The Latest News and Offshore Jobs

Welcome to the weekly newsletter for the latest news on shipping, offshore and drilling industries with the latest jobs. This newsletter has the latest news stories and information on offshore employment, shipping, new projects and more. For those looking at working offshore or within the maritime industries this will give you some basic information on what is happening in the offshore industry and what jobs are there and more importantly for new entry people what qualifications and experience is required.

APOLOGIES – There has been no recent newsletter the last few weeks as I have been away offshore

GOOD NEWS – For US based job seekers and new entry people there has been a good lift in land and offshore rig activity in the USA and that means many new start opportunities that you should be chasing to get experience into offshore related drilling jobs and also new entry offshore jobs

Happy Holidays and a Very Merry Christmas to Everyone

OFFSHORE OIL RIG JOBS WEBSITE UPDATES

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DRILLING NEWS

Rig Count Continues to Improve

US drilling activity jumped by 32 rotary rigs to 1,193 units working to week 18th Dec, compared with 1,764 during the same period in 2008, reported by Baker Hughes. Land drilling accounted for all of the gain, up 38 rigs to 1,146 in operation. Inland water activity lost 2 rigs, with 13 still working. Offshore drilling was down by 4 rigs to 33 in the Gulf of Mexico and a total of 34 on the US shelf. Gas drilling increased by 16 rigs to 773. Drilling for oil also increased by 16 units, to 409. There were 11 rigs unclassified. Directional drilling gained 11 rigs to 202 working. Horizontal drilling increased 14 rigs to 572. The Texas rig count was up by 20 to 478 working. Colorado gained 6 to 44. North Dakota and New Mexico increased by 2 rigs each to respective counts of 62 and 50. Oklahoma, Wyoming, California, West Virginia, and Alaska were unchanged at 93, 41, 26, 22, and 9 respectively. Pennsylvania and Arkansas were down 1 rig each to respective totals of 62 and 37. Louisiana lost 4 to 177 working. Canadians weekly rig count increased by 14 to 368, compared with 369 rigs working a year ago

RIG COUNT TICKER NOW ONLINE at http://www.offshore-oil-rig-jobs.com/drilling-rig-jobs.html

Transocean Starts Up Three Rigs

Transocean Ltd. has started up three new ultra-deepwater drilling units in the Gulf of Mexico and off Angola. The Development Driller III semisubmersible had begun operations in the Gulf of Mexico under a 7-year contract with BP. This dual-activity rig can drill to 35,000 ft in 7,500 ft of water. The capacities can be upgraded to 37,500 ft in 10,000 ft of water. Also in the Gulf of Mexico, the Transocean Discoverer Americas drillship began work for Statoil Gulf of Mexico under a 4-year contract. The dual-activity drillship can drill to 40,000 ft in 12,000 ft of water. Off Angola, the Transocean Petrobras 10000 drillship began operating under a 10-year contract with a unit of Petroleo Brasileiro SA. Transocean acquired the ship under a 20-year capital lease contract with P&M Drilling International BV, a joint venture of Petrobras and Mitsui. The dual-activity ship has a water-depth capacity exceeding 10,000 ft.

Rig to Falkland Islands

A tug will tow a North Sea oil and gas exploration rig from a Highlands deep water port on a 62-day journey to the Falkland Islands. The Ocean Guardian rig will be used by Desire Petroleum to explore reserves in the North Falkland Basin. Its owner Diamond Offshore Drilling said the length of the trip from Invergordon on the Cromarty Firth could change if there was bad weather. The tug Maersk Traveller is expected to begin the operation later this week. Fifty-seven personnel will be involved in moving the 24-year-old Glasgow-built semi-submersible rig. Ocean Guardian is part of Diamond Offshore's fleet of 47 rigs, and was previously used in the North Sea. The company expects the semi-submersible to remain off the islands until next August when it would be towed back to the Cromarty Firth. The Cromarty Firth is used for anchoring rigs so they can be overhauled and prepared for new operations. Major oil and gas prospects have been identified in the North Falkland Basin. UK company Desire Petroleum estimate potential oil reserves exceeding 3.5 billion barrels and more than nine trillion cubic feet of gas. Exploration for oil off the Falklands is at a very early stage and no commercial discoveries have been made yet, according to the Falkland Islands Government. In 1998 six wells were drilled to the north of the islands that revealed the presence of a rich organic source rock that could hold up to 60 billion barrels of oil. The islands has put in place "strict environmental legislation" for offshore surveying and drilling activities

Noble Drilling Rig Upgrades

Noble's Brazil-based drillships for US$304 million. Work include covers the fabrication, repair and replacement of components, including the stern section, accommodation blocks, sponsons and heliport. The drillships, Noble Leo Segerius and Noble Roger Eason, will be upgraded sequentially at the BrasFELS yard in Angra dos Reis, beginning with the arrival of the first drillship by early 2011. The two deliveries are scheduled between the last quarter of 2011 and the first half of 2012 respectively. Meanwhile, both parties are in advanced talks on the upgrading of a third Brazil-based drillship operated and majority owned by Noble. When completed, Noble Leo Segerius and Noble Roger Eason will be deployed offshore Brazil to meet the requirements of Petrobras' extensive drilling plans. BrasFELS has recently completed the upgrade of the semisubmersible Noble Paul Wolff and is currently in the final stages of work on Noble Dave Beard, which arrived in Brazil earlier this year. Keppel FELS Brasil is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore's Keppel Corporation, through Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M).

