Jones Act Tanker Used to Transport Oil from Alaska’s North Slope Set to Retire

and here we are allowing the export of 100% of US produced crude to go in foreign ships…

Jones Act Tanker Used to Transport Oil from Alaska’s North Slope Set to Retire -Operator

May 8, 2017 by Reuters

HOUSTON, May 8 (Reuters) – The Alaskan Frontier, a Suezmax tanker typically used to transport Alaskan North Slope crude to West Coast refineries, is scheduled to retire, according to vessel operator Alaska Tanker Company.

The U.S.-flagged vessel is one of a few that comply with the Jones Act, a maritime law that requires shipments between U.S. ports to take place on U.S.-built and manned vessels.

A source, who requested anonymity, said the ship would be retired in June, but the company did not confirm the timing.

The Alaska Tanker Company fleet is time chartered to transport BP Plc’s Alaska North Slope production. The fleet operator has also moved Alaskan crude for producers Exxon Mobil Corp and ConocoPhillips.


Maybe 100% of US crude need to be exported on foreign tankers because there are not enough US-flag tankers to carry it, or are unable to do so at rates acceptable to the charterers?

Most, if not all, US-flag VLCC and Suezmax crude oil carriers have reached their “best by” date and may no longer be accepted for charter to carry crude oil by the major oil companies.
To carry crude oil in small tankers on long voyages are NOT economical.

Since there are no restrictions on registering foreign built tankers under US flag, one may wonder why US Owners with large fleets of VLCCs under FOC flags doesn’t take advantage of a potential market opportunity to do so??

One question; If the Alaskan Frontier is not sold for conversion to FSO/FPSO but for scrap, will that have to be done in USA? If so, will there be a value put on her as scrap, or will the Owners have to pay for the service?

PS. What is the faith of the sister ship “Alaskan Explorer”, which I took this picture of while docking at Sembawang Shipyard in Singapore in Aug. 2014?:

Is she due for retirement as well

because the US federal government and the Congress did not mandate that ANY percentage of US energy exports go in US flagged ships. Reps John Garamendi and Duncan Hunter have tried to fix this but are getting ZERO traction from their colleagues and you know THIS administration certainly does not give two little shits either. PROFITS UBER ALLES!

privately owned US commercial ships can be exported to be scrapped foreign if they do not contain hazardous materials. there is a statutory prohibition against exporting certain hazmat from the US which includes asbestos or PCBs.

Considering all the hype and bullshit about how oil is so critical to US national security, and so critical to our economy that we readily go to war to “defend” our access to foreign sources with the blood of our children and the contents of our treasury, why in Hell is domestic oil not defined as a strategic national resource?

Why do we export a drop of it except to fund campaign contributors?

If it is so important for the US to export such a critical resource then why should the carriage of that export not be limited to US built, owned, and manned tankers?

Because we have a corporate owned government whose elected officials are so far in debt to the campaign contributors they can not even see the people who voted them into office. What are corporate profits going to do for America when the last American job is sold for campaign contributions?

Now more than ever I see the roots of an American version of Venezuela spreading through the nation.

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Pardon my ignorance, but this ship is not even 15 years old… I remember when this one and the sister ships were being built in san diego…I would think she has at least another decade left in her?

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Darn, she was built in 2004 and now said to be retired??:
I didn’t check the age when this came up as I assumed that she would be at least 15 years old to be considered for retirement.
Anybody know what is the reason for this “retirement”??
Or is it “fake news”??? (Very popular these days, it seams)

If I had to guess it would be due to a decrease in oil being shipped out of Valdez. I guess I’m surprised they aren’t repurposing it into foreign trade or as floating storage, I thought tanker day rates were really high right now.

That make sense both because there are less oil being produced and some are being exported, reducing the need for Jones Act compliant tankers.

Would it be economically feasible to use this tanker for foreign trade while retaining US flag, or would they re-flag to MIR or eqv.?

I also notice that this one is twin screw/twin engines, which make her less fuel efficient than single engine tankers of the same size, especially newer vessels.

Older US built single hull tankers were popular for FSO/FPSO conversion, both because they were “built like a brick sh*thouse” and because they were mostly steam turbine driven. Less to remove or preserve/Large boiler capacity.
I was involved with two such conversion as P&I entry inspector. (One an Exxon Valdez sister)

A friend just sent this…

Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert.
Congress said, "Someone may steal from it at night."
So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.
Then Congress said, "How does the watchman do his job without instruction?"
So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions,
and one person to do time studies.
Then Congress said, "How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?"
So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people. One was to do the studies and
one was to write the reports.
Then Congress said, "How are these people going to get paid?"
So! they created two positions: a time keeper and a payroll officer then hired two people.
Then Congress said, "Who will be accountable for all of these people?"
So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.
Then Congress said, "We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $918,000 over budget, we must cut back."
So they laid off the night watchman.
NOW slowly, let it sink in.
Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter. Does anybody remember the reason given for the
establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY during the Carter administration?
Anybody? Anything? Anyone? No? Didn’t think so!
Bottom line is, we’ve spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency, the reason
for which very few people who read this can remember!
It was very simple… and at the time, everybody thought it very appropriate.
The Department of Energy was instituted on 8/04/1977 , TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON
Hey, pretty efficient, huh???
34 years ago 30% of our oil consumption was foreign imports. Today 70% of our oil consumption is foreign imports.
Ah, yes – good old Federal bureaucracy.
INDUSTRY TO THE SAME GOVERNMENT? What can possibly go wrong?
Hello!! Anybody Home?
Signed… The Night Watchman


It’s probably a safety requirement by Alyeska.

It’s actually a 4 engine twin screw vessel (diesel electric), but yeah not as efficient as a slow speed plant

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It’s also significantly less likely to lose all propulsion in confined waters and cause a spill.

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Nah. I have hauled crude out of Valdez on single screw engine ships

According to Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation:

There will be one less with “backup propulsion system” when the Alaskan Frontier is retired.
BTW Didn’t double hull become compulsory years ago per IMO?

OSG hauls crude to nikiski and lower west coast. All on veteran class single screw tankers. I have been on 2 of the 3 ships they have running up and down. Not sure what I’m missing here

Before or after 2015??

PS>I’m not sure what you are missing here either??

They been running since 2010 I think is when they started up there. Still running today. They are single screw double hull

Also this is just a financial decision by ATC. It could be back in the future

Sorry, I took “veteran class” to mean “single hull”.
There appears to be no regulations that require propulsion redundancy in Prince William Sound, only Escort tugs over 5000 Bhp.

There should be regulations like that worldwide.