Monday, June 21, 2010

Helix Energy Solutions Proposes Oil Industry Cleanup Group (HLX)

OOPS! We had 'Services' rather than 'Solutions' in the headline. Sorry.
The stock is trading up 11 cents at $12.37.
There was a time when I could name every U.S. traded energy services company. No more, Helix is a new one to me.
From the Houston Chronicle:

Houston's Helix wants to lead effort to form response organization
Houston-based Helix Energy Services Group, an energy company with three vessels involved in BP's oil containment efforts in the Gulf, plans to push for a new consortium to tackle deep-water well challenges should another spill occur.
CEO Owen Kratz proposes an industrywide effort to design and fabricate a toolkit that would be ready to respond immediately in the event of a loss of well control where other backup systems fail.
Such systems might be refinements of some of the mechanisms BP has devised hastily in its frantic effort to contain the Gulf oil spill, but would be pre-engineered, tested, built ahead of time and staged for ready deployment.
Company officials will go to Washington this week to pitch their idea to lawmakers.
Kratz said it's too soon to say what form the organization might take or how it might be funded.
One possibility could be to model it after the nonprofit Marine Spill Response Corp. the industry formed after the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker spill in Alaska's Prince William Sound.
The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 required oil companies, including refiners and transportation and marketing firms, to contract for the personnel and equipment to contain and clean up oil spills.
Partly driving the Helix effort is a concern that regulators are poised to erect steep new financial hurdles to drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, including raising or removing caps on oil spill liability, and requiring that companies post large bonds to operate.
"A more prudent approach would be for there to be an effort like this to have a fast response that limits the impact so that you don't need to burden the industry with a huge liability exposure," Kratz said. "If you have a reasonable chance of containment, then that need goes away."
BP has contracted with Helix for three multipurpose vessels that are playing key roles in the evolving strategy to intercept the torrents of oil flowing from the Macondo well....MORE