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VIDEO: Vigor Offshore Patrol Cutter Featuring Ulstein X-BOW

In response to the U.S. Coast Guard’s demanding Offshore Patrol Cutter requirements, Vigor Industrial looked beyond the conventional. With the Ulstein X-BOW®, Vigor delivers unmatched seakeeping and endurance in a capable offshore workhorse.

Shipbuilding Tribune – VIDEO: Vigor Offshore Patrol Cutter Featuring Ulstein X-BOW.

Vigor Announces ULSTEIN’s SX151 Design in the United States

ULSTEIN has over time been cooperating with the American shipbuilding group Vigor Industrial in the development of the conceptual design for a coastguard vessel (OPC – Offshore Patrol Cutter). Vigor is now announcing ULSTEIN’s SX151 design in the United States as part of a campaign aimed at the U.S. Coast Guard, that plans to renew its fleet with up to 25 new ships.

In response to the U.S. Coast Guard’s demanding Offshore Patrol Cutter requirements, Vigor Industrial looked beyond the conventional. With the Ulstein X-BOW®, Vigor delivers unmatched seakeeping and endurance in a capable offshore workhorse”, states Vigor in their campaign «Affordable Innovation. Proven performance.»

We have worked together with Vigor for two years, and have developed a concept we have great faith in. The ship is 100 metres long and 16.4 metres wide and has a top speed of 22 knots. A typical operating speed can vary from 5 to 22 knots, and the ship is therefore equipped with a combined diesel mechanic / diesel electric propulsion system. The ship accommodates 124 persons, is equipped with a helicopter deck and hangar, and a hangar for three rescue boats,” says Deputy CEO, Tore Ulstein, responsible for Market and Innovation in Ulstein Group.

This is a long-term project: “Several yards are currently sending their prospects to the Coast Guard. Towards the end of 2014 or beginning of 2015, the Coast Guard will award the contract”, says Ulstein.

Shipbuilding Tribune – Vigor Announces ULSTEIN’s SX151 Design in the United States.

Fight for Mississippi River Underway (USA)

Dredging Today – Fight for Mississippi River Underway (USA)

After the U.S. Coast Guard closed an 11-mile stretch of the Mississippi River for dredging and to replace missing navigation buoys, hundreds of barges are today stranded by low water.

On Monday, dredging operations near St Louis were halting river traffic for 12 hours at a time, according to the Mail Online.

There are currently several dredgers working to clear a channel from St. Louis to Vicksburg.

Dredging Today – Fight for Mississippi River Underway (USA).

Lift-boat crash holds up Mustang production

http://www.upstreamonline.com/migration_catalog/article1196077.ece/ALTERNATES/article_main/mustang+818-l+field

03 May 2012 10:40 GMT
Bill Lehane

Preparations to bring the Mustang Island 818-L field back into production have been thrown off course after a lift-boat due to work on the project crashed during another job.

Silvermere Energy chief executive Andy Morrison admitted the delay was “unfortunate and frustrating” for the US-focused junior, which is partnered with operator Dominion Production in the development.

Morrison stressed the incident did not directly impact the AIM-listed outfit or its Kleberg County partner financially, since the boat was not on contract to Dominion at the time of the accident.

Last Saturday, the lift-boat struck an unmarked obstruction while en route to Galveston to take on supplies before heading on to Corpus Christi to commence the Mustang Island 818 pile-driving.

The collision tore a three-foot hole in the vessel’s hull, causing it to take on large amounts of water and lose engine power.

It is thought the boat will now be out of action for at least two months.

The incident is now under investigation by the US Coast Guard, with the vessel having been towed to Cameron, Louisiana for inspection.

Laredo, the contractor to Dominion, is attempting to source an alternative vessel.

The field’s I-1 well, which was acquired by Silvermere Energy from Core Oil & Gas, previously enjoyed 15 years of production between 1980 and 1995 before being shut down for economic reasons.

The junior had initially hoped to restart production by the end of last year.

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APNewsBreak: US oil spill plan prepares for Cuba >>> “show me the Plan”

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By JENNIFER KAY, Associated Press – 2 days ago

MIAMI (AP) — If a future oil spill in the Caribbean Sea threatens American shores, a new federal plan obtained by The Associated Press would hinge on cooperation from neighboring foreign governments. Now that Cuba is the neighbor drilling for oil, cooperation is hard to guarantee.

The International Offshore Response Plan draws on lessons from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and was created to stop offshore oil spills as close to their source as possible, even in foreign waters. The plan dated Jan. 30 has not been released publicly. The AP obtained a copy through a Freedom of Information Act request.

