Fighting back against foreign mariners in GoM

I have been asked by a congressional staffer to compile a list of all the foreign vessels with foreign crews working in the GoM. I already have a fairly good list but know that it is incomplete because many of these vessels do not call in Fourchon and some do move in or out of the GoM without anyway of knowing who is here at any date.

What I am hoping is that all the US citizen mariners working offshore who are distressed at this incursion of foreigners into a place which is supposed to be reserved for Americans to help with getting a comprehensive and accurate list compiled.

At present I count:[ol]
[li]Ocean Intervention III[/li][li]Olympic Intervention IV[/li][li]Olympic Challenger[/li][li]REM Commander[/li][li]Siem Swordfish[/li][li]Kingfisher[/li][li]Nor Tigerfish[/li][li]Gulmar Falcon[/li][li]Gulmar Condor[/li][li]Kestrel[/li][li]Uncle John[/li][li]Mystic Viking[/li][li]Balder[/li][li]Thialf[/li][li]Concordia[/li][li]CSO Deep Blue[/li][li]Normand Clipper[/li][li]Epic Diver[/li][li]BOA Sub C[/li][li]BOA Deep C[/li][li]Northern Resolution[/li][li]Caballo Buffala[/li][/ol]Coming soon will be the

  1. Haliva Phoenix
  2. Viking Poseidon
  3. Caesar

If anyone knows of others in the GoM operating with foreign personnel or if any of the above have left, please post that here so we can get the word to the people who can tell the USCG to start enforcing the existing regulations to keep the Gulf of Mexico American with good paying jobs for American mariners supporting American families, paying American taxes and spending money in the USA!

Time to fight back against this tidal wave before it completely overwhelms us!

First went hydrographic vessels, almost all of which are now foreign crewed. Then went subsea construction and pipelayers. The golden prize for oil companies, however, are large drilling and production platforms. Stena Drilling was the first to get an excemption and was allowed a 6 month exemption in 2007 to drill with the stena tay. Keep an eye on them and Seadrill as both are lobbying to easy employment descriptions.

Stena location map

If you are researching the topic I would start by pouring over the documents of the IADC as they are the lobbying are of the large drillers and would likely spearhead such move.

You can also keep an eye on vessels within AIS (VHF) range of NO by visiting THIS LINK and selecting “Mexico Gulf”. Vesseltrax has some coverage of the western gulf as well.

You can view many of the large vessels in the area via THIS LINK then look at the call signs. US Flagged ships are given call signs beginning with the letters “W” or “K” so all others are foreign. You can then find out more about the vessel via Equasis.

thank you cmjeff for your input…

I had heard about Stena Drilling but didn’t know they had started with their rig in the GoM yet. I thought SeaDrill went with Americans on their rig and what do you know about the BELFORD DOLPHIN and Maersk Contractor’s rig? Are they operating with US hands or getting the old manning giveaway? I have a good track on the subsea sector but forgot I need to track the seismic and drilling vessels as well.

DAMN that’s alot of jobs being given away!

Good post! …but I had to move it. YOUblog is more of a section for full length articles not general information.

If you wanted to write an editorial on the state of job protection in the GOM then it would be suitable for YOUblog.

No problem John…thanks for your support

[B][U]Btw…RED ALERT[/U][/B]

If anyone here goes to RigZone today they will see that Veolia Environmental Services has postings for ALL vessel positions. This is a BULLSHIT RUSE and DECEIPTFUL! They have all those positions filled with foreign nationals on the KINGFISHER and are only running those ads to show to the USCG that they are “trying” to recruit Americans for those positions. You will notice that in none of there ads to they say that US citizenship is a requirement. If one follows RigZone like I do, they will recall that Veolia runs these exact same ads every six months or so. One time more than a year ago, I responded to one of these and managed to talk to some port captain in their Lafayette office and he told me point blank and this is no BS…“OH, WE ONLY RUN THOSE ADS BECAUSE WE HAVE TO!”

Letters need to be sent by US mariners to the USCG Office to issues the waivers to Veolia and Caldive that we ARE available for these jobs and qualified to do them!

The office in Washington DC is:

J.F. Williams
Chief, Foreign and Offshore Vessel Division (CG-5432)
U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters
2100 Second Street SW
Washington DC 20593-0001
(202) 372-2275 v.
(202) 372-1917 f.


