2001 Maritime

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October 3, 2001

FGH to resume work on Petrodrill rigs
Friede Goldman Halter, Inc. says that its Friede Goldman Offshore subsidiary has reached an agreement with Petrodrill IV Ltd. and Petrodrill V Ltd. ("Petrodrill'') to advance the construction of two Amethyst-class deepwater semisubmsersible drilling rigs.

Friede Goldman will work, at the customer's direction, and operate on a cost-reimbursable basis with contractually established rates for equipment, personnel, and labor. Preliminary estimates place work for this phase of completion at four months for the company's Pascagoula, Miss., facility and five months at its Orange, Texas. facility.

Petrodrill may opt to add additional phases, says FGH.

FGH also announced plans to consolidate its ongoing Pascagoula, offshore projects at its East Facility on Greenwood Island. The West Bank facility will undergo a restoration and upgrade during the temporary closure.

According to Offshore Group president Ron Schnoor, "With as many as six oil rigs moored at the docks over the past several years, FGO has been unable to allow for maintenance dredging. We have approximately $500,000 in the port's coffers specifically designated for dredging of the basin alongside our docks at the West Bank, so this is the perfect opportunity to carry out that project at no cost to the company.''

Operators warned of terrorist dangers
"Ship operators should be aware of the potential for use of the ship as a mechanism of terrorist ·activity and take appropriate safeguards in foreign ports particularly the last foreign port of call," said Joseph J. Cox, President of the Chamber of Shipping of America. Testifying at a Senate hearing on security in the rail and maritime sectors, Cox said operators should limit access to personnel with ship’s business. The operator should take special care in reviewing the seafarer documents of newly hired crew.

At the dock in the U.S., or at anchor,continued Cox, the ship should maintain a watch at the waterside and report questionable activity to the Coast Guard. The master should limit access to the ship by personnel allowing only those who have business with the ship.

Ship operators should comply with the U.S. Coast Guard’s request that a crew list and a list of ·other persons on board be transmitted to the Coast Guard at least 96 hours before arrival at the U.S. (The current regulation, now under review for change, has a 24 hour time frame.)

American pilots, continued Cox, should ensure that masters are fully aware of the intended track of the ship. The ·pilot should also consider maintaining separate communications with responsible shore personnel.

Where VTS is presently operating, the VTS controllers should be vigilant about traffic being ·monitored/controlled and other traffic nearby.

Agents, who are usually American companies, should review ship’s documents closely for non-conformities and resolve issues prior to ship arrival.

Ports/terminals should limit access to their facilities to only those persons having business with the ·facility and who can adequately identify themselves with photo identification. They should cooperate with the Master in limiting access to the ship. Ports/terminals and ships should agree on methods to accommodate crew changes and visits by vendors to chandler the ship or effect necessary repairs.

On the issue of lightering (transferring oil from larger to smaller tankers, which can enter the port at a shallower draft), Cox said "we understand the lightering community has initiated some additional steps including adding a deck watch, exercising the piracy part of the ship’s plan, keeping the radar active, more frequent patrols of the operator by small boat and maintaining communications with the Coast Guard."

Cox said that the Coast Guard, in addition to working with other federal agencies, should work with state and local governments and public and private terminals to ensure that regulations and requirements are uniform nationwide.