Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, spent with friends and family.

If you’re offshore, I know you’re thankful to still have a job (I would be). Enjoy the great food and camaraderie out there. 😉

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6 thoughts on “Happy Thanksgiving

      • You’re right about the stress! Some people tell me to just chill out, but I constantly worry about finances and I know I’m better off than most in the industry who’ve been laid off. The stress is killing me!

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      • Yes, it really, really SUCKS!
        As for why so few jobs right now? There are a couple of reasons.
        #1 the price of oil dropped like a rock and has stayed low for over 2 years now. Close to 3 years. Everything is tied to that. The drilling companies can’t afford to keep drilling if the price is under a certain level. For deepwater, that price is probably somewhere around $65/barrel. It is still only around $55 recently (and that has come up from $27).
        When the drillers (offshore) stop drilling, they lay up their rigs. Every one of which has somewhere between 150-200 people working onboard each hitch. So double that. Then add on all the people who work on shore to support the rig. You can double it again (at least).
        For each offshore drilling rig, there is usually 4-6 support vessels working with it. Crew boats, supply boats, dive boats, well intervention vessels, etc. When the rigs get laid up, so do all those boats with all their crews.
        The ones who got laid off early in the downturn were most likely to be able to grab any job openings in other sectors of the marine industry (the few still open without specialized ‘training’). They jumped ship to work in fishing, towing, deep sea and passenger sectors. Those people have already filled any possible openings out there.
        #2 reason is that it is VERY HARD now to transition from one sector to another. The USCG has decided to restrict mariners to ONE sector for life. Maybe intentionally, maybe not. But the effects of their rule changes have made it damn near impossible to work in more than one sector of the industry. For example. Last time I was affected by the downturn, I left the offshore oilfield and went to work on tankers (deep sea). That is not possible anymore since I do not have a certificate for tanker man PIC. Companies require that piece of paper before they will hire you to work on their tankers. I worked on tankers for 13 years, but because I have not in the last 5 years, I am no longer ‘qualified’! IF I step down and sail as a deckhand, I might be able to get hired on, but still not likely because they will then tell me I am way overqualified for the job and they feel like I will quit asap.
        Same goes for moving from offshore to towing, I don’t have towing experience within the last 5 years, so don’t have a towing endorsement on my license.
        Cruise ships are only interested in people with previous cruise ship experience. Etc.
        Catch 22. Companies are only interested in talking to the 100% perfect candidate. They know there are tens of thousands of us out of work and desperate. They get thousands of applications for every single job advertisement. They can afford to pick and choose and they are doing that.
        #3 we have 7 maritime academies around the country. Each one pumping out 200-300 licensed officers every year. Lots of companies go direct to those schools and hire their graduates rather than advertising. They can get young people who will then be trained exactly the way the company wants (rather than someone with experience of doing things differently).
        I don’t see any improvement in employment prospects in the maritime sector until the price of oil goes up and they start drilling offshore again. That means the frackers on land need to stop drilling like crazy every time the price goes up a little bit. They are seriously depressing the market! I’m sure everyone who doesn’t work offshore is just loving the low price of oil, but it is really killing a lot of people who’ve been out of work because of it. It’s not like we’ve even seen the real benefits of the low price of a barrel since so much of what WE pay for gas is tacked on- taxes, etc. At $55/bbl, we should be paying less than half of what we do! Right now, it should be only around $1, instead I’m paying $2.05 (and I’m sure I live where it’s lower than most places)
        Here’s a breakdown of costs on a barrel of oil re price of a gallon of gas https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=gasoline_factors_affecting_prices

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