Skip to content

IMCA takes action as countdown to deadline for submission on the Jones Act changes draws close – 7 days to go

Published on 11 April 2017

Myth – Coastwise Fleet Capability

The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) is selecting a key fact-a-day on the 7-day countdown to the April 18, 2017 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) comment submission deadline, to highlight the potential risks if CBP revokes 40 years of precedent as reflected in its own rulings. Rulings that have brought decades of stability and billions of dollars in investment to the oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico.

IMCA issued its vessel impact report on April 4, 2017 and it is crammed with information and facts and figures showing that the U.S. coastwise fleet is unable, on its own, to support activities in the deepwater market.

  • Myth: There are sufficient coastwise qualified vessels to perform all offshore construction activities.
  • Fact: The coastwise qualified fleet is not invested in deepwater construction vessels and equipment, and therefore cannot construct the offshore facilities.

IMCA has carried out a detailed assessment of the worldwide fleet of offshore construction vessels and refined the analysis to identify those vessels technically capable of conducting work in deepwater and ultra-deepwater. The assessment then analysed the distribution of those vessels in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico in late 2016, before the industry downturn in 2013.

The facts are very clear:

  • There are no coastwise qualified deepwater pipelay vessels.
  • There are no coastwise qualified heavy lift vessels.
  • There are very limited coastwise qualified vessels that are capable of operating in other critical deepwater sectors.
  2016 2013
Vessel Type Coastwise Qualified Non-Coastwise Qualified Coastwise Qualified Non-Coastwise Qualified
Light Construction vessels 2 18 2 16
Pipelayers 0 7 0 8
Heavy Lift vessels 0 2 0 4
Well Intervention vessels 1 1 0 1
Seismic survey/geophysical 2 2 2 15
Total 5 30 4 44

Without these specialist assets, it is difficult to see how the offshore deepwater production facilities consisting of pipelines, risers, control umbilicals, production platforms etc., can be completed. The consequential risks to investment and activity in the deepwater Gulf are enormous.