Marine Link
Monday, September 25, 2017

BIMCO Guidance for Seafarers on Lifeboats

Image: BIMCO

BIMCO has developed new guidance for seafarers on the safe launching and recovery of lifeboats using fall preventer devices (FPDs), to reduce the number of seafarer fatalities and injuries. Lifeboat accidents resulting in fatalities and serious injuries are all too frequent, despite efforts in recent years to reduce them. Most of the accidents happen in boats using conventional davits and on-load release systems. However, recently other parts of the suspension and lifting systems have been identified as points of failure too, particularly the wire rope falls on larger lifeboats.

Guidelines: Replacing Lifeboat Release Mechanisms

Draft guidelines to ensure release mechanisms for lifeboats are replaced with those complying with new, stricter safety standards have been agreed by IMO’s Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Equipment (DE), 53rd session, in order to reduce the number of accidents involving lifeboats, particularly those which have occurred during drills or inspection. The draft Guidelines for evaluation and replacement of lifeboat on-load release mechanisms will be submitted to the Maritime Safety Committee in May (MSC 87) for approval, alongside the anticipated adoption of amendments to the International Life-Saving Appliances (LSA) Code and the Recommendation on testing of LSA…

Blowout Preventer Arrives at NASA for Analysis

Coast Guard, New Orleans Port Authority and Homeland Security units provide an escort as the blowout preventer of the Deepwater Horizon is transported on the Mississippi River into New Orleans, Sept. 11, 2010. The blowout preventer will be used to help the joint BOEM/USCG investigation determine the circumstances surrounding the explosion, fire, pollution, and sinking of the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Deepwater Horizon. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Stephen Lehmann

According to a September 12 report from the Associated Press, Coast Guard official said the 300-ton device that failed to stop the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill after a rig exploded has arrived at a NASA facility in Louisiana for analysis. Lt. Suzanne Kerver told The Associated Press that the barge carrying the blowout preventer reached the New Orleans facility on the afternoon of September 12. (Source: The Associated Press)  

Man Overboard Prevention and Recovery

John Haynes

More than 80 maritime professionals attended two one-day events focused on the sub IMO / sub 80-ft. sector in Southampton, U.K. this Spring. The Man Overboard Prevention & Recovery Workshop brought together an international group of experts armed with the latest knowledge to identify problems that affect the maritime sector worldwide. Workshop lead John Haynes opened the day saying said, “Expectations, requirements and capabilities are changing for many maritime organizations. High profile roles are evolving close to shore and offshore in U.K., European and international waters.

Lamprell's Revenue Falls 65 pct, Cuts FY Forecast

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Nightman)

Oil rig builder Lamprell Plc reported a 64.7 percent fall in revenue in the first half of the year and cut its full-year forecast, hurt by lower activity levels across the industry. The company said it expected revenue for 2017 to be in the range of $370 million to $390 million, as it saw continuing low levels of walk-in work. Lamprell had forecast full-year revenue to be in the lower half of the $400 million-$500 million range in March. Lamprell, which runs three rig building yards in the UAE, said revenue fell to $159.2 million in the six months ended June 30 from $451.3 million a year ago.

New USCG Rule for Lifesaving Devices

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) published a final rule aligning its regulations with the 2010 Coast Guard Authorization Act. Before 2010, certain uninspected commercial vessels including barges and sailing vessels fell outside the scope of the statute requiring the Coast Guard to regulate lifesaving devices on uninspected vessels. The Coast Guard is now requiring all uninspected commercial vessels, within the scope of the statutory requirement , to carry lifesaving devices even if they carry no passengers for hire; this includes certain uninspected commercial vessels, including barges and sailing vessels.  

U.S. Offshore Oil Drilling Rule Planned

Offshore fire courtesy CMMI

The United States is planning to impose a major new regulation on offshore oil and gas drilling to try to prevent the kind of explosions that caused the catastrophic BP Plc oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing Obama administration officials. The Interior Department could make the announcement as early as Monday, the paper said. It is timed to coincide with the five-year anniversary of the BP disaster, which killed 11 men and sent millions of barrels of oil spewing into the gulf.