The Round Drill Rig is On Its Way

The Sevan Driller completed the sea trials off the coast of China on November 23, 2009, and has started its voyage to Brasil for commencement of a six-year contract with Petrobras S.A. The rig has undertaken an extensive commissioning and sea trial program, including speed trials confirming the design speed above 9 knots. Sevan Driller was constructed in less than 30 months at COSCOs Nantong and Qidong shipyards in China. The self-propelled rig has an expected transit time to Brasil of 75-80 days including bunkering in Singapore and a crew change in Cape Town, South Africa. Upon arrival in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, the rig will undergo importation procedures and acceptance testing by Petrobras. Sevan Driller will be operating in the pre-salt area with its first location in the Campos basin in a water depth of 1,800 m. The ultra deepwater drilling rig will be capable of drilling in water depths down to 3,000 m and has a variable deck load capacity of more than 15,000 tons. The Sevan Driller is the world’s first cylindrical drilling unit and is based on the same design principles as Sevan’s three FPSOs currently in operation in Brasil and the North Sea. Bron: Maritime an

OFFSHORE NEWS

Rig Fire Off Australia

PTTEP Australasia is now fighting a fire on the Montara wellhead platform in the Timor Sea. The fire broke out during operations to plug the leaking well at the field, which was successfully intercepted over the weekend. The company says the fire broke out around the cantilever section of the West Atlas jack up drilling rig, which is directly above the platform, while heavy mud was being pumped into the well from the West Triton jack up rig about 2 km away. No one was aboard the West Atlas. The rig was evacuated when the oil leak began last August. The Nor Captain fire fighting vessel did pour water onto the fire in the early stages, but it is believed that this vessel has been moved away and is stationed a kilometer or two off the rig area. PTTEP says seawater is also being pumped down the relief well in a bid to wet the gas and help bring the fire under control. The company says the best way to stop the fire is to complete plug the leaking well and stopping the flow of oil and gas to the surface. In late news the well was reported plugged and the fire had also been extinguished but significant damage to rig and platform has resulted

OFFSHORE NEWS

Update on Blowout Offshore Australia

PTTEP Australasia, Perth, has re-boarded the West Atlas jack up rig and the Montara oil field wellhead platform in the Timor Sea to carry out an assessment of damage and safety issues. A three-man reconnaissance team from Alert Well Control spent about 8 hr on the rig to inspect its condition and identify hazards involved in the plan to plug and secure the Montara-H1 horizontal development well that leaked oil and gas for 60 days between August and November. The well caught fire on the last days of an attempt to plug the leak from a relief well and caused extensive damage. The team reported that both the well and the platform remain stable after the kill operation was ultimately successful and the fire extinguished. However preliminary assessment of the rig indicates extensive damage to equipment and many areas on board. The PTTEP team was concentrating on the structural integrity of the rig’s cantilever, which buckled as a result of the fire and is now partially lying on the helideck of the wellhead platform

SHIPBUILDING PROJECT NEWS

New FSRU Conversion

Work is underway at Drydocks World – Dubai for the company’s first Floating Storage Re-gasification Unit (FSRU) conversion project, known as the ‘FSRU Livorno’ Project. FSRUs are floating terminals where LNG is stored before being re-gasified on board. The conversion of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) carrier, ‘Golar Frost’, into an FSRU, is being handled by the main contractor, Saipem, and will be delivered to OLT Offshore LNG Toscana, a company operating in the Italian gas industry. ‘Golar Frost’ will be converted into a floating LNG receiving terminal of FSRU type to be permanently moored offshore Livorno, Italy, approximately 19km from the coast in a water depth of about 120 metres and connected to shore through a gas export pipeline. It will have a storage capacity of 137,000 cubic metres of LNG and a production capacity of 3.75 billion standard cubic metres per annum (bscmpa). The conversion of the LNG carrier includes fabrication and installation of structures such as turret mooring system, aft thruster compartment, foundations of cranes and loading arms, bilge keel and foundations for equipments. In addition, the unit’s external hull, deck and outfitting will be blasted and coated. The project also involves the installation of a side by side berthing mooring system for the LNG carrier, a loading system, LNG transfer system to regasification plant, a process plant for regasification, utilities including power generation and sea water systems, control, automation and communications systems.

Keppel Shipyard Wins $200m Vietnam rig contract

KEPPEL Offshore and Marine has secured Vietnam’s first contract for a semi-submersible tender drilling rig. PV Drilling, a subsidiary of Petrovietnam, has issued a letter of award to Keppel Offshore and Marine yard, Keppel FELs, for the rig at a cost of $200m. The contract for the rig is expected to be finalised next month

Another Super Liner is Launched

The ‘Allure of the Seas’, the second Oasis-class vessel under construction at STX Finland's Turku Shipyard, was launched on November 20. The ‘Allure of the Seas’ is the second in a series of very large cruise ships built at the Turku Shipyard. The first vessel in this series, the ‘Oasis of the Seas’, was handed over to its owner, Royal Caribbean, USA, at the end of October The ‘Allure of the Seas’ will be delivered to the owners towards the end of 2010. The ‘Allure of the Seas’ has a length of 361 metres, a beam of 66 metres and a height from sea level of 72 metres. The gross tonnage of the vessel will be 225,000GT. At full capacity, the ‘Allure of the Seas’ will accommodate 6,320 passengers and a crew of 2,100. It will have 16 passenger decks and 2,704 cabins.

SHIPPING and PIRACY NEWS

INTERTANKO comments on Piracy Issues

Ongoing success of international naval anti-piracy operation depends on full cooperation from ships. Captain Richard Farrington, Chief of Staff of the EU Naval Force, and co-chairman of the Shared Awareness and De-confliction (SHADE) mechanism, updated a recent meeting of Working Group 1 of the UN/IMO's Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) on the latest operational achievements, development and planning of the international anti-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden. Focusing on Information Exchange, the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) and the IRTC Military Coordination Guide, he advised that as many as 25% of ships passing through the Gulf of Aden still have not registered with MSCHOA (The Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa) and have not applied the Best Management Practices (BMPs). Crucially he pointed out that 7 out of 8 vessels hijacked recently had not been reporting their movements to UKMTO (United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations), and not one of the eight was registered with MSCHOA although all were registered with flags that had signed up to the BMPs. On the other hand out of 15,000 vessels with registered transits, only two had been successfully hijacked and one of these was not implementing BMPs. INTERTANKO also pointed out the following metrics:

• 25% ships transiting GoA not registering with/reporting to naval anti-piracy operation, nor applying Best Management Practices • 7/8 recently hijacked ships not reporting movements • 0/8 recently hijacked ships registered with Maritime Security Centre • 2/15,000 vessels with registered transits successfully hijacked

Captain Howard Snaith, INTERTANKO's Marine Director, stated at a public conference in London this week that it is crucial that ships passing through this area register with MSCHOA and report to UKMTO and at the same time implement Best Management Practices. He emphasised that the average pirate attack lasts only 11 minutes, and therefore that a policy of "detracting, deterring, delaying" by implementing BMPs, reporting to UKMTO and registering with MSCHOA is the most effective way of avoiding a hijacking situation.