They need to stop hearing only from the f’ing lawyers on K Street and start hearing from US! This has got to STOP and it is up to US to stop it!

for more information go to and thanks for the support

Don’t forget all of the 600 foot tankers that run in and out of Houston and Port Arthur. All they do is go back and forth from the lightering areas to the terminals. Why shouldn’t they be U.S. and not foriegn. AET is the main culprit of this.

I’ve sent a priority mail letter to my senator concerning this issue.
It’s should be stopped but there are powerful forces at work here. Some US gulf companies are benefiting from this all the while claiming to support the Jones Act.
Only the light of day may stop the USCG from issuing exemptions for this BS.
A newspaper article would be nice, especially considering the unemployment situation in the USA.

I know in the south it is unpopular, but a union could help counter the influence that AWO, OMSA, and other industry groups have over the coast guard and our phony representatives.

Actually, I believe that OMSA is very unhappy about what is happening hence their new Jone’s Act compliance officer. The trouble is that it is not illegal to have these foreign vessels in the GoM but it is if they lift any subsea cargo from Fourchon, Mobile or Galveston for installation offshore which is why you most often see things like jumpers being brought offshore by barge. That circumvents the intent of the law.

Personally, I am wondering if Chouest is just keeping their powder dry building up their ROV operation until they can say to the Congress that preferrence needs to be given to US vessels in competition with foreign. There just may be a change coming but until it does, we have to do what we can to make sure that change happens.

What I say needs to happen is that the USCG must cease issuing the waivers which allow these vessels to operate on the GoM with foreign labor. The law says that the Outer Continental Shelf is reserved for US citizens but that is not being enforced under the guise that there are no qualified US citizen mariners available. That is what the entire Veolia deception if about. They run a few ads and then go the USCG and say that they tried but they didn’t get the right people respond. Do you think that the Coast Guard does any checking on their own? OF COURSE NOT! They just swallow whatever crap the companies feed them and since no US mariners know about this ruse the CG just goes along.

As soon as US mariners at all levels start to tell the USCG that they are available for the advertised positions, the Coast Guard will be forced to start scrutinizing this issue and if they still go along with the companies, then US mariners should go to Congress and if necessary file suit in Federal District Court to get this violation stopped!


“Personally, I am wondering if Chouest is just keeping their powder dry building up their ROV operation until they can say to the Congress that preferrence needs to be given to US vessels in competition with foreign.”

I wouldn’t wait for Chouest. Ocean Intervention III and IV are owned by Island Offshore Management and here’s who they are.

Island Offshore Shipholding LP, a joint venture between ECO and a prominent Norwegian partner.
Island Offshore Shipholding LP is jointly owned with Edison Chouest Offshore, the leading operator in United States for advanced and high quality service vessels. ECO owns and operates a fleet of approx. 150 offshore vessels worldwide with the majority in the US, Mexico, Brazil and West Africa."

Actually the Ocean Intervention IV is the Olympic Intervention IV and not owned by Island Offshore but you certainly are right that Chouest is playing both sides of the fence with this one.

Being that Island Offshore only has the one vessel in the GoM and joined the invasion in one of the first waves after Katrina, I think that Gary Chouest realized that it might be harming its long term interest by being part of the continued flood of vessels from lots of Norwegian companies coming in. If it was only Island Offshore who was bringing in these ships, you can bet your boots that ole Mr. Gary would keep em comin.

By shifting the focus to US vessels, he doesn’t have to deal with Norwegian partners in his operations here (the Island Offshore vessels are only half owned by ECO & not operated by them). It also allows him to grow the pumpkin fleet bigger and bigger all the time which would suppress any US companies like OCLLC and HOS from gaining that foothold in the subsea vessel market which they have been trying for the last two+ years to get. Once he forces the foreign vessels out, then he’ll damned near own that market as well and good on him I say. Much I am no fan of the fact that Chouest is almost a monopoly in the business I’d rather see every Stig and Lars sent packing to Angola or Indonesia than to keep taking OUR jobs here.