Baltic Index Edges Lower on Weaker Capesize Rates

(File photo: Star Bulk)

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, slipped on Wednesday as rates for capesize vessels fell. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, fell 7 points or 0.52 percent to 1,337 points. The capesize index lost 96 points or 3.52 percent to end at 2,628 points, marking its biggest one-day percentage decline in two weeks. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $813 to $19,129.

Shipping Confidence Continues to Climb -Report

© weerasak / Adobe Stock

A recent survey found that shipping confidence reached its highest rating in the past three years in the three months to end-August 2017. According to the latest Shipping Confidence Survey from international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens, the average confidence level expressed by respondents to the survey was up slightly from the 6.1 out of 10 recorded in the previous survey in May 2017 to a three-year high of 6.2. The improved rating was attributable mainly to increased confidence on the part of owners, up from 6.1 to 6.5.

Hydril Receives Order From Diamond Offshore

Hydril Company announced it has received another order for the purchase of a blowout preventer multiplex control system from a subsidiary of Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. Delivery of the system will be in 2003 for use within the Diamond Offshore fleet of rigs. Chris Seaver, president and CEO of Hydril Company said "This is the third deepwater blowout preventer multiplex control system Diamond Offshore has ordered from Hydril since the third quarter of last year. We are pleased to be selected to assist Diamond in their on-going program to upgrade their deepwater fleet of rigs."

Blowout Preventer Technology in Question

According to a May 23 report from the Houston Chronicle, the Deepwater Horizon disaster has raised questions about the adequacy of blowout preventers, invented nearly 90 years ago, which remain the oil and gas industry's last line of defense in controlling runaway wells. The incident has cast doubt on whether the technology of the blowout preventer, or BOP, has kept pace with the industry's rapid expansion into more complicated deepwater fields. (Source: Houston Chronicle)

Wellhead Plugging Attempts Underway

The mobile offshore drilling unit Q4000 holds position directly over the damaged Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer as crews work to plug the wellhead using a technique known as "top kill," May 26, 2010. The procedure is intended to stem the flow of oil and gas and ultimately kill the well by injecting heavy drilling fluids through the blow out preventer on the seabed down into the well. A nearby vessel sprays sea water near the surface of Q4000 to keep oil and fumes from interfering with operations. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley)  

Aker's MPO Unit Wins Industry Award at OTC

Photo: Aker Solutions

Aker Solutions' subsidiary, Managed Pressure Operations, won a prize for its riser safety system at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston. The Aker Solutions unit won the Woelfel Best Mechanical Engineering Achievement Award for its Riser Safety System (RSS). The award recognizes products, devices or systems that reflect innovation or practical use of mechanical engineering in solving problems, improving design or maximizing performance, according to the ASME International Petroleum Technology Institute that hands out the award.

New Offshore Transfer Device Displayed at Offshore Europe

The FROG-XT4 in action (Photo: Reflex Marine)

Reflex Marine, a specialist in offshore personnel access by crane, will exhibit its FROG-XT transfer device range for the first time at the 41st SPE Offshore Europe Conference & Exhibition from the September 8-11 in Aberdeen. Having unveiled the prototype in at OE in 2013, Reflex Marine will now show the finished product at this years’ show. The FROG-XT offers operators a flexible solution to their personnel transfer needs with a choice of four-, six- and 10-person capacity devices.

DHS Launches $1.2b Nuke Port Security Plan

UPI has reported that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has launched a $1.2b plan to deploy more advanced radiological screening devices at U.S. ports. By 2011, the DHS expects to have 1,400 of the next-generation screeners deployed at both ports and border crossings. The new detectors will range in cost from $350,000 to about $500,000 each, compared to the $180,000 for those currently employed. Officials, however, expect that the more-expensive systems will reduce the number of containers flagged for more-complete inspections each year from 821,000 to 15,000, the report said. The DHS also announced a plan to deploy the new devices in and around U.S. cities, and Oxford said work on a $3 million pilot deployment program has begun in New York City, GSN said.