The Cost of Piracy

Shipping company CMA CGM will increase its piracy risk surcharge for transporting containers through the Gulf of Aden next month, the French carrier said Tuesday. The company said the transit of containerships through the Gulf of Aden in both directions is subject to high costs caused by the prevailing risks of piracy in the area. CMA CGM’s action comes as the number of pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden and the seas off the Horn of Africa has increased sharply since the end of the three-month-long monsoon season in the Indian Ocean in September. The carrier said it follows best practices to evade pirate attacks when passing through the Gulf of Aden, including steaming at faster speed, following evasive routes and joining convoys protected by coalition warships under the Atalanta scheme whenever possible. CMA CGM will boost its prevailing Aden Gulf surcharge to $41 per 20-foot container, which will be implemented on all containers transiting this area effective Dec. 15. The carrier said the surcharge is in addition to any short-term or long-term rate agreement already concluded with customers or to be concluded

Justifying the Pirate Attacks?

The highest ranking officer in the Somali naval force Admiral Farah Omar Qare, has said in a press conference on Sunday that the foreign war ships stationed over the Somali waters are pretending top be watching over the Pirates who are intending to Hijack the foreign Vessels, but are in mass collecting the Somali sea resources. “We have been closely following what actually is the so called NATO troops are doing over the Somali waters, and the result we have got out of our assessment is that they are collecting the Somali sea resource in mass, and not scaring off the Pirates, in the first place we clearly know what has forced the Somali pirates to involving themselves in hijacking of foreign vessels while they were ordinary fishermen is because there were armed foreign troops, who used to chase them off cut their fishing nets into pieces, and eventually the fisherman came together and discussed hard about the issue and armed themselves, and after having seen that this is more benefiting than what they have been doing they have left out their nets and fishing boats on the shore and instead came into the sea with Russian made Kalashnikov Assault rifle, and rocket propel grenade, in which they have hijacked more than 100 ships since mission started” said the Admiral Farah Omar Qare the Somali naval commander in a press conference. The Admiral has urged the international community not to complain about the activities of the Pirates, but should also focus about what the forging vessels are doing in the Somali waters. This will be the first time for the highest Somali ranking officer in the Somali naval force to strongly condemn the NATO troops in the Somali waters. During the press conference the Admiral has presented a net which the Somali naval troops have removed from the beneath of the Somali water, and said that it was one of the nets which the foreign troops were using in catching fish in the Somali water

Pirates Free Ship

A Somali businessman says a ship hijacked by pirates off East Africa two weeks ago has been released. Ali Dheere, the chairman of a group of traders in Mogadishu, says the al-Mizan has arrived in Somalia's capital. The Panama flagged, United Arab Emirates-owned cargo ship was carrying electronics, food and other goods. The 18-member crew were all in good condition Dheere refused to say whether a ransom had been paid, but a self-proclaimed pirate named Abdi Nor tells a news agency that pirates did not demand a ransom since the ship was bound for Mogadishu and carried goods owned by Somalis. The pirates asked for and received USD 15,000 for "expenses."

Somali pirates have seized a United Arab Emirates-flagged cargo ship loaded with weapons bound for the anarchic. Horn of Africa nation in contravention of a UN arms embargo, maritime experts said on Monday. Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers' Assistance Programme told Reuters that the ship, which he believed was using the fake name Al Mizan, had been hijacked on Sunday and was now being held near the northern Somali town of Garacad. "She is one of the regular weapons carriers circumventing the UN arms embargo on Somalia," Mwangura said. 'There have been 12 pirate events in this area in the last 30 days' The country has been torn by 18 years of civil war and hardline Islamist rebels linked to al Qaeda are fighting to topple President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's UN-backed government. Some 19 000 civilians have died since the start of 2007 and more than 1.5-million have been driven from their homes, triggering one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters. In the latest pirate attack, gunmen from Somalia opened fire on an unidentified merchant vessel far out in the Indian Ocean on Monday, about 400 nautical miles northeast of the Seychelles. The merchant vessel caught fire after being hit by bullets and a rocket-propelled grenade. Mwangura said there were no casualties and that the captain remained in control. "There have been 12 pirate events in this area in the last 30 days. There is a high probability of attacks in this area for at least the next 24-48 hours. Weather conditions are expected to remain favourable for piracy...through this period," he said. There was a lull in hijackings during this season's monsoon rains, but the pirates have stepped up their attacks in recent weeks and now hold at least 11 vessels and more than 200 crew. 'I believe there are legal ways to find a solution to this conflict' Somali pirates attempt to seize Greek bulk carrier off Somalia

A Greek-owned bulk carrier was reportedly seized in the Gulf of Aden, 36 nautical miles from the Yemeni port Balhaf but repelled the attack despite reports. Managed by Sekur Holdings, based in Piraeus, Greece, the Red Sea Spirit, was sailing in the Gulf of Aden with a crew of 22 Filipinos and a shipment of cement. The managing company was not confirming the ship had been hijacked when the news broke last Sunday night. According to authorities, the pirates attempted to board the ship but were evaded with the superior skill of the vessel's crew. Red Sea Spirit avoided capture and was en route to it's intended destination, Karachi. All crew are reported as alive and well.

