Proposed changes to Jones Act could cost thousands of (foreign) offshore jobs

Of course the API is against it, it increases their cost a miniscule amount while significantly benefiting American mariners.


The sky is falling the sky is falling!!!

1 Like

If it cannot be done with American labor, there is no reason why it should be allowed at all.

The giveaway OCS visas are not going to continue being handed out so easily under the Trump Administration.

1 Like

It is not only foreign CSVs working in the US GoM that will be affected. There are no US built SSCV able to do the lifting jobs required to install the large facilities required to economically exploit the resources found in the GoM.
The cost of doing so by assembling from modules within capacity of existing US built Crane Vessels (if there are any with DP capacity to work in deep water) would be prohibitively costly.

Inshore assembly and Float over is an option that can be used without offshore heavy lifting, but difficult to do for a Spar or TLP, even in the calm GoM.

To build anything like the Thialf, Saipem 7000 or even Balder/Hermod in a US yard today will be very expensive. The market for such SSCVs in the GoM alone could not support even one such unit.

It would have to compete worldwide to be at all feasible, but could meet with reciprocal protectionist measures in other parts of the world.

That a ban on foreign vessels will bring thousands of US mariner jobs is a pipedream. It may be the final nail in the coffin of US Offshore Oil & Gas industry. (Frack’em)

This is a typical example of where there are no real practical US flag option, yet the use of a foreign flag vessel is penalized:
Of course they may have “forgotten” to apply for an exemption, or not associated transporting a drilling rig from GoM to Alaska, via Cape Horn with “carrying commodities between US ports”.
Here is a bit more details about the transport:
To do a dry tow on a Barge towed by a single tug around Cape Horn may have been hard to get approved by MWS and Underwriters.

PS> If the HLV had called at a foreign port enroute, would the transportation still be covered by the Jones Act??

It’s not a total ban on foreign vessels you nitiwit. All that’s happening is the vetting process will be more stringent. No more pay the fee and rubber stamp the paperwork to gain access to OUR market. If there is a US vessel with same or similar specs as an applying vessel then why do we need the foreign vessel in the market? Application will and should be denied. If it’s a big heavy lift vessel or pipe layer where there is no US flag equivalent then they get to go to work.


He continues to confuse Jones Act shipping and American flag continually on all his posts. He’s just too damn dense to educate himself.

1 Like

A ban on foreign vessels routinely, notice I say routinely, working in the US OCS would probably create a only few hundred direct mariner jobs at this time. But a few hundred jobs would be a big help right now. During the next boom it would create thousands of jobs.

There will always need to be occasional Jones Act waivers for uniquie specialist vessels.

Although if US specialist vessels are built, they will be able to compete on the world market. Once the vessel is built and earning the necessary prices in the US to support it, its fixed costs are covered. Then its marginal costs will be low enough that it could compete in the world market. I suspect the timely availability may be more important than the day rate when hiring these specialist vessels.

Yes. The cargo is still being transported from a US origination point to a US destination point.

Are you referring to me, or to Fraquat? (See post #6)

That is good news for the GoM Oil & Gas industry and the people working there, because otherwise the activity there would slow down and jobs be lost due to lack of capacity to perform the work required to get it humming again some time in the future.

Let’s hope that the “power that be” does apply logic, not nationalistic policy goals, when making their decisions on handling of such applications.

Most countries have these kinds of rules in effect. American vessels can’t even work in Nigeria/Brazil/Mexico with American crews, it has to be locals onboard.

US flag Offshore vessels working outside US waters are allowed to use non-US crews, except the Master. I believe this applies regardless of whether the vessel is Jones Act compliant or not??

Alternatively; could the vessel change flag to Vanuatu (or whatever) when working overseas and re-register to US flag when working in the GoM??

To insist on foreign vessels coming into the GoM for short assignment change to US crews for that period (i.e. Australian system) is not very productive for anybody.
At best a few US crews gets work for a few weeks/months, but are changed out as soon as the vessel is leaving GoM,
Both operational and safety routines on the vessels suffer from the disruption, which anybody that has experience with vessels returning from short stints in Australian waters will testify.

Any additional cost of this system will be born by the charterers, who need to factor that in when deciding whether to go ahead with a project. It has cost Australia dearly.

It also does not do away with the need to carry tools and equipment from shore to the vessel by Jones Act compliant vessels, with the added risk and cost of offshore ship-to-ship transfer, puting US mariners in harms way.

It looks like this story is even more complex then though:

How does the Jones Act apply to transport between GoM and Canada??

PS> In July 2012 I was MWS for the loading of another old rig on the same HLV vessel (KSK) in Singapore, also bound for Alaska:


Not only American vessels have to have some locals in their crew, but they are able to work there as long as they comply with local rules and regulations.

As far as I know there are American flag offshore vessels working in all the countries you mentioned and in some others, but probably not with full US crews.

I my experience US owners usually employ foreign crews when working in foreign waters, whether required by local authorities or not.

That’s what I was trying to figure out too. GoM to Canada shouldn’t have been a violation, should it? Especially since the “cargo” (the rig) was discharged and shifted to a different transportation method.

Anyone have a good explanation on this and what the violation is exactly?

Not sure but my guess is that the cabotage part of the JA is written as a prohibition not as a requirement. It’s not a requrement to use a JA vessel but a prohibition against using a non-JA vessel.

Probably because the rig wasn’t being transported to Canada, it was being transported to Alaska by way of Canada. It’s the same reason that you can’t haul a load of containers from Long Beach, discharge them in Canada, reload them (or load them on a second ship), then drop them off in Alaska. What matters is the beginning and final destination.