Variable Bore Rams is 35

Celebration Logo

Variable Bore Rams, Inc. (VBR), one of the largest original equipment manufacturer (OEM) ram and BOP component providers in the world, is celebrating its 35th year of providing exceptional support and service to blowout preventer operators. The company, founded in Lafayette, Louisiana, has grown from offering a single variable bore ram model to hosting one of the largest inventories of OEM blowout preventer rams and elastomers in the world. VBR’s 26,654 square foot state-of-the-art warehouse facility…

World Record Attempt: Suhay Tries to Break Distance by Dinghy Mark

Photo courtesy of McMurdo

In 2014, Robert Suhay tackled the “longest single-handed distance sailed in a dinghy by a male – 283.5 nautical miles (326.24 miles)” into the face of Hurricane Arthur for a Guinness World Record. Next week, Suhay will attempt to break his own record in a 14-foot Laser dinghy unassisted from Beaufort, N.C. to Annapolis, Md., a distance of about 340 nautical miles that will take him around Cape Hatteras and across dangerous ocean shipping lanes. But, this time, Suhay will be using McMurdo’s Automatic Identification System (AIS) solutions to help keep him safe during the journey.

Salazar Visits GOM Rigs, Observes Inspections & Safety

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar visited three offshore drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico July 28, where he received updates on the improved inspection process and additional safety requirements for blowout preventers and well construction. “We are quickly and thoughtfully implementing safety reforms for offshore energy operations to ensure workers, communities, and the environment are protected as the nation develops its energy supplies,” said Salazar. “Today, we saw production activities and shallow water drilling operations that are implementing the new standards as they continue their operations. The Secretary was accompanied by Deputy Secretary David Hayes, Director of Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) Michael R.

Safety Belts in Fall Arrest Systems - Good Riddance

In recent years, one of the more controversial things OSHA has done in the Shipbuilding industry is prohibit the use of safety belts in Personal Fall Arrest Systems. Although it is fair to say most of the industry saw the wisdom in this, there were a large number of companies that felt the switch to fullbody harnesses was a needless expenditure that would not result in any significant improvement in safety. One shipyard reported to OSHA it was not in favor of immediately switching to safety harnesses because they owned approximately 4,000 safety belts and replacing them immediately would cost $570,000. While a half a million dollar investment might make a company think twice…

Safety Belts in Fall Arrest System: Good Riddance

In recent years, one of the more controversial things OSHA has done in the Shipbuilding industry is prohibit the use of safety belts in Personal Fall Arrest Systems. Although it is fair to say most of the industry saw the wisdom in this, there were a large number of companies that felt the switch to fullbody harnesses was a needless expenditure that would not result in any significant improvement in safety. One shipyard reported to OSHA it was not in favor of immediately switching to safety harnesses because they owned approximately 4,000 safety belts and replacing them immediately would cost $570,000. While a half a million dollar investment might make a company think twice…

New Recommended Practices for U.S. BOP Compliance

In order to support the oil and gas industry in complying with the US Department of Interior’s new regulations for immediate re-certification of subsea BOP (blow-out preventer) stacks, DNV has issued a Recommended Practise guiding owners and operators through requirements and technical aspects. As one of the responses to the Deepwater Horizon accident, the US Department of Interior former Minerals Management Service issued increased safety measures for energy development on the outer continental shelf. Oil companies have complained about the lack of clarity over the new rules. “To support the industry with guidance and a tool for the re-certification DNV…

Tug Company Goes Full Steam with Cloud Computing

Venyu, a company in business continuity, cloud-based virtualization, and battle-tested data recovery, announced that E.N. BISSO has expanded its VenyuCloud, cloud computing and virtualization platform. E.N. BISSO, a provider of harbor and tug towing services for the Gulf Coast, is improving operations with flexible cloud hosting, improved network availability and enhanced IT support, Venyu said. E.N. BISSO supported its fleet of 15 vessels for docking and undocking of oceangoing vessels and barge combination units via a small data center in its main location, linked to a small branch office.

Salazar Directs Deepwater Oil & Gas Containment Exercise

MWCC to Deploy Capping Stack for Exercise in the Gulf. As part of the Obama administration’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the oil and gas industry’s ability to respond in the event of a deepwater blowout and ensure that offshore oil and gas production can continue to expand safely and responsibly, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today charged the Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) with conducting a live drill this summer to deploy critical pieces of state-of-the-art well control equipment in the Gulf of Mexico.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Sep 2017 - Maritime Port & Ship Security Edition

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