Ukranian killed in pirate attack off west Africa

Pirates attacked an oil tanker off the coast of west Africa, killing a Ukrainian officer before escaping with the contents of the ship's safe, the ship's owners and Benin's navy commander said Tuesday. Commander Maxime Ahoyo said the officer on the Monrovia-flagged Cancale Star was shot dead when he confronted the pirates after they boarded the vessel in darkness 18 nautical miles (33 kilometres) off the coast of Benin. The tanker's Latvian captain, Jaroslavs Semenovics, said around six or seven pirates had approached the tanker in a speed boat. "They came on deck, pointed a pistol to the head of one of the sailors, marched him to the cabin," Semenovics told AFP. "They asked me to open the safe and they collected all the cash," he added. He did not say how much was stolen. The 230-metre (750-foot) Cancale Star was carrying 89,000 cubic metres of crude from Nigeria's Niger Delta, the captain said. The tanker's owners Chemikalien Seetransport said in a statement issued from Germany that the vessel's chief officer, or second in command, "has tragically lost his life in a piracy attack off the coast of Benin in the early hours of November 24". "It is not the chief engineer but the chief officer of the vessel," said Chemikalien's spokesman Cor Radings, contradicting Ahoyo who had earlier identified the Ukrainian officer as the chief engineer. Medics aboard the vessel said four other crew members were wounded in the attack, one seriously. Some of the crew managed to overpower one of the pirates and handed him over to police for questioning. The captured pirate said he was from a Nigerian border town. The multinational crew of 24 includes Russians, Filipinos, Lithuanians and Ukranians, Ahoyo said, speaking on board the Cauris, a Beninese navy boat which went to the assistance of the tanker and managed to dock alongside it. Piracy in oil-rich west African waters is on the rise, according to the International Maritime Bureau, with more than 100 cases last year. Most attacks occur while ships are at anchor or close to the shore, unlike in east Africa, where Somali pirates have netted millions of dollars in ransoms in exchange for the release of ships captured hundreds of miles from the coast. The IMB's Live Piracy Report has highlighted the risk to shipping in Tema, Ghana, and in the Lagos and Bonny River areas of Nigeria, immediately east of Benin. It said that pirates have attacked and robbed vessels and kidnapped crews along the coast and rivers, anchorages, ports and surrounding waters. Officials voiced fears earlier this year that west African pirates would copy the tactics of Somali gangs. From January to September of this year, the International Maritime Organisation reported 160 acts of piracy off the coast of Somalia, including 34 hijacked vessels and more than 450 people made hostage. The world's naval powers last year started deploying warships in the Gulf of Aden in an attempt to curb attacks by ransom-hunting pirates that were seen as a threat to one of the globe's most important maritime trade routes. Pirate groups have since shifted their focus to the wider Indian Ocean, a huge area much more difficult to patrol, and started venturing as far as the Seychelles and beyond.

Pirate attack off the Philippines

The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) has not ruled out terrorism in the latest pirate attack in the Philippines. The latest incident occurred on Saturday November 21 in Siocon Bay, Zamboanga Del Norte, when pirates captured the master, chief mate and chief engineer of the tug, ‘Marinero II’. Pirates also stole GPS receivers and marine radios amongst other things. The Zamboanga Province is becoming known as the piracy hot spot of the Philippines as the Abu Sayyaff terrorist group has been targeting the region while fighting for an independent Islamic homeland. In March, pirates killed three crewmembers of the fishing trawler, the ‘Columbia 5’ and made off with GPS equipment etc.

Law Suits by Crew over Maersk Alabama Pirate Attack

Pirates this morning again attacked the MV Maersk Alabama. This time the Maersk Alabama fired back. Here's the EU Navfor statement: On the early morning of 18 November 2009, 350 nautical miles east from the Somali coast, pirates attacked MV Maersk Alabama, a US flagged, Danish owned, 155 meter long, Container ship. Pirates fired automatic weapons on MV Maersk Alabama who responded with fire from an embarked Vessel Protection Detachment. The crew managed to repel the attack and no casualties were reported. The vessel was previously hijacked in April 2009. An EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft from Djibouti was tasked to investigate the situation and the closest EU NAVFOR naval vessel was tasked to search for the pirate attack group and neutralise the area. The Maritime Patrol Aircraft stationed in Djibouti takes part in the EU NAVFOR mission Operation ATALANTA. The main tasks of Operation ATALANTA are to escort merchant vessels carrying food of the “World Food Program” (WFP), the protection of vulnerable ships in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and to deter and disrupt piracy.

The company that owns the Maersk Alabama, a freighter targeted by pirates twice in seven months, did not heed a request to rename, repaint or reroute the ship after the first attack off the coast of Africa earlier this year, former crew members say. Ex-crewmen John Cronan and Shane Murphy said in separate interviews yesterday that they feared and anticipated another attack after the ordeal in April when their captain was taken hostage but eventually freed by US Navy SEALs. The American-flagged ship was targeted again but private security guards thwarted the attempt by firing guns and blaring a high-decibel noise device. The ship is proceeding under American surveillance to its destination on the Kenyan coast. Cronan and several other crewmen have filed suit in Texas against Maersk Line and Waterman Steamship, alleging the companies were negligent in sending the ship into known pirate territory with inadequate protection. The men are seeking compensation for physical and psychological damage they say they suffered during the spring hijacking, and for loss of income. Maersk Line is based in Norfolk, Virginia, and has offices and sister companies throughout the world. Spokesman Kevin Speers said that Maersk has instituted a layered defence system to stop pirates and that yesterday's thwarted attack shows it's working. "What we've tried to do is focus on real measures that are going to provide significant increases in the security of the ship," Speers said. "I don't believe changing the name provides a significant security to the people on the ship." The suit was filed by one crew member last month in Houston, with other plaintiffs added this month, because it is the second-biggest US port and judges there have a good understanding of maritime law, said attorney Brian Beckcom, who represents six crew members.

