Why is nobody discussing Crowley's acquisition of SeaRiver?

Bon voyage to another handful of well-paying positions in the U.S. Merchant Marine. I’m sure those crews are devastated at the moment.

Wonder how big of a paycut it’s going to be…30%?

I know someone that works for SeaRiver. Staying will require them to take a ~42% pay cut and join the AMO.

assuming SeaRiver is(was) still Exxon/Mobil?

also wondering if this sale is all that is left of that once large fleet? if so, this must be the end of any major oil company owning their own US flagged tankers?

on paper, that ended with OPA90, i.e. the creation of SeaRiver, Polar Tankers, etc. It was probably wishful thinking that this would have insulated them from deep pockets liability…

Operating ships is a very capital intensive business. Sea River had 3 while Crowley operates a shit load. It doesn’t take a genius to see this would be a win-win for both sides.

Except for the mariners who are going to take a major financial skinning by being shanghaied into the AMO / SIU (with no representation thrown in to boot!)


I don’t necessarily disagree with your statement but exactly what sort of representation did they have before this went down?

For 40% more money what kind of representation did they need? AMO won’t do anything good for them.


I retired SIU over 8 years ago but Crowley had a ME TOO agreement with the various unions.

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Devastated is an understatement. Seeing alot of people here talking about the paycut. Forget about the paycut.

I work there. From were it stands right now only the officers, and only some officers, will be retained. The rest will be canned. Yes I know what the press releases said and I am here to tell you that is bogus. They are not going to keep anybody if they can get away with it. More to the point, speaking in the long term I don’t think they will retain many of the officers either, they don’t want or need them after a certain point. In fact from how it sounds I think Crowley would be more happy not to take anyone and re-crew entirely with their own methods if it were up to them (which would be SIU and AMO).

Short version I expect to be unemployed.

Also the reason nobody is talking more about it in reply to the OP here is because people are too scared they might lose their entire bacon (investments benefits whatever) altogether if they say anything about whats going on.

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It’s not a win win. It’s a huge win for Crowley and a loss for Exxon. The entire reason Exxon spent the in-ordinate amount of money it costs in overhead to own a fleet all these years is because of liability. The only way they felt comfortable moving product out of the area for many years after the incident was if they had total top down control of safety management, engineering, operations, and so forth. They did not feel they could get enough of that control simply by chartering someone else’s ships.

Exxon spent a huge amount of money to construct the liberty and eagle bay, both of which are basically brand new. Additionally, two out of three ships, the American Progress and the Eagle Bay were both recently in for major yard visits and renewals. Crowley is basically getting two almost brand new ships and one totally refurbished ship here plus the exclusive charter on top of that. So now Exxon will lose the investment, and they will lose the control I suspect alot more than they think, and they will lose all of the recent money spent on the yard stays. And they will lose the ability to train future business/commercial side personnel in house.

Crowley is going to make out like bandits. Given the amount Exxon spent on building these two ships the actual win win decision would have been to arrange a charter agreement and gotten out years ago instead of spending all that cash to build. By the way the combined price tag was astronomical.

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It is the end of the “Exxon shipping company/standard oil” legacy/fleet as it were.
Polar still has five ships, for now. ATC I think has only two operating now, or is moving to where they will only have two. Which given the size of those ships is probably still too many so you can expect them to drop out at some point here also.

You are no doubt being served a shit sandwich in this deal. I hate to say it but a lot of the reasons you put forth as rational for Exxon to keep their ships are the same ones for getting out of that end of the business.

Two things.

  1. If I were a betting man: I’d say Crowley will try and retain every Sea River employee they possibly can. They have a hard a enough time crewing, especially at the management level.

  2. Show me the contracts that lead to a 40% pay cut. I was a cadet with with ATC. I’m an AMO mate now. I’m making more as an AMO mate than the mates at ATC. I think that might not be the case at the management level, but 40% is steep. The Crowley pay isn’t the best in AMO so your mileage may vary.

I wonder where the officers will come from, considering Crowley and AMO do not exactly have any supply of surplus tanker-experienced/credentialed Mates and Engineers. Will this be a 100% DC contract (for new business), or which contract will Crowley use to cover the vessels?

Exxon is interesting, as you are absolutely correct in that they prefer to run everything from the top down, micro-manage, and control everything. Sometimes that’s not bad, though it’s highly inefficient at the least. That said, SeaRiver (Exxon) has been chartering ships from outside operators for years.

The American Progress is a nice ship, and while it may have just come out of a yard period, it is by no means a new ship. Why do you think Chevron is dumping the old Double Eagles on charter in favor of taking the newbuilds from Seabulk?

I absolutely feel for you guys. This doesn’t affect me one way or another - I have no interest in Crowley or SeaRiver. That said, look at the offshore oil industry and wage cuts. 40% loss isn’t uncommon, so many readers here are not exactly flowing with sympathy.

Surely Chevron still does?

I see Sea Rivers section in SUP’s West Coast Sailor newspaper but never knew exactly what the arrangement was between Sea River and SUP. Does you seniority count for and transfer to SUP?

If you register at SUP and contact Chevron I’m confident with your tanker experience (assuming your deck or engine) will get you hired.

Best of luck.

They do but you can count them on one hand, product tankers. Conversely they have about 30 foreign flag vessels and use them to carry the crude oil cargo. My info is 6 years old from when I worked for Chevron. There may have been changes since then.

Why is that?