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Offshore Winds A Legal Barometer for Marine and Energy Business

Robert J. Stefani

Bob Stefani is a member at King, Krebs & Jurgens, P.L.L.C., and practices in the areas of marine finance and other financial, corporate transactions and maritime and commercial litigation and government regulation. His practice includes representation of companies in the financial services, marine, oil and gas, and construction industries. Bob represents companies in resolving commercial disputes, workouts, collections, complex reorganization and liquidation cases and the prosecution and defense of bankruptcy-related claims. He also advises clients in a wide variety of contracts, including major lease and development agreements, asset and stock purchase agreements, and public and private works and supply contracts, and advises business owners on corporate organization, governance, succession and ownership matters.

Posts by Robert J. Stefani

Fifth Circuit: No Overtime Pay for Crewmember Tankermen

Posted in Maritime Law

On November 13, 2014, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held in Coffin v. Blessey Marine Services, Incorporated, Case No. 13-20144, that individuals who loaded and unloaded tank barges as part of their duties as crew of a unit tow were seamen exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”)…. Continue Reading

Water Challenge Winner Has Big Idea for Estuary Restoration

Posted in Marine Services

On March 24, four local entrepreneurs competed in New Orleans’ 2014 Water Challenge, sponsored by King Krebs & Jurgens in partnership with The Idea Village and the Greater New Orleans Foundation. Now in its fourth year, this award-winning program identifies and supports entrepreneurial solutions that apply innovative approaches to how we live with and manage water… Continue Reading

Designated Entity Clauses — No Substitute for Knowing Who You Are Dealing With

Posted in Maritime Contracts

With increasing frequency, parties to charters and other maritime contracts are including so-called Designated Entity Clauses or “OFAC” provisions. These clauses have the aim of complying with sanction programs such those administered by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) or multi-national organizations such as the European Union or United Nations. But, do the… Continue Reading

Oil Spill Case Shows Need to Screen Chartered Vessels & Operators

Posted in Marine Pollution, Maritime Accidents

A judge’s recent decision on where legal liability lies for a maritime accident which released thousands of gallons of oil into the Mississippi River illustrates the benefits of being proactive in vetting operator quality when chartering vessels. The case involved a July 2008 collision near New Orleans between an oil barge and the vessel TINTOMARA…. Continue Reading

BOEM Finding Advances Development of Mid-Atlantic Offshore Wind Farm; But Tailwinds are Behind Faster Moving Gulf Coast Projects in State Waters

Posted in Energy, Offshore Wind

On May 14, 2012, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced a finding of “no competitive interest” with regard to a proposed right-of-way grant area off the Mid-Atlantic coast for construction of an offshore wind energy transmission line. While BOEM’s decision represents a key step forward for this federal offshore wind farming project, two fast-moving… Continue Reading

A Checklist: What to Expect When Financing Vessel Construction

Posted in Marine Services, Maritime Contracts, Ports & Cargo Shipping

When seeking construction financing for a proposed newbuilding, shipowners should understand and be prepared to address the particular concerns that lenders have in assessing risk and documenting vessel construction projects. When deciding whether to approve a construction financing loan, lenders focus on certain key factors: Does the shipyard have the requisite experience, manpower and financial… Continue Reading

Coast Guard to Review Jones Act Vessel Citizenship Requirements

Posted in Jones Act, Marine Services

In an action that may signal future changes to vessel documentation requirements for publicly traded companies, the U.S. Coast Guard published a Notice in the Federal Register November 3 seeking comments on mechanisms currently employed by such companies in order to assure compliance with U.S. citizenship requirements. At least 75% of the stock or other… Continue Reading

Competing Interests Collide Over Proposed New Legislation for Oil and Gas Rigs and Vessels

Posted in Energy, Maritime Contracts, Offshore Oil

Rep. Jeff Landry (R-LA) has added a provision to the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2011, currently under consideration in Congress, which would require the owner/operator of any offshore rig or vessel engaged in drilling, plugging and abandoning or workover operations to maintain a standby rescue vessels within 3 nautical miles. The provision… Continue Reading

Lawmakers Inch Closer to Enacting Legislation to Allocate Deepwater Horizon Fines

Posted in Oil Spill Restoration

Lawmakers in the House and Senate have taken the first steps toward enactment of legislation that will allocate 80% of fines assessed against BP under the Clean Water Act to Gulf States.  On September 21, 2011, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee reported out S. 1400 –  The RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act of… Continue Reading

Shelved tax credit could bring new shipping lines to Louisiana Ports

Posted in Ports & Cargo Shipping

In the recent CityBusiness article “Revenue Neutrality Keeps Shipping Tax Credit on Shelf,” Ben Meyers examines the reasons behind the State of Louisiana’s refusal to implement a $5 per-ton tax credit passed into law two years ago. The Ports Tax Credit Program provides for export‐import cargo credit of $5 per ton for cargo emanating from or destined to… Continue Reading

New Oil Discoveries in Brazil Spur Demand for Oilfield Services

Posted in Offshore Oil

As this article indicates, a veritable “bonanza” is taking place in Brazil as a result of recent offshore oil discoveries by Petrobras: “The result is that every company and group is piling into the country to set up their shopfront to show their wares.”  The booming demand for oilfield and related marine and construction services is… Continue Reading