In the meantime, until that happens us American mariners should fight for the jobs that we are loosing because I doubt that ECO will get every foreign vessel out of the GoM. Perhaps he’ll get new ones coming in stopped and a competitive advantage for his vessels once policies change. The major offshore operators like BP love the new breed of Norwegian subsea vessels and I am sure do not want to see them out of the GoM. It is only that US mariners should be manning them, not Norwegians, Dutch, Canadians, Malaysians, etc, etc, etc…

You are right about the Olympic. Do you have information about who is contracting the other vessels on your list? Obviously Ocean Engineering is one but who are the other companies hiring these vessels?

Chouest made the investment when no other company had the balls and it payed off. Good for them. You call it monopoly. I call it a good fucking head start based on bold decisions.


Your opinion of me has been well voiced already in that earlier thread, but this thread is about foreign mariners taking jobs from American mariners…if you want to pick fights with me over Chouest then go ahead but there are bigger matters at play here. Btw, you will see that I did say good on them if they manage to get the foreigners out of the GoM.

I’ll simply ask you this…do you like seeing Norwegians, Dutchmen, Brits, Canadians, etc…take more and more jobs in the Gulf? If you don’t, then let’s keep this thread about how to get these jobs for US citizens and keep that money in the US where it belongs. I don’t think I mentioned before that none of these foreign nationals working on the OCS pays one nickel in taxes to the Treasury!


owner/operators or charterers:

[li]Ocean Intervention III [I][B][U](Oceaneering International)[/U][/B][/I][/li][li]Olympic Intervention IV [B][I][U](Oceaneering International)[/U][/I][/B][/li][li]Olympic Challenger [U][I][B](Global Industries)[/B][/I][/U][/li][li]REM Commander [B][I][U](Global Industries)[/U][/I][/B][/li][li]Siem Swordfish [B][I][U](Veolia Environmental)[/U][/I][/B][/li][li]Kingfisher [B][I][U](Veolia Environmental)[/U][/I][/B][/li][li]Nor Tigerfish [B][I][U](Veolia Environmental)[/U][/I][/B][/li][li]Gulmar Falcon [B][I][U](not known at this time)[/U][/I][/B][/li][li]Gulmar Condor [B][I][U](not known at this time)[/U][/I][/B][/li][li]Kestrel [B][I]U[/U][/I][/B][/li][li]Uncle John [B][I]U[/U][/I][/B][/li][li]Mystic Viking [B][I]U[/U][/I][/B][/li][li]Balder [B][I]U[/U][/I][/B][/li][li]Thialf [B][I]U[/U][/I][/B][/li][li]Safe Concordia [B][I][U](Consafe Offshore)[/U][/I][/B][/li][li]CSO Deep Blue [B][I]U[/U][/I][/B][/li][li]Normand Clipper [B][I][U](Clough Offshore)[/U][/I][/B][/li][li]Epic Diver [B][I][U](Epic Diving & Marine)[/U][/I][/B][/li][li]BOA Sub C [B][I][U](Aker Solutions)[/U][/I][/B][/li][li]BOA Deep C [B][I][U](Aker Solutions)[/U][/I][/B][/li][li]Northern Resolution [B][I][U](C&C Technologies)[/U][/I][/B][/li][li]Caballo Buffala [B][I][U](not known at this time)[/U][/I][/B][/li][/ol]Coming soon will be the

  1. Haliva Phoenix[B][I][U] (Phoenix Diving)[/U][/I][/B]
  2. Viking Poseidon [B][I][U](Veolia Environmental)[/U][/I][/B]
  3. Caesar [B][I][U](Helix Energy Solutions)[/U][/I][/B]

I know there are more to be added, but I think this will suffice for right now. I think you get the picture…plenty of US companies going over to foreign real fast especially after Katrina when all the old rules were thrown out the window.

Thanks for the expanded information. These are for the most part majority foreign owned corporations operating with foreign crews in USA waters. The fact that US owners have not chosen to make an investment in such vessels is a question I’d like to find an answer to but until then we should all be cognizant of the fact that in Helix’s or Veolia’s home turf there is NO WAY a US vessel would be allowed to work with a majority US crew. Additionally, many of these vessels are unlimited tonnage even under USCG rules and would provide an excellent upgrade platform for US professionals IF given the opportunity.
Keep up the good work.

Tengengeer, Writing your congressman is helpfull but often useless.

ccaptain, you need to identify the congressmen who actually care about this then send them useful information on a regular basis to establish a relationship. I found when stena came into the gulf my congressman cared less but one letter to Trent Lott’s office got a personal call back! Why? Because my congressmen has only a few constitutes who rely on offshore income. Trent Lott had thousands of voters who would be objective and he did not know an exemption had been made for Stena! He was honestly concerned and appreciative of the info.

