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US OSV owners see ‘countless opportunities’ from Jones Act

The 100-year old US cabotage law the Jones Act may not be the most popular piece of legislation with some but domestic OSV owners are believe it offers great opportunities.

“The second century of the Jones Act presents countless opportunities for us to advance and strengthen our industry in exciting new ways, while always remaining true to our founding mission,” said Aaron Smith, the president and ceo of the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA).

OMSA, well known in the offshore oil sector, and less well known farther afield, represents the leading owners of offshore service vessels (OSVs) and the yards building them.   Its members serve oil exploration and drilling, a mainstay in the Gulf of Mexico; as wind energy takes hold throughout the U.S. East Coast, look for OMSA’s member companies to take a leadership role.

The organisation’s  proposed a new Board of Directors slate,  which will voted on at an upcoming  meeting, reads like a “Who’s Who” of the business, with names including Candies, Chouest, Hornbeck and Laborde.

Smith- with a background including work in Washington, DC legislative matters, continued: “With an expanded Board of industry leaders reflecting the full scope of America’s marine industry, OMSA will remain steadfast in its commitment to supporting the Jones Act; fostering a safe, secure, and viable maritime sector; and providing for the hardworking men and women who make it run.”

The new chairman of OMSA, Tony Cheramie III, a top executive at OSV operator L & M Botruc Rental, based in Galliano, Louisiana,  said: “OMSA will continue working tirelessly to shape public policies for the benefit of the American mariners, shipyard workers, vessels operators, and members engaged in every aspect of our industry. Chiefly, OMSA will continue to ensure full fidelity to the Jones Act by all governmental authorities.”

Botruc, a third-generation family owned company, with the new OMSA Chair being the grandson of the founder,  is emblematic of OSV business; its early supply vessels dating back to the 1950s were described as “having brought the pickup truck of the oilfields…to offshore waters”.

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