French President Jaques Chirac said today that he is "angry" and determined to act on both the European and world levels to improve the security of maritime transportation. Visiting one of the areas hit by the "ecological disaster" caused by the Erika spill, Chirac said it was "unacceptable" that the community bear the full impact of damages caused by "an unrestrained race for profits."
Chirac pledged that France would use its upcoming presidency of the European Union to make "precise and concrete" proposals on [tanker] controls, safety rules and indemnification of [spill victims].
Chirac detailed four objectives France will pursue:
Ships which wish to enter European ports must be submitted to more systematic, in-depth inspections, conducted by governmental agencies--"which is manifestly not the case today." The results of these controls must be available in a public international data bank, so that all the professionals know the names of dangerous ships, the names of their owners and their flags."
Chirac wants Europe to take the initiative in demanding the creation, under the auspices of IMO, of an international entity responsible for "accrediting and controlling" certifying authorities, so as to end "laxness and its dangerous consequences."
Europe should also impose a special inspection regime, which is much tougher on older ships, and should revise the rules governing transportation of the most polluting and most dangerous materials.
States operating "flags of complacency" that are candidates for European Union membership must stop handing over their public control responsibilities to classification societies that also work for shipowners or charterers.
Chirac will propose at the next summit meeting of industrial nations,in July in Japan, the creation of a working group on flags of convenience. It will identify "dangerous practices that must no longer be tolerated" and the appropriate sanctions to counter them.
Meantime, the French parliament today voted
unanimously to create a commission of inquiry into the safety
of maritime transportation of dangerous or polluting products.
The parliamentary commission will have 30 members. It will investigate
the safety of maritime transportation, control of international
standards for ships and cargoes and means of improving antipollution
Siem exercises option to acquire NCL shares
The companies will cooperate in the following specific areas:
They also agreed that "operational activities may be coordinated both in Norway and internationally with the objective of maximizing the utilization of the companies' operational infrastructure."
In response to significant consolidation amongst oil companies, the drilling industry has been through a period of consolidation with fewer and larger drilling contractors as a result. The two parties are of the opinion that significant consolidation benefits will be generated by the new co-operation arrangement.
Maersk Contractors Norge AS currently operate three jack-up drilling rigs and one semi-submersible in Norway. Smedvig currently operate three semi-submersibles and one jack-up drilling rig, and has further one drillship and one semi-submersible drilling rig under completion in Norway.
The co-operation agreement now entered
into between Smedvig and Maersk Contractors Norge AS does not
involve any ownership integration, nor the sale or purchase of
any assets. Maersk Contractors Norge AS and Smedvig will continue
as independent companies.
Brown & Root planning to build FPSO's in Brazil
The BIMCO Laytime Calculator 2000
The BIMCO Voyage Estimator 2000