Come up with a list of the most supportive congressmen and organize a ground roots movement around those. Also target anyone who openly supports foreign labor in the gulf.

Trent Lott was protective of those who took care of him.
Here’s an excerpt from an article from 2003 L.A. Times
Shipbuilding is Mississippi’s largest industry, and Lott, a senior member of the Senate committee with jurisdiction over the maritime industry, has been a faithful supporter of domestic shipyards.
Recently, Louisiana-based Edison Chouest Offshore needed help as it competed for contracts to build three oil tankers for ExxonMobil. For competitive reasons, it wanted the option of supplying the vessels from overseas shipyards, but a provision of federal law stood in the way.
In November, Lott inserted a last-minute provision in the port-security bill that made it possible for Edison Chouest to sidestep the legal barrier. The waiver was first disclosed by Congressional Quarterly Daily.
The company declined to comment. But federal records show Edison Chouest added a new lobbyist last year: Chet Lott, who collected $110,000 in fees."

Sadly the bill didn’t pass.


I know that it is easy to be cynical and feel that the “fix is in” but this issue has some of the hallmarks needed to be policially advantageous to the Congessmen and Senators on the two subcommittees charged with oversight of the merchant marine. There is the issue of good paying jobs for Americans in a time when those are as rare as hen’s teeth in this country. There is the tax issue that none of these foreign mariners pays on nickel to the U.S. Treasury. There is the issue of maintaining positions for U.S. mariners in peacetime that the pool be large enough if needed in wartime at a time when mariner jobs in other sectors is shrinking. There is a security issue (albeit small) that a foreign seaman with ill intent will get access to Port Fourchon with its critical infrastructure.

The two Subcommittees with this oversight are:

The Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety & Security

Frank R. Lautenberg (Chairman)
John D. Rockefeller, IV
Daniel K. Inouye
John F. Kerry
Byron L. Dorgan
Maria Cantwell
Mark Pryor
Claire McCaskill
Amy Klobuchar

Kay Bailey Hutchison (Ranking Member)
Olympia J. Snowe
Jim DeMint
David Vitter
John Thune
Roger Wicker

House Subcommittee on Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation


Elijah E. Cummings, Maryland, Chairman
Corrine Brown, Florida
Rick Larsen, Washington
Gene Taylor, Mississippi
Brian Baird, Washington
Timothy H. Bishop, New York
Steve Kagen, Wisconsin
Michael E. McMahon, New York
Laura A. Richardson, California
James L. Oberstar, Minnesota (ex officio)

Frank LoBiondo, New Jersey, Ranking Member
Don Young, Alaska
Howard Coble, North Carolina
Vern Ehlers, Michigan
Todd Russell Platts, Pennsylvania

I would not hesitate to write to each of them and to the staff of the Subcommittes directly because even though you might not be a constituent of theirs, because they have would have oversight over this matter, they are empowered to write to the USCG, to have the GAO investigate it and lastly to hold hearings if needed. This is what I have been doing and there has been quiet interest hence why I have been asked for the list of violators. Remember that we have a new Congress and Administration so this issue might well get attention now when it never had a chance before.

Of course, one should write to the USCG Office mentioned at the beginning of this thread, MarAd, the Labor Department, the White House, the Times Picayune, Houston Chronicle, Lou Dobbs @ CNN, OMSA, etc, etc, etc…

I’ll find out what offices at Marad, the Labor Department and the White House that this should go to and post those here.


The fact that many of these vessels are owned by foreign corporations has been used as a loophole to allow them to operate in the GoM with their foreign crews. That loophole is in 33CFRsec.141 and you can read the entire citation on my blog at which includes my thoughts at to how those loopholes can be closed. It all has to do with the definition of the term “the right to effectively control”.

If that right can be determined to rest with a longterm charterer as opposed to the vessel owner, then the loophole to use foreign mariners closes overnight. This might well involve a suit being filed in Federal District Court but first an attempt needs to be made to get the Congress to “express its will” or the Administration to make a “policy determination” on the subject. Anyone of which of these would cause one of the greatest employment boosts for American mariners since Gulf War I and this time it would be a longterm boost, not a flash in the pan!