Somali Pirates Hold a 12 Year old Hostage

A Spanish trawler captain released by Somali pirates said he is haunted by his failure to save a 12-year-old Ukrainian girl held captive for more than six months, a newspaper reported Sunday. Ricardo Blach, skipper of the Alakrana, which was freed Tuesday after being held by pirates for some six weeks, told how he saw the young girl aboard another hijacked ship, in logbook extracts published in El Mundo. During his captivity, Blach boarded a second vessel, the cargo ship Ariana, to hand over supplies including medicines and fuel. Somali pirates have been holding the Ariana with its Ukrainian crew for around half a year. On board the ship, Blach saw the blue-eyed Ukrainian girl with her mother and her father, who was a member of the ship's crew. "Her mother begged me to take (her daughter) with me," Blach wrote in his logbook. "I told her that I couldn't. On her ship, the Ariana, there were 12 pirates. On mine, the Alakrana, 30," he said, adding: "I have not stopped thinking about this girl, about the women in this boat." As well as the young girl's mother, there were two other women on board including a cook and a sailor's wife. The sailor's wife had fallen pregnant but had a miscarriage and was in need of urgent medical attention, according to Blach's diary and information obtained by El Mundo. Somali pirates captured the Ariana on May 2 with its 24 Ukrainian crew in the Indian Ocean en route from Brazil to the Middle East. Last month, the sailors' families begged their captors and the boat's owner to speed up negotiations as living conditions on the vessel had worsened. Alakrana and its 36 sailors -- from countries including Ghana, Indonesia and Spain -- were captured on October 2 and freed on Tuesday after more than six weeks.

Pirates Change Tactics

Pirates operating in waters off Somalia are becoming increasingly "crafty", the commander of the EU's naval mission there warns. He has also urged merchant vessels to co-operate more closely with a multinational flotilla operating in the Gulf of Aden and adjacent waters. "The pirates are getting crafty, they are extending their horizon," Rear Admiral Peter Hudson who heads the EU's Operation Atalanta told members of the European parliament in Brussels. They are showing "a level of sophistication that we have not seen. We have to respond to that." "These are reckless individuals, they are not afraid of spending days and days at sea in an open skiff," he said, noting that 10 ships and 244 people were currently in the hands of pirates. "It is vital that the merchant community listen to our warnings and don't attempt to cut corners," he added according to a report by French news service AFP. His warning comes a week after pirates launched two of their longest-range attacks yet, fully 1000 nautical miles (close to 2000km) from the Somali coast. Lamenting what he qualified as "the tyranny of distance", Hudson said it sometimes took up to two days for his vessels to reach the site of any attack in one of the world's busiest shipping areas."Very few ships that have heeded our advice fully have been seized by pirates," he said. We "need ships to register with us. We still have a big group that choose not to work with us, and we're trying to address that. "EU nations must highlight the nature of this register," he added. The world's naval powers last year deployed warships in the Gulf of Aden in an attempt to curb attacks by ransom-hunting pirates that were seen as a threat to one of the globe's most crucial maritime trade routes. Pirates have since shifted their focus to the wider Indian Ocean, a huge area much more difficult to patrol, and have ventured as far as the Seychelles and beyond. Meanwhile, Jane's reports a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ- 9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) under the operational control of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) late last month flew its first sortie from the Seychelles.The flight forms part of Operation 'Ocean Look', which provides support to US piracy deterrence efforts off the coast of Somalia. 'Ocean Look' has temporarily located the UAVs on the Seychelles since early October under a joint government agreement

Shot Captain Dies

The captain of a Virgin Islands-owned chemical tanker hijacked this week has died from gunshot wounds suffered when the ship was attacked, a Somali pirate said. The news came as a container ship hijacked earlier this year came under attack for a second time. Somali sea gangs have stepped up attacks in the past two months, especially off the Seychelles, as pirates extend their range to evade navies patrolling off the Horn of Africa. The pirate spokesman said: "The captain of the chemical tanker died from gunshot wounds he got during the hijack. The ship is headed for Haradheere with the dead captain." The European Union naval force operating in the area said pirates had seized the 22,294 deadweight tonne tanker MV Theresa VIII northwest of the Seychelles with 28 North Korean crew on board. The ship, which is operated from Singapore, was sailing to the Kenyan port of Mombasa.

Trawler Freed by Pirates

The Spanish trawler Alakrana and its crew of 36 docked safely in the Seychelles Friday, three days after being released by the Somali pirates who captured them six weeks ealier. "We are all very relieved to be back... We cannot say that we were treated badly," said a Seychellois member of the crew upon arrival in Port Victoria. The families of the Alakrana's 16 Spanish seamen welcomed their loved ones under tight security in the small Indian Ocean nation's main port. The relatives were flown in on a Spanish military plane -- which also carried a new crew for the tuna-fishing trawler -- and were expected to fly back to Spain later Friday. The crew explained that the Alakrana's captain was held separately from the rest of the crew and had been under more pressure from the pirates. On Tuesday, the pirate group that hijacked the Alakrana on October 2 told AFP that four million dollars had been paid for the release of the ship, one of the highest ransoms ever paid since Somali piracy surged in 2007.

Pirates Threaten Execution

A retired British couple snatched from their yacht by Somali pirates said in an interview broadcast Friday they fear they could be killed within a week or handed to a terrorist group if a ransom demand is not paid. Paul and Rachel Chandler were kidnapped last month by pirates who seized their 38-foot yacht — the Lynn Rival — as they sailed toward Tanzania. In an interview with Britain's Channel 4 news program, the Chandlers are seen surrounded by armed men, some of whom have their guns pointed directly at the couple. "I have no doubt that they will not hesitate to kill us in a week or so from now," Paul Chandler, 59, said in the interview, filmed by a Channel 4 crew on Wednesday. Britain's ITN — which produces Channel 4 News — said the Chandlers and their relatives had agreed that the footage, the first of the couple since their capture, could be aired. Pirates have demanded $7 million to release the Chandlers, but Britain's Government insists it won't pay ransom to kidnappers. "We are under threat and we are told that we will not be fed and given water, so we are very concerned about the future," Rachel Chandler, 55, said in the video. "We ask the government, and the people of Britain and our family, to do whatever they can to enter into negotiations with these people to buy back our lives." She said that the couple had been told by their captors that a terrorist cell is searching for them. An Islamic militia commander and a local elder in the central Somali village of Bahdo told the Associated Press previously that rival pirates and militia groups had fought for control of the British couple. The couple are thought to be being held north of Haradhere, a notorious pirate stronghold. Britain's Foreign Office said Friday in a statement that it was aware of the video, but said government policy on ransom payments was clear. "We do not make substantive concessions to hostage takers, including the payment of ransoms. These are innocent tourists, we seek the immediate release of Paul and Rachel," the Foreign Office said. "The family have seen the video of Paul and Rachel, they miss them dearly and urge their release." The Chandlers, married for 28 years, took early retirement about three years ago, sailing across the world. In an entry on a Web site in June they wrote that they were headed for Tanzania, after initially delaying a voyage there "because of the Somali pirate problem." Their yacht issued a distress signal on Oct. 23. A naval patrol later found the vessel abandoned. In the video footage, Paul Chandler insisted the couple were in reasonable health and unharmed. "Mentally we are under great stress and threatened," he said. "Our kidnappers are losing patience. They are concerned that their has been no response at all to their demands for money." The hostage, who had previously been permitted to conduct a telephone interview with a Britain's ITV News, urged the government to intervene before "we just sleepwalk to a tragic ending." Yemen's coast guard said Friday that Somali pirates had hijacked a Panamanian cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden, between the Arabian peninsula and the Horn of Africa. A coast guard official said the Red Sea Spirit was carrying an unknown number of crew when it was hijacked Friday morning, 36 nautical miles from the Yemeni port of Balhaf.

