Monster Offshore Facility

The New York Times calls it, “The Biggest Ship in the World (Though It Isn’t Exactly a Ship)”

“It’s called Prelude, and it’s bigger than big. More than 530 yards long and 80 yards wide, it was constructed with 260,000 metric tons of steel, more than was used in the entire original World Trade Center complex, and it’s expected to displace 600,000 metric tons of water, or as much as six aircraft carriers.”

This one is to be anchored in North West of Australia, but if one comes to the US EEZ, it is going to be an incredible Marine Inspection task.

Another Deepwater Horizon in Our Future

According to a report by the U.S Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board as reported by gCaptain, the problems that caused the Deepwater Horizon disaster have gone unresolved.

“Industry practice and federal safety rules currently in place in the Gulf may not prevent another catastrophic spill, according to the report. U.S. regulations fall short of standards used for drilling off the coasts of Norway, Australia and the U.K., which require more rigorous, regular and independent safety-equipment checks, the agency said.”

The copyrighted Bloomberg story also reports government and industry reaction.

The CSB draft report can be found here.

Summer 2012 “Delivering the Goods” Available

The new addition of the Acquisition Directorate’s news letter, “Delivering the Goods” (pdf), is available here.

It is an informative issue. There are stories about

  • Developing the infrastructure to accept the first 18 Webber Class Cutters–6 to Miami, 6 to Key West, and finally 6 to San Juan
  • The 35 foot “Long Range Interceptor” LRI II boat for the National Security Cutters
  • Rescue 21 maintenance contract
  • Expected completion of the 110 Mission Effectiveness project. (Only 17 of the 49 (now really only 41) will get this treatment.)
  • There is a note about installation of the “Watchkeeper” software for inter-agency operations centers
  • A profile of the C-130 project manager
  • And, Master Chief Ayers talks about Coast Guard interest in small Unmanned Air Systems, particularly Scan Eagle.

CG Admiral to Head DOI Bureau

gCaptain is reporting Rear Admiral James Watson who has been serving as Director of Prevention Policy for Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship, will assume leadership of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Adm Watson served as Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response.

The DOI news release is here:

“BSEE was one of the two agencies to succeed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) on Oct. 1, 2011. Admiral Watson will begin as BSEE Director on December 1, 2011, and will succeed Michael R. Bromwich.”

“BSEE is responsible for enforcing safety and environmental regulations for oil and gas operations on the Outer Continental Shelf. BSEE’s functions include: permitting and research, inspections, offshore regulatory programs, oil spill response, and newly formed training and environmental compliance functions.


Drilling in the Arctic–Ready or Not

gCaptain points out that the administration is planning to expand offshore drilling and in this particular case the expansion will include drilling off the North Slope.

“U.S. officials acknowledged they lack a full understanding of the Arctic’s environment and ecosystem. For that reason, the U.S. decided to delay lease auctions in the Arctic until 2015 and 2016 “to use the intervening years to better address the science gaps,” Interior Deputy Secretary David Hayes said.”

This puts a rush on the Coast Guard to develop infrastructure in this area. Considering the pace of Congressional action and the hesitance to add to appropriations, it will be very difficult for the Coast Guard to be fully ready when the initial capability is required.