New Year Greetings from the Editor
At the time of writing (January 8th 2005) it is most
important to wish all our visitors a happy and prosperous 2005, and having
done that I will ramble on a bit about a few other things.
Firstly I wait with baited breath for further
contributions to the News and Views section and to the Features section. I
know it is a bit more trouble to write thousand words than to take a
picture, but sometimes the results can be more stimulating. I have been
receiving mixed messages from our readership, some of whom have enjoyed the
change and some of whom would like to see the photo competition back,
however virtually everyone likes Picture of the Day from around the world.
The photo competition will be back in October this year.
Reading the financial pages of one of the
broadsheets the other day I was interested to find that BLOGS are the new
means of communication, and sometimes a source of revenue, and it occurred
to be that the MMASS Offshore Review is probably a BLOG. It has not up to
now been a source of revenue, but the potential is there, and one can see
that if there was a financial return in it then we could employ a journalist
to increase the content and quality, and everyone would be really pleased.
The essence of the article was that everyone who was a frequent visitor to a
particular specialist site has a specific interest and therefore any
advertising is guaranteed to get to the target audience. It is certain that
everyone who visits this site does so because they are interested in supply
ships for one reason or another, and the advantage of the internet is that
they can do so from anywhere in the world. Hence we are sending our free
gifts to locations as diverse and Inverness and America, Canada and Korea,
Newquay and New Zealand. If you would like to receive one, email us while
As I said on the Picture of the Day page, we feel
that the best thing we can do in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean disaster,
is carry on as usual, in the interests of sanity. However we are
contributing £500 to the Unicef fund, and it occurs to me that there may be
a need for a "Mariners sans Frontiers" organisation. When-ever there is a
disaster in the world emergency teams of one sort or another rush to the
scene, but their skills are always directly related to the frontline tasks.
And they always need support. There was a picture in the paper on Saturday
of a ship being loaded with boxes of bottled water by "volunteers". The hold
looked like a rubbish dump, and while it might have been quick to load by
tipping the cargo out of the nets it was going to take for ever to
discharge, particularly if the work was to be done by more "volunteers". We
mariners have the sort of skills which could support those on the front line
in many of these disasters. We would at least be capable of effectively
organising the movement of cargo, and more - hiring ships, surveying ports,
acting as pilots. If anyone else thinks such an idea has merit perhaps they
would like to contact me.
Now - on with 2005 and a view from Ted Caucutt in
British Colombia which reveals some extremely interesting facts.
Will drill rigs be operating in the waters off British Columbia anytime
last well, Murrelet L-15, drilled by Shell from the Sedco 135F (now
Petrobras XXII) reached a depth of 9467 feet on the 5th of May,
1969. The entire drilling program of 14 wells ended with only
non-commercial levels of oil off the Queen Charlotte Islands and some
indications of gas in the Tofino Basin. That being said, The Geological
Survey of Canada estimates there are 43 trillion cubic feet of gas and 10
billion barrels of oil under the waters of British Columbia, ten times more
than the Hibernia field in the Atlantic.
consider this: In the Peace River area of northeastern British Columbia,
crews drilled into a swamp called Ladyfern in the winter of 2000, and spent
$10,000 CAD (,4,335)
an hour for helicopters to fly drill equipment into areas of the field
unreachable in summer over the soft muskeg. Ladyfern now produces 785
million cubic feet of gas a day, and should rise to a billion by year’s end.
The newly discovered Greater Sierra find is estimated at 5 trillion cubic
feet and waiting in the wings are the Bowser and Nechako basins, with an
estimated trillion cubic feet of natural gas each. Coal bed methane
throughout the province could add 50 trillion feet of recoverable gas.
Unlike the estimated 43 trillion cubic feet of gas that may be offshore,
these enjoy relatively easy access by land.
why is the industry in such a hurry to see the 1972 Federal Moratorium on
drilling lifted? It is much easier to do now, unencumbered by environmental
reviews and new regulations. In the final analysis, it will be a political
decision made when the federal and provincial governments, along with
Aboriginal First Nations, sort out their jurisdictions.
Hot Seacor News
not often that we have hot news but we have some today. We hear that Havila
have purchased the UK based Seacor fleet for about 85 million dollars. The
five ships involved are the Stirling Tay, Stirling Spey, Smit-Loyd Fame,
Stirling Pegasus, and Stirling Iona.
This who have followed
the fortunes of these vessels will see that the residue of the Star Offshore
fleet has changed hands again, and may wonder what the business of
ship-owning is about - again. Stirling purchased the Star Offshore fleet
when it was a group of middle aged but effective vessels and then added a
number of VS483s to it. There-after they built three utility anchor-handlers
before all the ships except for the Stirling Forth and Stirling Clyde were
sold to Seacor together with the name. It was apparently seem at the time as
being an expansion - a sort of march forward between an established British
and an established American company.
However, it was not long
before the more effective units from the former Stirling fleet began to be
disposed of and most of them are scattered all over the world. The two
latest anchor-handlers for instance are in the Caspian being operated by BUE.
On the other side of the
coin the Havila fleet has varied in size and quality over the years, and it
is not long ago that numbers of their vessels were sold to Groupe Bourbon.
For the British is will be sad if the crews of the former Seacor vessels are
replaced by Norwegians.
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