Somali Pirates Hijack Cargo Ship and Fishing Vessel

In the latest pirate attacks, a Greek cargo ship and a Yemeni fishing boat have been captured off the Somali coast, demonstrating their ability to evade the multinational naval forces patrolling the Indian Ocean. The 23,709-tonne, Marshall Islands-flagged MV Filista was seized Tuesday, with three Greek officers and 19 Filipino sailors aboard. The ship was carrying bulk urea from Kuwait to South Africa. Pirates attacked the ship in the south Somali Basin, about 400 nautical miles northeast of Seychelles. While seizing the cargo ship, brief fighting occurred and three pirates were injured. In addition to hijacking a Yemeni fishing boat near Hafun on Monday, pirates made an attempt to hijack a Hong Kong ship. Pirates opened fire on a giant Hong Kong-flagged crude oil tanker 1,000 nautical miles east of Mogadishu, but failed to successfully seize the ship. Currently, Somali pirates are holding at least 12 vessels and more than 230 crew hostage, including a British couple whose yacht was hijacked off the Seychelles.

Pirate Supporters Kill the Judge

A Somali judge who sentenced four men with links to Islamist insurgent group al-Shabaab to jail terms has been shot dead in the semi-autonomous Puntland region, local media reports said on Thursday. Radio Garowe said armed and masked men shot Sheikh Mohamed Abdi Aware in Bosasso, the capital of Puntland, as he left a mosque on Wednesday night. Aware - who was known for sentencing militants and pirates terrorising international shipping off the coast of Somalia - was shot just days after jailing four al-Shabaab members. Al-Shabaab is fighting the weak Western-backed Somali government in an insurgency that has claimed almost 20 000 lives since early 2007.

More Pirate Attacks

Pirate activity in the Gulf of Aden continues at a high level, On the morning of November 12, in the eastern Gulf of Aden, EU NAVFOR reports that two merchant vessels were attacked by pirates. There are no reports of casualties. The first attack was on MV FULL STRONG, a Hong Kong flagged 220 meter long bulk carrier. MV FULL STRONG was approached by pirates in two skiffs and a mother skiff but managed to evade the attack. Shortly after this attack, in almost the same position, MV FENGLI 8, a Panama flagged 225 meter bulk carrier was attacked by two fast attack skiffs and one mother skiff. The master and crew were alert and immediately activated anti piracy measures, using speed and evasive action, they were able to avoid being hijacked. EU NAVFOR Norwegian warship HNOMS Fridtjof Nansen on counter piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden has been tasked to search for the pirate attack group. The most recent successful hijacking was early morning on November 11 when the Greek owned (Marshall Island flagged) bulker MV Filitsa was hijacked in the south Somali Basin, 400 nautical miles North East of the Seychelles. The Bulk Carrier with a deadweight of 23,709 tonnes has a crew of 22. In another incident on November 11, two RHIBS from Fridtjof Nansen, came under fire when conducting a routine patrol off the Somali coast 83 nautical miles from Boosaaso. Weather conditions were clear with good visibility. The RHIB's were suddenly fired upon while passing some Dhows at a distance of approximately 400 meters. The EU NAVFOR units responded with covering fire and withdrew to a safe distance.

French Troops capture Pirates

French commandos stormed aboard a Somali pirate “mothership” and arrested 12 gunmen, the military announced Friday, adding that the gangs are increasingly operating in the deep waters of the Indian Ocean. Tipped off by spotters on a Luxembourg maritime reconnaissance plane, the French frigate Floreal intercepted a dhow towing two motorised skiffs 500 nautical miles northwest of the Seychelles on Thursday. A helicopter from the warship fired a warning shot across the vessel’s bows as its crew began to throw incriminating material over the side. French troops boarded the ship and arrested the pirates without violence. On board they found grappling hooks, GPS navigation devices and assault rifles, French military spokesman Admiral Christophe Prazuck told AFP in Paris. “Last year or at the start of this one the centre of gravity was in the Gulf of Aden,” Prazuck said, referring to the straits between Arabia and the Horn of Africa that have become notorious for pirate attacks. “The European team in place has significantly reduced the number of boats taken hostage. Though they still threaten the Gulf of Aden, the pirates have switched their activity further offshore into the Indian Ocean.” Prazuck said pirates were now striking in areas up to 800 nautical miles from their bases on the coast of Somalia, a lawless and largely ungoverned African state plagued by faction-fighting. Several naval task forces now carry out anti-piracy patrols, including flotillas commanded by the European Union, NATO and the United States. Floreal is fighting under EU colours as part of Operation Atalante.

