Florida-based Crowley Marine Services has lost a bid to continue to provide tanker escort and oil spill prevention and response services in Valdez and Prince William Sound when its current contract expires June 30, 2018.
Crowley has provided marine services in Prince William Sound for Alyeska since 1990, and prior to that the company provided tanker docking services in Valdez beginning with the startup of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in 1977. The company says that despite bidding aggressively for the Ship Escort/Response Vessel System (SERVS) contract extension, Crowley was not chosen by Alyeska to retain the entire scope of the current contract.
“We bid this contract very aggressively and are extremely disappointed that we were not selected to retain this business,” said Tom Crowley, company chairman and CEO. “We have been assured that this outcome is the result of a very competitive landscape and is not a reflection of Crowley’s qualifications or record. We will continue to work constructively with Alyeska through the duration of our contract. Crowley and Alyeska agree that there is nothing more important than the continued protection of Prince William Sound.”
Crowley says that it is fully committed to continued professional service and full compliance as the marine service provider until the end of June 2018, and will be engaged in any transition process.
Participants in the bidding process are restricted from disclosing details, but according to the Alaska Dispatch News at least Louisiana-based Edison Chouest Offshore remains in the running for the contract.
“While it is difficult to fully convey our disappointment, we remain completely committed to upholding the tremendous responsibility we have to protect Valdez and Prince William Sound,” said Rocky Smith, Crowley senior vice president and general manager, petroleum distribution and marine services. “Over the next couple of years, we will look for opportunities to redeploy our Valdez personnel and marine assets in new endeavors when our contract expires.”
As part of the SERVS contract, Crowley provides tug escorts for tankers traveling through Prince William Sound to and from the Valdez Marine Terminal, as well as provides secure docking and undocking operations at the oil product loading terminals. In 2015, the company logged over one million man hours while safely escorting 236 tankers through Prince William Sound, transporting 185 million barrels of oil in one of the harshest environments in the world.
Crowley currently has 17 vessels, 230 mariners and 17 shore side administrative personnel working together to service Alyeska in Valdez.
In February, Crowley celebrated over seven million man hours and more than six years since logging its last Lost Time Injury within Crowley’s tanker escort and docking services group in Valdez.