Not only do we have a Republican majority in congress now but the Republican party also has enough seats to override presidential veto’s.
Although the price of crude has been dropping due to the OPEC price wars the US domestic energy production is at all time highs.
As the president said in his press conference we are closer now to energy independence than we have been since the industrial revolution.
Energy production equals jobs. Not only on the Keystone pipeline or the deep water gulf but also the offshore Great Lakes and offshore ANWAR.
I have been waiting many years for some kind of stimulus to prod our government into drilling the Lakes and ANWAR.
I always thought it was going to be fuel oil going over $5/gallon or a ridiculously high crude oil price.
But with crude below $78/bbl. I don’t think that is going to be the stimulus but rather a desire from the US public to achieve true energy independence and the public desire to loose no more US lives in the deserts of Babylon.
My prediction is if and when they do tap the Great Lakes and ANWAR a good majority of the work will be done by boats that have been mothballed far too long.
And it will take skilled “mud boat” Captains and Mates to operate these vessels.
Coming out of the academy with an Unlimited and a limited tonnage license plus DP will not help you a bit if you don’t know how to run a boat.
The Alaskan OSV season will be very short and only a select few officers will be willing to spend the Artic summer on an OSV so that further limits the “competition” for that job sector.
The Great Lakes has about a 3 month winter season (give or take) that makes operating any vessel other than an ice breaker or ice hulled vessel just about impossible.
That translates into OSV companies that take contracts on the GL expecting crew members to pull longer hitches in exchange for a solid 3 months of the winter off.
This also limits the number of crew members willing to pull the kind of hitches that will be required to maximize the summer season on the Lakes.
Yes a good deal of the work could be done by DP boats in the end,but I think in the beginning most of the work will be done by boats that have not yet been converted or that are worth converting.
And I also think that instead of DP being a closed market to a select few members of the “DP Fraternity”, the demand for US DPO’s will become great enough that companies will start to train some of us ol’ school Captains in the “Order of the DP”.
Demand will outweigh the supply and that will force a change for those of us wanting to move forward with the changing technology of our industry but can not seem to get a foot in the door anywhere that could help us improve ourselves.
I say drill, drill, drill!; as long as it is done in an environmentally friendly way especially on the GL where many of us draw our drinking water from.
And let us not sell our domestic crude on the international market but rather save it for true US energy independence so we can stop participating in the centuries old war in the Middle East.