Pirates Get Another Ship

A Greek cargo ship hijacked this week was being taken toward the Somali coast, but its crew members were unharmed, the ship's operating company said on Saturday. "The master of the vessel has reported that the crew are unharmed and the vessel is sailing towards the Somali coast," Athens-based Meadway Shipping and Trading Inc said in a statement. "The company is currently doing everything in its power to ensure the situation is resolved quickly." Meadway Inc said the cargo ship, Delvina, was hijacked early on Thursday north-east of the Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean. It had been sailing from Ukraine to Mombasa in Kenya. Greek port police on Friday said the Delvina was captured 280 nautical miles east of the Tanzanian coast. The company gave no details on the crew, but the European Union's naval mission to the region said it numbers 14 Filipinos and seven Ukrainians. Another Panamanian-flagged Greek ship, Theophoros I, was attacked early Thursday in the Gulf of Aden but the pirates were driven off. The Theophoros I continued its route to Hong Kong escorted by two warships of the anti-piracy international force in the area. Greek authorities said the crew used high-pressure hoses against the pirates, but a Turkish military official said later the Turkish warship Gediz averted the attack. A military statement said five pirates were trying to attack the Theophoros, which belongs to Greek company Good Faith. The Turks seized weapons including a rocket launcher, it added. The incident happened 125 kilometres off the coast. Pirates seized a Hellenic cargo ship with its Ukrainian and Philippine crew off the east African country of Tanzania on Thursday, Greek port police said. The Delvina, which had a cargo of wheat, was heading for Mombasa, Kenya from the Mediterranean when it was captured 280 nautical miles east of the Tanzanian coast. Police had no contact with the ship after the crew sent out an alert. The ship has Greek owners and flies a Marshall Islands flag. Another Panamanian-flagged Greek ship, Theophoros I, was attacked early on Thursday in the Gulf of Aden but the crew chased the attackers away using water cannon. The Theophoros I continued its route to Hong Kong escorted by two warships of the anti-piracy international force in the area. A Turkish military official said later the Turkish warship TGC Gediz averted the attack against the Greek ship south of Yemen. An army statement said five pirates on a type of ship usually used in such attacks were trying to attack the Theophoros which belongs to Greek company Good Faith. But the attack in which the Turks seized weapons including a rocket launcher was stopped. The incident happened 125 kilometres off the coast. The maritime official said Delvina was the third Greek to have been seized by the pirates this year. Somali pirates have seized dozens of ships over the last two years, taking in tens of millions of dollars in ransom money. The pirates are believed to be holding seven ships in all. The Somali pirates who come from specific regions and clans, far away from the war-ravaged capital have thwarted efforts by the coalition of warships patrolling the world's most dangerous waters to end the menace. An estimated 25,000 ships annually cruise the Gulf of Aden, off Somalia's northern coast. Over 10 ships and 200 crew members are still held by Somali pirates. The Gulf of Aden, off the northern coast of Somalia, has the highest risk of piracy in the world. About 25,000 ships use the channel south of Yemen, between the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea

ONSHORE DRILLING JOBS

There has been a surge in land drilling so job seekers need to be banging the doors of companies if they want a job, and Texas is where most activity is happening

Rig Electrician - Mount Morris, PA, Electrician, Rig Electrician, SCR, PLCs, AC, VFD, Lighting Nomac Drilling, a Chesapeake Energy company, is seeking a Drilling Rig Electrician in the Mount Morris, PA area. The candidate should be comfortable working outdoors performing service calls in all types of weather. Please note that this is NOT a rotational assignment and employees are required to live or relocate to the operational area in Mount Morris, PA. For faster consideration please apply directly at www.chk.com/careers

OFFSHORE JOBS

RigZone If you are looking at offshore drilling jobs you must check RigZone.com every day and you should register and get job alerts. If you are really serious about finding a job you will already be doing this

Current RigZone Jobs

Toolpusher India Toolpusher, offshore cyberbase / Cyberchase experience. Knowledge of “Amphion based system” would be an added advantage. People who have worked jack ups would be given priority. Jindal Drilling & Industries Ltd. Min. 3 - 7 years of experience as a driller or Tool Pusher or as a sr driller to join us as Tool Pusher {{ Or as a Driller // Sr.Driller }} You may also like to visit our website at www.jindal.com

OFFSHORE TECHNICAL POSITIONS - Gulf of Mexico

WANTED - Senior Instrument Technician, Instrument Technician, Senior Electrician, Electrician, Senior Mechanical Technician, Mechanical Technician Mechanic, Motorman, Subsea Supervisor, Subsea Engineer, Welder, Chief Engineer Assistant Chief Engineer, ERO-2nd, ERO-3rd, Electrical Supervisor, Medic

WANTED - Roustabout Pusher, Crane Operator, Assistant Crane Operator, Roustabout, DPO Trainee Bosun, AB Seaman, Storekeeper, OIM/Master, SSL/Chief Mate, DPO, Radio Operator

WANTED - Safety Officer, Driller, Assistant Driller, Derrickman, Assistant Derrickman, Lead Roughneck, Roughneck, DSL/Rig Support, Toolpusher

Multiple Rigs - Multiple Positions Available. These positions are estimated to start January 2010, Log onto RigZone or contact Clover Global Solutions, LP

Junior Subsea Engineer: Korea/Angola Soul Resources is urgently seeking to recruit Sub Sea Engineer Junior to a new vessel initially based in Korea and then will depart for Angola: Rotation: While operational: 28/28 (ANGOLA) While construction phase: 56/28 (KOREA) - Offshore Experience is a must preferably on a Drill Ship and/or Semi Sub GO TO RIGZONE and APPLY

Senior Offshore Drillers; Korea/Angola Soul Resources is urgently seeking to recruit Senior Drillers for a new vessel initially based in Korea and then will depart for Angola:- Previous experience on drillship or semisubmersibles would be an assets. Rotation: While operational: 28/28 (ANGOLA) While construction phase: 56/28 (KOREA - GO TO RIGZONE and APPLY

Assistant Drillers/Drillers - 28 -28 - Drillship/Semisub Assistant Drillers 28x 28 – Permanent We are currently looking for Superstars to come and work for one of the largest drilling contractors in the World. This would be a permanent opportunity with great career progression and excellent onboard training on some of the newest drilling rigs to date. You should ideally have 2- 3 years experience in this role as an AD on, Semis or Drillships or both. We also require 2x Drillers GO TO RIGZONE and APPLY

