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One person has died, a dozen are missing and six others have been rescued after a commercial lift boat used to service oil rigs capsized in hurricane force winds south of Louisiana’s Port Fourchon, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Wednesday.Rescuers in Coast Guard cutters, aircraft and volunteer civilian boats were hunting for the dozen missing people in the Gulf of Mexico after the 129-foot (39-meter) commercial vessel, Seacor Power, capsized in rough seas eight miles off Port Fouchon about 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, officials said.Searchers were “saturating the area,” said Coast Guard Captain Will Watson, who added that some people could still be trapped on the crippled vessel.
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced Tuesday that it will postpone increasing canal transit fees following calls from the shipping industry to reconsider the rate hikes amid a spate of global supply chain disruptions.The higher rates for the canal's transit reservation system were scheduled to take effect on Thursday but will now start on June 1, allowing the maritime industry more time to prepare for the adjusted booking fees, ACP said. The proposed changes represent a minimum cost increase per transit reservation of $20,000 (up 57%) and a maximum cost increase of $58,500 (up 167%).
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping company Flex LNG announced Wednesday it has entered into time charterparty agreements with Cheniere for four LNG carriers with the option for a fifth.Under the agreements, Flex LNG will employ newbuild Flex Vigilant which will be delivered to Cheniere ex-yard in May 2021. In addition, Flex LNG will deliver two of its existing LNG carriers to Cheniere during the third quarter of 2021, and a third existing LNG carrier during the third quarter of 2022. Cheniere will have the option to add a fifth LNG carrier from Flex LNG’s existing fleet during the third quarter of 2022.
Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics revealed on Wednesday that its SM200 wireless helm system has been installed and is being used aboard two sister U.S.-flag articulated tug-barge (ATB) tugboats.Sea Machines said its dealer Rio Controls & Hydraulics, of Houston, managed the installations and technology integrations at a U.S. Gulf of Mexico shipyard. In the coming months, Rio and Sea Machines will continue to work together to install additional SM200 systems on at least five more ATB tugboats by the same owner.Sea Machines’ wireless helm system introduces flexible control for mariners, meaning the primary operator is no longer bound to a fixed control station.
The White House on Wednesday nominated attorney Tommy Beaudreau, who oversaw energy development programs at the Interior department during the Obama administration, as the agency’s second in command.Beaudreau will return as deputy to Secretary Deb Haaland after serving nearly seven years there under former President Barack Obama, becoming the first person to lead the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which oversees offshore oil and gas activity.He later served as chief of staff to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.The Biden administration is in the midst of a formal review of its oil and gas leasing program to weigh taxpayer value against environmental costs.