After crude oil stained Gulf Coast beaches, state and federal officials are eager to head off even the perception of oil spreading toward the coral reefs, beaches and fishing that generate tens of billions of tourist dollars for Florida alone.

The plan comes as Spanish oil company Repsol YPF conducts exploratory drilling in Cuban waters and the Bahamas considers similar development for next year. Complicating any oil spill response in the Florida Straits, though, is the half-century of tension between the U.S. and its communist neighbor 90 miles south of Florida.

Under the plan dated Jan. 30, the Coast Guard’s Miami-based 7th District would take the lead in responding to a spill affecting U.S. waters, which includes Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The district’s operations cover 15,000 miles of coastline and share borders with 34 foreign countries and territories.

Repsol’s operations in Cuban waters are not subject to U.S. authority, but the company allowed U.S. officials to inspect its rig and review its own oil spill response plan.

“We’ve demonstrated already and we continue to demonstrate that we’re a safe, responsible operator doing all in its power to carry out a transparent and safe operation,” Respol spokesman Kristian Rix said Thursday.

Rix declined to elaborate on the company’s response plans, but he did say two minor recommendations made by U.S. officials inspecting the rig were immediately put in place.

If an oil spill began in Cuban waters, Cuba would be responsible for any spill cleanup and efforts to prevent damage to the U.S., but the Coast Guard would respond as close as possible.

Though a 50-year-old embargo bars most American companies from conducting business with Cuba and limits communication between the two governments, the Coast Guard and private response teams have licenses from the U.S. government to work with Cuba and its partners if a disaster arises.

The U.S. and Cuba have joined Mexico, the Bahamas and Jamaica since November in multilateral discussions about how the countries would notify each other about offshore drilling problems, said Capt. John Slaughter, chief of planning, readiness, and response for the 7th District.

He said channels do exist for U.S. and Cuban officials to communicate about spills, including the Caribbean Island Oil Pollution Response and Cooperation Plan. That’s a nonbinding agreement, though, so the Coast Guard has begun training crews already monitoring the Cuban coastline for drug and migrant smuggling to keep an eye out for problems on the Repsol rig.

William Reilly, co-chairman of the national commission on the Deepwater Horizon spill and head of the EPA during President George H.W. Bush, said the Coast Guard generated goodwill in Cuba by notifying its government of potential risks to the island during the 2010 spill.

It would be hard for the Cuban government to keep any spill secret if Repsol and other private companies were responding, Slaughter said.

“Even if we assume the darkest of dark and that the Cuban government wouldn’t notify us, we’d hear through industry chatter and talk. If the companies were notified, I’m quite confident we would get a phone call before they fly out their assets,” he said.

Funding for a U.S. response to a foreign spill would come from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund managed by the Coast Guard. As of Feb. 29, that fund contained $2.4 billion.

The plan covers many lessons learned from the 2010 spill, like maintaining a roster of “vessels of opportunity” for hire and making sure the ships that are skimming and burning oil offshore can store or treat oily water for extended periods of time. Other tactics, like laying boom, have been adapted for the strong Gulf Stream current flowing through the Florida Straits.

What the plan doesn’t cover is the research on how an oil spill might behave in the straits, said Florida International University professor John Proni, who’s leading a group of university and federal researchers studying U.S. readiness for oil spills.

Among the unknowns are the effect of dispersants on corals and mangroves, how oil travels in the major currents, the toxicity of Cuban and how to determine whether oil washing ashore in the U.S. came from Cuba.

“My view is that the Coast Guard has developed a good plan but it’s based on existing information,” so it’s incomplete, he said.

Former Amoco Oil Latin America president Jorge Pinon, now an oil expert at the University of Texas, said the Coast Guard had a solid plan.

He cautioned against recent congressional legislation introduced by one of South Florida’s three Cuban-American representatives to curtail drilling off Cuba by sanctioning those who help them do it. The bill is sponsored by Republican U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami.

Instead, Pinon said the U.S. needs to formalize agreements with Cuba about who would be in command if an oil well blew, because the U.S. has more resources available.

“The issue is not to stop the spill from reaching Florida waters, the issue is capping the well and shutting it down,” Pinon said. “We can play defense all we want, but we don’t want to play defense, we want to play offense, we want to cap the well.”

Reilly said the U.S. still needs to issue permits for equipment in the U.S. that would be needed if a Cuban well blew, Reilly said. For example, if a blowout occurred, the company would have to get a capping stack from Scotland, which could take up to a week.

“We know from Macondo that a great deal can happen in a week,” Reilly said. “I’ve been very concerned about getting the sanctions interpreted in a way that permits us to exercise some common sense.”

Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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