Storekeeper - Jack Up Rig ENSCO International Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana, United States. Assume all duties and responsibilities associated with the effective administration of the rig stores e.g., ordering and receipt of materials, management of rig stores and inventory, and coordination of backload manifest. Liaise with onshore Materials department as required GO TO RIGZONE and APPLY

Chief Mechanic – Cyber Experience/EMD engines – 28 x 28 and Mechanic - Cyber Experience/EMD engines - 28 x 28 We are currently looking for a chief mechanic to who takes pride in his work and is looking for a long term career within a well known organisation. He should be a good leader as well as a high level problem solver and ideally come from the offshore background with at least 3 years experience. This can be from Drillships, Semis or jack ups as long as they are familiar with cyber rigs GO TO RIGZONE and APPLY

Rig Electrician / Chief Electrician / Electrical Supervisor My client is currently looking for highly experienced Electrical personnel. These are permanent international vacancies offering a 28/28 rotation and competitive salary etc. Suitable candidates should have at least 10 years of relevant offshore experience and will have experience on either semi-subs or drillships. Both DP and moored experience will be considered. Offshore Marine Services GO TO RIGZONE and APPLY

Electrician (Jack-Up) US Gulf of Mexico, United States – Ensco. Three years working as an Electrician of Assistant Electrician on an offshore drilling rig is preferred GO TO RIGZONE and APPLY

Assistant Driller Frontier Drilling, a deepwater drilling contractor headquartered in Houston, TX, has six openings for an Assistant Driller on the Bully I, our purpose built drillship, currently under construction and capable of ultra-deepwater DP operations worldwide, specifically designed for moored and DP arctic operations. The Assistant Driller will help supervise the drilling crew, ensuring safe and efficient work practices are followed. The Assistant Driller performs assigned activities in support of drilling operations, including inspections and preparing reports. Candidates must have a minimum of two years of rig floor experience and a minimum six months experience as an Assistant Driller with another drilling contractor on a deepwater vessel and be eligible to work in the U.S. At Frontier Drilling, we offer a competitive salary with incentives, plus a benefits package that includes Medical/Dental and Vision plans, as well as a 401(k) plan with company matching contributions up to 6%. Additional travel incentives may also be available. GO TO RIGZONE and APPLY

Dynamic Position Officer, Rig Electrician Experienced offshore drill-crew with valid visa for Brazil. Our client requires immediately available drill crew with valid paperwork to work offshore Brazil for short term assignments, starting immediately. All candidates must have valid and current passport, offshore survival, offshore medical and be available for SHORT TERM assignments with IMMEDIATE START.

Stabilization Section Leader (Chief Mate), Roughneck, Engine Room Operators (2nd/3rd Assistant Engineer) : Korea /Angola - Soul Resources is urgently seeking to recruit the following personnel to a new vessel initially based in Korea and then will depart for Angola

NEW ENTRY :POSITIONS – OFFSHORE GULF OF MEXICO ENSCO who are reputable offshore drilling contractor are recruiting Roustabouts A roustabout performs any and all necessary functions on a rig as directed. Experience - Two years in a manual labor position, preferably working outdoors and away from home for long periods of time. Education and Training High School diploma preferred. Minimum Requirements - Good interpersonal skills, ability to communicate effectively, excellent team working and organizational skills. Physically capable of being transported to an offshore rig by boat or helicopter. Must be capable of working in a confined Marine environment. Must have excellent conflict resolution skills and be able to diplomatically handle confrontation. Must be committed to a high standard of safety and be willing and able to comply with all safety laws and all of the employer's safety policies and rules and must be willing to report safety violations and potential safety violations to appropriate supervisory or management personnel. Be able to maintain regular and acceptable attendance at such level as is determined in the employer's sole discretion. Be available and willing to travel to such locations and with such frequency as the employer determines is necessary or desirable to meet its business needs. Capable of lifting and safely handling objects weighing up to 100 pounds. Physically capable of performing emergency procedures including evacuations, fire drills, and other Emergencies.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities - Chips, paints, sweeps, and mops decks, bulkheads, handrails, and other rig structures. Assists Crane Operator in offloading boats of all personnel and equipment, including drill pipe, casing, tubing, and cutting boxes. Relieves Floorhands on the rig floor, may assist Electrician, Mechanic, or Welder in maintenance projects. Responsible for arriving on time to crew change locations. Works an offshore rotational schedule. Assist in other areas as directed.

Assistant Derrickhand / Derrickhand, - Indian Nationals Only POC International client, a leader in the international Oil and Gas Industry, is seeking candidates interested in a rewarding and challenging career in the drilling industry. Location: India Rotation: 28/28 or 35/35 In order to qualify for the openings you MUST HAVE THE FOLLOWING QUALIFICATIONS; - Offshore survival certification, At least 3 years experience in the industry, with most of your experience based on DRILLSHIPS for Assistant, At least 5 years experience in the industry, with most of your experience based on DRILLSHIPS for Derrickhand. GO TO RIGZONE and APPLY

Electricians / Ch. Electricians - Indian Nationals Only POC International - client, a leader in the international Oil and Gas Industry, is seeking candidates interested in a rewarding and challenging career in the drilling industry. Location: India Rotation: 28/28 or 35/35 In order to qualify for the openings you MUST HAVE THE FOLLOWING QUALIFICATIONS; - Offshore survival certification - Electrical Certification - At least 3 years experience in the industry, with most of your experience based on DRILLSHIPS for Electrician - At least 5 years experience in the industry, with most of your experience based on DRILLSHIPS for Ch. Electrician. GO TO RIGZONE and APPLY

Mechanics / Ch. Mechanics - Indian Nationals Only POC International client, a leader in the international Oil and Gas Industry, is seeking candidates interested in a rewarding and challenging career in the drilling industry. Location: India Rotation: 28/28 or 35/35 In order to qualify for the openings you MUST HAVE THE FOLLOWING QUALIFICATIONS; - Offshore survival certification - Mechanical Certification - At least 3 years experience in the industry, with most of your experience based on DRILLSHIPS for Mechanic - At least 5 years experience in the industry, with most of your experience based on DRILLSHIPS for Ch. Mechanic. GO TO RIGZONE and APPLY