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Offshore Support Journal

Offshore Support Journal

Jones Act subsea ship can compete with all-comers

Mon 11 Sep 2017

Jones Act subsea ship can compete with all-comers
Harvey Sub-Sea is the first of a pair of high spec Jones Act subsea vessels that Harvey Gulf International Marine ordered from Eastern Shipbuilding

The latest addition to Harvey Gulf International Marine’s fleet is a high-spec subsea vessel that the company believes is the equal of any similar vessel anywhere


In early to mid-2017 debate raged about proposed changes to the Jones Act that would have had profound implications for the offshore support vessel market in the Gulf of Mexico and for international owners whose vessels operate there.

Putting aside the highly contentious and sometimes acrimonious debate about what the effect of the changes might have been in other sectors of the deepwater market in the Gulf of Mexico, owners of Jones Act construction vessels stood to gain from what would have been a de facto ban on international vessels in the region.

Prior to the downturn in the industry brought about by the steep fall in oil prices, owners of Jones Act vessels invested heavily in light and medium construction vessels and inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) vessels for which, sadly, there is little demand currently.

Jones Act owners in the US argued that, given the growth of the Jones Act fleet of construction/IMR vessels, the need for foreign tonnage has all but disappeared and that there would be little or no adverse impact on operations in the Gulf of Mexico were Jones Act-qualified ships to replace the foreign fleet.

Among the US companies that stood to benefit from the proposed change in the interpretation of the Jones Act was Harvey Gulf International Marine, which has invested heavily in recent years in a high-spec fleet of supply ships and construction vessels, several of them powered by environmentally friendly liquefied natural gas (LNG), Harvey Gulf being the first vessel owner in the US to opt for LNG, as OSJ has several times highlighted.

April 2017 saw the company take delivery of the first of two multipurpose support vessels (MPSVs) scheduled for delivery to it in 2017. On taking delivery of the vessel from Eastern Shipbuilding, Harvey Gulf highlighted the fact that the ship, Harvey Sub-Sea, is a Jones Act-qualified unit that “has the technical capabilities to efficiently, effectively and safely perform high-quality field development activities currently being performed by a foreign fleet”.

Harvey Sub-Sea has the size, crane capacity, deck space, accommodation, equipment and station-keeping capability equivalent to, or better than, its foreign competitors,” said Shane Guidry, chairman and chief executive of Harvey Gulf.

Harvey Sub-Sea can undertake a broad range of subsea installations and removals, inspection, maintenance and repair and provide flotel services,” said Mr Guidry. “It can be equipped to lay umbilicals and cables and undertake well intervention and hydrate remediation operations.”

The vessel is 100 m overall with a breadth of 22 m and is equipped with a 250-tonne heave-compensated knuckleboom crane with 1,200 m of wire. The crane’s winch is below deck, expanding its lifting capacity and enabling loads of 107 tonnes to be delivered to water depths of approximately 3,500 m.

Harvey Sub-Sea has accommodation for 150, all in one and two person cabins, 13,000 ftof deck space and a 7 m x 7 m moonpool. The vessel has a S61 (Heavy) Helideck and meets ABS DP2, SPS Code and MLC 2006 certification requirements, among others. The ship’s moonpool is strengthened around its perimeter, enabling subsea handling equipment to be fitted there. The vessel is fitted with a 1 in thick steel deck with a rating of 10 tonnes/m2. “This vessel truly demonstrates Jones Act vessels are here and ready for service,” said Mr Guidry.

Speaking recently, Mr Guidry also noted that, at a time when other vessel operators are stacking vessels and reducing fleet size, Harvey Gulf continues to secure long-term contracts for vessels and is taking delivery of new vessels and  of vessels reconfigured for subsea services. In May 2017, it signed long-term contracts for the MPSV Harvey Intervention, 175 ft fast supply vessel (FSV) Harvey Hustler, 180 ft FSV Harvey Runner and 220 ft FSV Harvey Express. The charters followed Harvey Gulf’s recent agreement with Delta Subsea to outfit Harvey Steeler, which was in layup, to provide remotely operated vehicle and survey services. 

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