Vessel construction, planning underway for Crowley to Edison Chouest transition

Council conducting independent review of vessel designs By July of 2018, Edison Chouest Offshore, or ECO, of Louisiana will be the marine services contractor for oil tankers and the terminal in Prince William Sound. Until then, Alyeska and ECO will be working with Crowley Maritime, the contractor who currently provides those services, on a smooth transition between the two contractors. These services include escort tugs, general purpose tugs, oil recovery storage barges and associated personnel, all of which are key oil spill prevention and response assets for Prince William Sound. For instance, two state-of-the-art escort tugs accompany every laden tanker that leaves Port Valdez. One tug is tethered through the confined waterway called the Valdez Narrows, and one tug stands by at Hinchinbrook Entrance until the tanker is 17 miles into the Gulf of Alaska. The primary responsibility of these escort tugs is to rescue or “save” a tanker that may experience problems and prevent oil from spilling, and initiate response efforts should these prevention measures fail. … Continue reading

Louisiana’s Edison Chouest Offshore to take over from Crowley in 2018 as Alyeska’s maritime contractor

Council invited to observe trainings, ship construction, on-water exercises In June, Alyeska Pipeline officially confirmed that Edison Chouest Offshore will take over from Crowley Maritime as the provider of oil spill prevention and response services for the terminal and tankers in Prince William Sound. The overlap of Crowley and Edison Chouest’s marine assets in Prince William Sound will take place over a three to six week period in the summer of 2018. The contract, signed in early August, is effective until 2028. Edison Chouest is planning five new escort tugs, four new general purpose tugs, three new barges, and two line boats. Construction of the general purpose tugs began this summer. Edison Chouest is planning to purchase two barges currently in Prince William Sound and build three new barges. Edison Chouest owns shipyards in the Gulf of Mexico, and the majority of the testing will be done nearby. Further testing will be done in Puget Sound and later in Prince William Sound once the vessels arrive in the region. Alyeska has promised further details about the vessels such as escorting performance specifications, firefighting capabilities, and spill response equipment in the near future. Observing the process The council is attending meetings along with ADEC, the Coast Guard, and Crowley for updates and information from Alyeska and Edison Chouest. Roy Robertson, the council’s drill monitor, has been attending on behalf of the council. “They have offered us the opportunity to observe vessel construction, crew trainings, and on-water exercises,” said Robertson. “We are setting aside funds for these trips to the shipyards and training facilities in the Gulf of Mexico.” … Continue reading

Marine services for Alyeska to change hands in 2018

Update: This article ran in the May issue of our newsletter, The Observer, stay tuned for updates in the next issue! Crowley Marine Services, the contractor who provides oil spill prevention and response services to Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, will no longer provide those services after June 30, 2018. Crowley has held this contract with Alyeska since the company created its Ship Escort/Response Vessel System, also known as SERVS, after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Crowley also provided tanker docking services since 1977, and helped dock the first tanker at the Valdez terminal. Crowley owns the powerful tugboats that escort loaded oil tankers through Prince William Sound. The tugs also scout for ice drifting from nearby Columbia Glacier, and are equipped to start cleaning up a spill or tow a disabled tanker if needed. In addition to the escort tugs, Crowley owns response tugs that help the tankers dock and other support vessels and barges stationed in Prince William Sound which contain Alyeska’s boom, skimmers, and other equipment for a quick response to an oil spill. Crowley employs 230 mariners and 17 administrative personnel in the area. … Continue reading