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February 28, 2001

More rig headaches for FGH
Friede Goldman Halter, Inc. said today that previously announced cost overruns and delays related to two offshore rig projects for Ocean Rig ASA and two for Petrodrill have "continued to create operational problems and financial losses for the company."

Friede Goldman says it has been discussing project status and solutions with both Ocean Rig and Petrodrill in an attempt to resolve these issues.

Friede Goldman says it has reached an agreement in principle with the surety company that wrote the performance bonds on the Petrodrill project. The surety company has agreed to provide funding for the completion of the two Petrodrill rigs, subject to execution of a definitive agreement and "certain customary conditions." The Petrodrill project currently employs over 1,000 employees in Texas and Mississippi.

However, Friede Goldman says "negotiations today with Ocean Rig have not reached an agreement on terms necessary to enable the company to complete the two rigs being constructed for Ocean Rig. The company does not intend to complete the rigs which, without an agreement, would require substantial additional loss reserves. If the company does not complete the rigs, substantial additional losses could be incurred. "

Unions seek OECD action against Trico Marine
Offshore Mariners United (OMU) -- a coalition of US maritime unions -- and the ITF (International Transportation Workers Federation) have asked the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) to investigate what the OMU describes as "Trico Marine Services, Inc.’s violations of the OECD’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises."

The OMU says the OECD Guidelines are designed to promote responsible conduct by multinational enterprises and to facilitate resolution of disputes arising from their operations. According to OECD Guidelines for Employment and Industrial Relations, “employers must respect the right of their employees to be represented by trade unions, engage in constructive negotiations,” and are “not to hinder the exercise of a right to organize.”

“Trico’s anti-worker behavior has been condemned by organizations around the world,” said Tom Zehner, a former Trico captain. “We’re now asking the OECD to investigate this situation and bring the parties together in hopes of resolving this dispute.”

According to the union’s submission, “Trico’s conduct regarding its treatment of its employees constitutes a systematic attempt to deny their employees’ rights and to deprive them of representation by Offshore Mariners United.” The submission asks the U.S. State Department (as the National Point of Contact for the OECD) to meet with the representatives of the unions and Trico to seek a resolution to these issues.

The complaint alleges that Trico has responded to efforts by Trico workers to form a union with a campaign of harassment and intimidation that continues to date.

Major contract for Drew Marine
Carnival Cruise Lines and Ashland Specialty Chemical Company's Drew Marine Division have signed a two-year chemical supply contract. Under terms of the agreement, Drew Marine will supply technical service and more than 38 specialty chemical products for boiler water and diesel engine cooling, water treatment, and marine maintenance products, and other specialty water treatment applications, aboard Carnival's 15-vessel fleet.

Drew says the agreement is an "innovative program" designed for Carnival Cruise Lines that incorporates the "newest, most advanced, and environmentally sound marine chemical solutions."

Drew Marine's service commitment, which includes monthly service visits by trained and qualified Drew Marine engineers, is an integral part of the agreement. Drew Marine engineers provide shipboard and shoreside technical review, training, and product application assistance, as well as monitor product consumption to improve operation efficiencies.

Umberto Sampiero, Carnival's staff vice president technical purchasing and budgeting said:"This arrangement between Carnival's technical operations division and Ashland's Drew Marine Division is expected to help reduce the line's chemical inventory and overall maintenance cost, enhance equipment technical performance and ensure conformity and consistency of products. The 'turn-key' agreement is also expected to facilitate improvements in our administrative area by reducing total chemical transaction costs and to provide logistical efficiency, and monitoring products consumption analysis." He added that a similar process with Drew Marine has been utilized aboard Carnival's sister company, Costa Cruises, since 1998.

Drew Marine chemical supply agreements are customized for individual customers and include the following common benefits:

  • Chemical supply and inventory management of contracted products to reduce freight costs involved in obtaining chemicals on an emergency basis and eliminating unnecessarily high chemical aboard ship.
  • Reduces dangerous and hazardous chemicals, including products containing marine pollutants.
  • Monitors chemical usage onboard customer ships to ensure proper usage and to detect, identify and report chemical consumption anomalies.
  • Consolidates the number of chemical suppliers and products, reducing redundant chemicals used onboard customer ships and providing an over- all reduction in chemical usage. Supplier and product consolidation eliminates the need for customers to process multiple purchase orders and invoices, reducing their administrative tasks and expenses.
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