Fight to Keep The Jones Act


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.


Let the foreign vessels work in the US offshore, just put a 100% tax on their services, and require them to hire two Americans at full Norwegian scale or US scale pay (whichever is higher)for each visa given to a foreign worker.

If that were done, foreign vessels would be reflagged US very quickly and foreign visa workers would be phased out as quickly as Americans can be trained.


How realistic is that for a vessel that operate worldwide and may spend a few months in the GoM?

A more realistic approach is to allow US owners to buy existing vessels of the type that is now missing in the GoM and still operate without restrictions.
But will if be possible to make money in that relatively small market?

At least they have the advantage that they are able to hire and fire at will, thus be able to operate a US flag vessel in foreign markets with only the US Master left on board. Many foreign owners don’t have that option.


the GoM is not a “relatively small market” at all but one of the most attractive to big oil since it is close to refineries and the world’s largest consumer of crude plus the US Federal government owns no stake in the fields but rather exacts only a small royalty for each barrel produced. Safety and environmental regulations are also not as severe as in the North Sea and the deepwater fields discovered have proven quite large on average so with all this why would there not be steady work of one or possibly two large US flagged heavylift/pipelay vessels and several large US flagged construction support vessels. I will not demand that the vessels be US built but they should be US flagged and manned provided they not carry cargo and leave that to US built PSVs and AHTSs.


If we assumed that a single vessel like the Aegir:
was re-flagged US I’m not sure it could be gainfully employed in the GoM only.

The problem is that the trend is to build larger and heavier deck structures to save money. To build many smaller modules (>4000 m.t.) for offshore lifting is not economical.

The market for something like the new Sleipnir (20000 m.t.SWL) or Saipem 7000 and Thialf (14000 m.t. SWL ea.) have to be worldwide to be economical. There is no way you could operate anything like that if you were changing crews for every location they work.

To aim at the next step down is more realistic and a much bigger market in deepwater GoM. There are several vessels in that segment that is idle and MAY be purchased. (But if you wait any longer there may be none)

PS> The Lewek Constellation has just been purchased by Saipem and may show up in the GoM again soon:


Solstad Farstad has sold two “aging” AHTSs, the sister ships Far Sailor and Far Senior. Built 1997 & 1998
respectively. At 16826 Bhp and 186 m.t. Bollard pull they have become too old and too small to compete in the North Sea market:

Would they have been suitable for the GoM market??


A bit small by modern standards and there are already more than enough AHTS for the little anchor work in the Gulf.


handling the anchors on any rig or platform in the GoM regardless of the flag of the unit is Jones Act protected work as is towing them from one site to the next


isn’t that just dandy…

by the way Herr Bugge…you are a miserable buggerer of the first order and you can tell everyone that I am the one who said that!


Now now. Be nice. Ombugge cannot help it; he’s been brainwashed by Jesper Berg.


Therefore American owners are not able to take advantage of the present depressed market to renew their fleet by buying good foreign boats on the cheap to create jobs for American mariners.

The Lewek Constellation just left from the GoM heading to Australia via Cape Town.
She could have been a nice addition to the US fleet in the GoM under US flag and with American crew, if allowed to operate there without restrictions.
In stead she is likely to return to the GoM to work there without Americans on board. (Saipem aim at the US market with this vessel)

I’ll let Mr. Trump know. I’m sure he need people with your diplomatic skills to enhance his “America First” policy.


Hard to be brainwashed by a fictional character I had never heard of before you brought it up.
At least I am able to see through the propaganda put out by the wast US propaganda machine.
Which is now also officially allowed to brainwash American citizens in their own homes:

The American media had done a good job of it before 2013 though:


Jesper Berg is just a metaphor for politically correct left wing wussies.

Jan from LILLIEHAMMER ( Norwegian TV show staring Steven Van Zant (from the Sopranos and Bruce Springsteen’s band)) is probably a better example of a Norwegian wussy.

Actually, the fishermen from Aalesund that I’ve met are mostly right wing rednecks.


Having spent most of my life in a multi-cultural, multi-racial and multi-national environment, so I may not be a typical Norwegian in my way of seeing the world.

I have no left or right wing agenda and are not easily deceived into thinking in terms of “black and white” when it comes to politics, race or nationalities.

I hope I’m able to see through the propaganda and denounce the hypocrisy on all sides, much to the annoyance of those who are not able to. (Including “rednecks” from Aalesund, or wherever)


so now there is this and I must ask, will foreign built, flagged and manned vessels be used to install these fields and if so…WHY!


There will be jobs on two or three American built CTVs. That’s that Eurospeak for crew boats.

A few tug tug and barge jobs for cable laying.

The installations and high value work will All be done by European vessels with all foreign crew.


While the US is TALKING about getting at least SOME of US Crude Oil and LNG export over on US flag vessels, but get very little actually done to accomplice that goal, the Russians are building ships to do so:

These tankers will be able to carry Arctic Crude Oil to markets in Asia and Europe even in the dead of winter.


Could it be that there are no US built, flagged and manned vessels that is suitable for this type of work?
A Lift Boat of the GoM type doesn’t have the lifting capacity and reach required to install the towers, turbines and blades on these large windmills.

I don’t know there are any cable layers, trenchers and stone dumpers available for the type of work involved to connect the windmills to the converter station and from there to shore.

This is not a business where improvising and using old obsolete equipment will “be good enough”.
Barges with 4-point mooring are not suitable to act as cable layers or service vessels in long Atlantic swells.

As the US Offshore Wind industry develop you can hope that somebody will build the type of vessels required. Until then I’m afraid you’ll see largely European vessels and companies involved in the construction of wind farms in US waters. (Or could the Jones Act be modified to allow foreign built/US flag vessels to do the job by then??)

The worldwide market for Offshore Wind services are becoming huge and growing fast:

It is probably too late for American companies to hope to capture much of it outside USA, but even the US market alone should be interesting for those with the capital and foresight to invest in the right vessels and equipment.


It is hard to put your finger on but over the years some sort of lethargy or weariness has crept into the US maritime investment market. Something is very wrong. These days they probably expect higher and faster return on investment in other kinds of businesses. Follow the money…


For the windfarm recently built off Block Island it was US built and flagged CTVs. The turbine installation vessels were European. Fred Olsen? US companies provided tugs and barges. I hear that local companies laid the cable with barges.

More European designed CTVs are being built in the US now. I have not heard about any turbine installation vessels being built in the US. Why do that, when the stupid US government will allow foreign installation vessels to come in.