it UNITED WE STAND 99 - A Call To Membership In The National Ocean Industries Association

Charles P. Siess, Jr.*

A tour of any offshore drilling rig or production platform illustrates how many U.S. companies, representing different industries from all parts of the country, participate in offshore energy exploration and production. From the bridge to the engine room, you see one manufacturer's nameplate after another.

Diesel engines manufactured near the Great Lakes provide horsepower.

Electronics gear from California and Massachusetts provides guidance and controls. Highpressure hoses made in Kansas safely carry fluids that are the rig's life blood. Wire ropes from factories in New England lift supplies aboard. Not as visible are the many specialized lubricants, seals and bearings that play vital roles.

Equally invisible, but just as vital, are the many products and components from upstream suppliers and vendors that are already incorporated as components in each system or piece of equipment on board.

Even before a rig or platform is launched, welding machines and welding supplies from the Midwest are used in large quantities during fabrication. So are thousands of tons of fabricated steel and hundreds of thousands of fasteners of all types.

Once on location, literally hundreds of companies support each offshore installation: crew and supply boats from shore basis . . . helicopter services . . . environmental controls . . . safety equipment.

Every offshore location is concrete proof of American industry's broad involvement in offshore oil and gas.

The same far-reaching and diverse participation can be seen on commercial fishing vessels, towboats and tankers, on cargo ships and throughout the many industries that service these operations.

This country's involvement in ocean-related industry reaches far beyond coastal regions where much of the population has traditionally depended directly on the ocean for employment. For illustration, the electronic components, light bulbs, batteries and innumerable small component manufacturers, and even the banking industry which finances them and their consultants participate in the offshore industry.

The National Ocean Industries Association was founded in 1972 on this awareness of the broad extent of industry's direct and indirect participation in ocean-related activity. NOIA's current membership, made up of more than 400 companies, understands even more urgently the current and future economic impact ocean-related activity on all geographic and industrial segments of our country. This grasp of the offshore industry's importance to our total economy, and to the nation's goal of energy independence, is NOIA's catalyst.

The National Ocean Industries Association is the only trade association that represents all facets of offshore and ocean-related activity.

This makes the association a unique forum.

NOIA's objective is to preserve and advance the vital role private enterprise plays in developing our offshore resources for all Americans while being consistent with sound environmental safeguards and practices. NOIA's membership confirms this broad charter. Member industries are as diversified as commercial diving and telecommunications.

Commercial and sport fishing, financial institutions and geophysical exploration companies are NOIA members. The entire offshore energy industry, from marine construction to exploratory drilling through production and transportation, is committed to NOIA's objectives.

Still, NOIA's diversified, commited membership is not large enough to withstand opposition from anti-business groups and environmental extremists.

*Charles P. Siess, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Marathon Manufacturing Companies, Inc., Houston, Texas, is a member of the National Ocean Industries Association's board of directors and is currently chairman of NOIA's Membership Committee The collective voice of all American companies directly and indirectly involved in ocean-related industry, especially offshore energy, must be broadened for this voice to become stronger in Washington and in our state capitols.

Here is where the crucial decisions are being made about the development of our offshore resources.

The need is greatest for a stronger voice and increased participation from those many inland-based companies who are involved in offshore energy development. For without this stronger voice, legislation and regulation will further needlessly limit development of one of America's most important ocean resources—our vast Outer Continental Shelf energy potential, The same legislation and regulation that would limit development of those energy resources will just as surely restrict participation by many companies based inland as it will those located along the coastal margin.

NOIA's response to those aspects of legislation which needlessly restrict development of OCS energy has been its Pro-Leasing Program. The thrust of this effort is to mobilize NOIA's members in Congressional districts across the United States to counter unreasonable Congressional limitations on the orderly leasing of OCS acreage for energy exploration.

The Pro-Leasing initiative is based on factual evidence proving our need for new, secure supplies of domestic energy. America's offshore energy industry has long since proved its ability to find and produce that energy, in harmony with the ocean's environment. This record of achievement and performance stands in support of NOIA's Pro-Leasing Program.

However, to be truly effective this program urgently needs broader active involvement by the American companies, large and small, who share in the offshore energy search in so many ways. It is therefore especially imperative and appropriate for all segments of American business and industry to become more aware of how profoundly our country is economically tied to the ocean and to development of what may be our last, large reserves of domestic energy.

For those reasons, I strongly urge all American firms that participate in offshore energy or any ocean-related business to join NOIA and become actively involved in the Pro-Leasing Program. For it will be only through our united voice, speaking for all these segments of American business, that Congress can better understand the nationwide benefits of oceanrelated activity, especially offshore energy, for its constituents.

To join your voice with so many others, please contact me personally at (713) 659-7444 or write for more information to NOIA's membership committee at the National Ocean Industries Association, 1050 Seventeenth Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036.

The direct benefits of membership in NOIA for your company will include effective representation at the national level, excellent communication to you of developments in Washington that affect your company through NOIA's newsletter, and professional analysis of the potential effect of proposed legislation and regulation on your company's business activities.

The indirect advantages of NOIA membership are too numerous to list here. However, I do assure you that your personal involvement in NOIA will benefit your company and your employees.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 31,  Aug 15, 1984

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Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.