Exxon Valdez also ran aground years earlier.
The number of tankers leaving Valdez with crude oil has fallen sharply since 1989, when North Slope oil production was more than three times higher than the 540,000 barrels of oil daily shipped down the pipeline in February.
Still, an oil tanker leaves Valdez about every 1 1/2 days.
Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. will make sure the transition meets all requirements and that “full services” will continue, Egan said.
Though Crowley is no longer competing for the contract, the company will be “engaged” in the transition process, said a statement from Mark Miller, the company’s vice president of corporate communications.
“We are fully committed to continued professional services and full compliance,” he said.
Edison Chouest, which has made large contributionsto Alaska’s congressional delegation and was faultedfor errors by the Coast Guard during the investigation into the Kulluk grounding, is expanding its presence in the state.
It has partnered with Native corporations on ventures such as the Deadhorse Aviation Center that provides a hangar, terminal and other services to support North Slope oil operations.
[U]White said a number of factors contributed to the wreck of the Kulluk, including heavy seas with improper towing gear that snapped.
“It was not our fault, or the fault of the vessel or its crew,” White said of the Aiviq.[/U]
If Edison Chouest wins the bid in Prince William Sound, the Aiviq would not be part of the contract, he said. "
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White said a number of factors contributed to the wreck of the Kulluk, including heavy seas with improper towing gear that snapped.
“It was not our fault, or the fault of the vessel or its crew,” White said of the Aiviq.

LYING SACKS of SHIT!

I hope Foss wins and I’m sad to see Crowley go. I wonder what will happen to their massive escort tugs? They’re a bit big to use elsewhere in the country.

[QUOTE=c.captain;180877]LYING SACKS of SHIT![/QUOTE]

That is an understatement. The vessel had numerous engineering deficiencies and the “captain” made videos on his cell phone of his towing incompetence, all of which came out in the USCG hearing. BUT Chouest pays a lot of money to the politicians there so…

The hulls are already an orangey color, Mister Gary can buy them and just paint the white over with buff.

[QUOTE=tengineer1;180887]That is an understatement. The vessel had numerous engineering deficiencies and the “captain” made videos on his cell phone of his towing incompetence, all of which came out in the USCG hearing. BUT Chouest pays a lot of money to the politicians there so…[/QUOTE]

Is it me, or is corruption this blatant becoming more common?

[QUOTE=Gimli;180891]Is it me, or is corruption this blatant becoming more common?[/QUOTE]

no, you smell just what I smell and it is incredibly PUTRID and ROTTEN!

Gary Chouest and everything associated with him has become the Evil Empire of the US maritime industry and it is only going to get worse as the Godfather buys into everyone else’s operations or muscles them out. He wasn’t content at all with the GoM and now has his artillery laid to bombard Alaska where he will ultimately hold all the cards. We actually have got to be grateful for Shell’s debacle in the arctic because if that had taken off, it was showing all the signs of being an exclusive ECO clown circus where all would have fawned all over Chouest’s greatness. ECO IS TOO FUCKING BIG AND TOO POWERFUL!

Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. Maybe someone should contact green peace to shake things up a bit. I have already heard one of those bayou companies has had more than one “incidents” in the area. Can’t remember which one though. Frankly I wouldn’t trust any one of them, yea hopefully a more local company like Foss gets it.

[QUOTE=c.captain;180893]no, you smell just what I smell and it is incredibly PUTRID and ROTTEN!

Gary Chouest and everything associated with him has become the Evil Empire of the US maritime industry and it is only going to get worse as the Godfather buys into everyone else’s operations or muscles them out. He wasn’t content at all with the GoM and now has his artillery laid to bombard Alaska where he will ultimately hold all the cards. We actually have got to be grateful for Shell’s debacle in the arctic because if that had taken off, it was showing all the signs of being an exclusive ECO clown circus where all would have fawned all over Chouest’s greatness. ECO IS TOO FUCKING BIG AND TOO POWERFUL![/QUOTE]

You remind me of Chouest’s purchase of Westport Yachts, with two large boatbuilding facilities in Washington. The tentacles have been creeping.

Why is Crowley getting out of the escort business in Valdez? It seems like an easy-money contract for them and they’ve obviously been doing it comfortably for years, why stop now?

It comes down to dollars and cents. ECO can provide the boats at a better rate. Personally I think Crowley doesn’t want to be bothered with this work anymore. They are slowly moving away from tugboats and more into project management and ship management where being in the black doesn’t come with the risks towing does. Rumor I heard from a buddy who works up there is they were offered half but said all or nothing…

Reading between the lines it appears Crowley is throwing in the towel because Chouest has already been anointed. Or it could be a continuation of Tom Crowley’s plan to divest himself of his towing businesses. But as you said, why bail on a cash cow like this contract…?

Isn’t that pipeline on the decline anyways? Read a book that went in depth on its decline in volume over its lifetime especially in the last few years. Seems fishy with that in mind. seems like a huge initial expense, each boat probably 15+ million a piece without a shipyard profit???

there have been plans for LNG up there on a parallel pipe or the same pipe once the oil has dried up

under 40$/bbl makes keeping it open marginal from what I’m told. I know ship volumes are down. I wouldn’t be surprised if oil doesn’t rebound soon if the pipeline shut down for awhile myself it’s not cheap to run.

[QUOTE=rshrew;180907]It comes down to dollars and cents. ECO can provide the boats at a better rate. Personally I think Crowley doesn’t want to be bothered with this work anymore. They are slowly moving away from tugboats and more into project management and ship management where being in the black doesn’t come with the risks towing does. Rumor I heard from a buddy who works up there is they were offered half but said all or nothing…[/QUOTE]

I guess the offered half thing could be true. Is everyone sure Alyeska didn’t force Crowley out for some stupid reason? They have the experience and the big, high horsepower equipment already in place with experienced crews. It seems like that world be worth a price premium.

White said a number of factors contributed to the wreck of the Kulluk, including heavy seas with improper towing gear that snapped.
“It was not our fault, or the fault of the vessel or its crew,” White said of the Aiviq.

It’s already been pointed out but it’s worth repeating; this is an outright lie. Both the NTSB and the USCG reports found that the company and crew were at fault for the grounding of the Kulluk.

The tow line parted because of the lack of basic towing skills and the engines stopped because of the failure of the company and crew to correct the known design problem which allowed sea water to enter the fuel system. There were other problems as well.

The mariner’s term for that tow operation is clusterfuck, and it’s clear the ECO was at fault as was Shell.

I wonder why ECO didn’t claim that they recognize that they have had problems in the past but they have taken corrective action? That would be a statement (lie?) that would be much more difficult to rebut. Are their spokesman incompetent too?

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;180932]I wonder why ECO didn’t claim that they recognize that they have had problems in the past but they have taken corrective action? That would be a statement (lie?) that would be much more difficult to rebut. Are their spokesman incompetent too?[/QUOTE]

WHAT! How could you ever expect Darth to show humility and admit any failure? that would show WEAKNESS…IMPOSSIBLE!

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[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;180930]The tow line parted because of the lack of basic towing skills[/QUOTE]

I’m not really up on the final findings, can anyone elaborate on this?

White said a number of factors contributed to the wreck of the Kulluk, including heavy seas with improper towing gear that snapped.

Improper towing gear seems like the fault of the towing vessel and towing company…