Following is news coverage from Maritime Executive.
Escopeta Oil Co. is facing a federal fine of $15 million stemming from the company violating the Jones Act as they transported a jack-up oil rig to Alaska’s Cook Inlet from Texas, using a foreign-flagged ship.
Spokesman from Escopeta, Steve Sutherlin, confirmed that they received a notice of the $15 million penalty from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection on October 13th after their violation of the Jones Act that took place this summer. Escopeta had failed to obtain a Jones Act waiver that requires intra-national transportation efforts to be completed by American vessels before they sent the Spartan 151 jack up rig to Alaska via Chinese heavy lift vessel.
Sutherlin had stated that the company has the option to file a petition for relief, but have not come to a decision on how the penalty will be addressed. They have 60 days to file a petition, and meanwhile, the mid-sized oil company weighs their options. Sutherlin also expressed that the fine was very heavy under the given circumstances.
The rig is currently operational in the Cook Inlet, and despite the violation and fine, it will not affect drilling.