In a press release dated 15 November 2021 the American Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) has made specific accusations about one of Geoquip Marine’s Integrated Geotechnical Survey Vessels (IGSV), the Geoquip Saentis.

OMSA has alleged that the Geoquip Saentis is working in contravention of the Jones Act. The Jones Act is a US Federal Legislation enacted following the First World War to stimulate the US shipping industry and to ensure that there would be a sufficient supply of US merchant mariners in times of national emergencies.  More recently, with the development of the Offshore Wind Farm Sector, some industry participants are seeking clarity with regard to its modern day interpretation.

The law requires that all ships carrying goods from a US port to anywhere within the country, including its waters, be US-built, US-owned, US-crewed, and US-flagged.

Having sought expert advice Geoquip Marine responds to the OMSA statement as follows:

Geoquip Marine is the world’s largest wholly dedicated operator of specialist offshore geotechnical data acquisition, analysis and reporting assets. The company operates globally and in recent history has completed works for many of the world’s leading specialist offshore energy developers in the US, Europe, Africa and Asia. In the US this includes various well recognised individual projects working with the leading developers offshore in Virginia, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts.

Geoquip Marine has been invited to participate in a competitive tender for each of these contracts by the leading US developers and has then been appointed by those companies.

As the world’s leading specialist operator focusing on this vital niche sector in a critical rapidly growing market for global energy supply, Geoquip Marine is proud that it utilises world-leading technology, employed on research vessels of the highest specification of their type.

The company uses the most highly qualified and experienced crews available, regardless of where they originate from, to supply accurate geotechnical data for its customers. These are the primary factors in the awarding of the contracts in the competitive tenders. No other organisation can match Geoquip Marine’s level of wholly dedicated resources, retained knowledge, customer focus, and international experience in this highly specialised process. The critical factors are the accuracy of the data, the technical knowledge and the safe implementation of the research process.

All Geoquip Marine research vessels meet the highest international standards of operations and all Geoquip Marine crew are highly trained and have all the necessary permissions to work, regardless of where they are in the world.

It is wrong to insinuate that Geoquip Marine crew are hired at rates below industry standards. Geoquip Marine prioritises the crew welfare in its quest for accuracy and those crew are very well treated, very well rewarded and are given continual training to guarantee that they are able to operate to the highest standards of safety and efficiency. As a result, Geoquip Marine is renowned internationally for being an excellent employer and this is a vital factor in securing the services of the very best crew members.

Geoquip Marine is proud to be able to boast that as a result of its exhaustive working practices it has industry-leading safety standards of any operator in its market.

Geoquip Marine vessels do not transport cargo or merchandise. The Geoquip Saentis is an IGSV, it is dedicated to research and has world-leading drilling technology and an onboard laboratory. It collects seabed data, allowing geotechnical parameters to be derived and supporting environmental research.

Geoquip Marine has historically relied upon the longstanding position that research work of the type that it is specifically focused on analysing the characteristics of the seabed is not covered by the provisions of the Jones Act.

Geoquip Marine is committed to long term operations in the United States. It uses highly qualified US crew whenever possible and actively encourages US crew to apply to work on its vessels. The company recently established a US entity and is committed to investment and growth in the US, creating jobs and opportunity for American people, both onshore and offshore.