Offshore Marine Service Association
-From Sarah Branch, Director of Government Relations, Offshore Marine Service Association: 1 (a). The Offshore Marine Service Association represents more than 225 member companies, including approximately 100 firms that own and operate marine service vessels. These sophisticated vessels, some 1200 in number, connect America with its offshore energy resources, providing every pipe, wrench, computer, barrel of fuel, and gallon of drinking water to rigs and platforms, as well as transporting tens of thousands of workers to and from the facilities. This critical flow of supplies keeps the heart of America's energy industry pumping around the clock. In addition to its members that own and operate vessels, OMSA’s associate members include shipyards, surveyors, vessel equipment manufacturers and distributors, even financial institutions, attorneys, and accountants.
OMSA is the voice for this important and vibrant industry, representing its members’ interests before Congress, the Coast Guard, and federal, state and local officials.
OMSA member companies operate offshore supply vessels, platform supply vessels, oceanographic research vessels, construction vessels, anchor handling vessels, tug boats, barges, crew boats and liftboats.
(b). Throughout its history, OMSA has successfully represented the industry on regulatory and legislative issues including vessel inspections, crewing, licensing, and international safety treaties.
The oil and gas industry marked a milestone in 1947 with the drilling of the first true offshore well. It happened in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, 45 miles off the Louisiana coast. And with that innovation, a new need was created for vessels to work in the sometimes harsh offshore environment.
Initially, fishing boats and retired World War II military vessels were pressed into service delivering the tons of equipment, men and supplies needed to support offshore facilities. Then in 1955, the first dedicated offshore supply boat was launched. Two years later, leaders of the evolving offshore vessel industry came together to form an informal organization to promote their common interests and represent them in Washington. By 1973, with the industry focusing more of its efforts both nationally and internationally, the group formally incorporated as the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA).
(c). The purpose of OMSA is:
• To be the leading national association of, and spokesman for, the offshore marine transportation service industry.
• To vigorously defend the cabotage laws of the United States.
• To proactively foster, develop and promote positions which are favorable to the common good of its members with governmental and regulatory bodies, worldwide.
• To encourage and promote the highest standards of safety training and environmental protection in its member companies.
(d). OMSA is run by its President and CEO who reports to fourteen member Board of Directors.
Its staff includes a Vice President, a Director of Government Relations, a Director of Membership Services and a Director of Jones Act Compliance.
(e). Meetings - The association meets four times a year, allowing members to come together and discuss face-to-face the issues that affect them.
Committees - OMSA has a number of active committees addressing issues affecting safety, security, human resources and vessel operations. This is where members shape the positions that OMSA will take on critical issues.
News Updates - Through monthly electronic newsletters and email updates, OMSA reports on pending laws, regulations and other news that may impact the industry. Social Events - Each year, OMSA holds a number of events designed to give members a chance to enjoy each other's company, build relationships, and reinforce the culture that has made OMSA so effective. Events include golf tournaments, fishing rodeos and a Christmas dinner celebration.
Business-to-Business Directory - OMSA members can access the association's on-line directory to find detailed contact information and products provided by member companies. The site also serves as an electronic marketplace to help companies advertise their services, find vendors and even place requests for quotes.
Vessel Security Program - OMSA has partnered with ERM (Environmental Resources Management) to develop a series of Coast Guard-approved and internationally compliant vessel security plans. OMSA/ERM also provides annual drills, audit assistance and crew security training to meet the regulatory requirements of the security plans.
OMSA Safety Training Program - OMSA offers a safety training program for company vessel crewmembers. In 2005, the OMSA program was accepted as meeting the requirements of the SafeGulf program, an offshore operator safety orientation program which is now being required by many oil and gas production companies. The program focuses on maritime-related safety and was developed through the expertise of OMSA's Safety Committee. Member companies have the option of using in-house training or sending crewmembers to an accredited training institution. Vessel General Permit (VGP) Manual - OMSA offers a "best practices" manual for use by vessel operators to comply with the 2008 EPA requirements for management and reporting of discharges incidental to the normal operations of commercial vessels under the Vessel General Permit program.
SEMS Involvement – OMSA has been an active participant in meetings hosted by the Center for Offshore Safety (COS) to stay up-to-date on the SEMS elements the oil companies require of vessel companies to work for them. The latest was a SEMS Workshop that OMSA co-hosted on September 11, 2011 in Houma, along with the South Central Industrial Association (SCIA). We distributed flyers for the workshop during our last membership meeting in July, as well as sent out mass email communications to all of our members on it.
2. Trinity Liftboats is a member of OMSA for less than five years.
3. OMSA has not corresponded with its membership concerning the incident. The event occurred in Mexican waters. The only information OMSA has received concerning the incident are from very limited press reports. OMSA stands ready to assist the Coast Guard and NTSB when either agency choses to communicate safety information with industry members.
4. (a-d) None of the current OMSA staff were employed in 1990. While we do not have record of internal communications from 22 years ago, after discussing the issue with leading members, we believe that the OMSA Liftboat Committee communicated the NTSB’s recommendations during Committee meetings. Hopefully we closed this issue on August 9, 2012, by sending an email to committee members reiterating the NTSB’s recommendations from 1990 (please see attached).
(e). OMSA agrees with the NTSB’s 1990 recommendations and looks forward to conveying any safety recommendations the NTSB may have concerning the Trinity II incident.
(f). OMSA is committed to responding to future National Transportation Safety Board recommendations.
5. OMSA regularly shares information with its membership concerning lessons learned from marine casualties and incidents. Coast Guard marine safety personnel attend/participate in all of our membership meetings and we work with the same personnel in various industry/Coast Guard maritime committees. Through the Coast Guard – OMSA Quality Partnership, we are able to discuss ways to improve at the Coast Guard Flag Officer and OMSA executive leadership level.
6. Safety Management Systems are a common practice in the marine service industry. BOEMRE regulations require of offshore exploration and development permit holders to implement SMS programs in all their operations and their subcontractor’s operations. This includes offshore vessel service companies.
(a). OMSA supports the development and implementation of SMS programs.
(b). OMSA has not polled our members on their SMS programs.
7. OMSA does not provide its members with any weather related services.