International Registries, Inc. (IRI)/The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Registry held its 10th annual Offshore Advisory Group (OAG) meeting virtually in December 2021. Rear Admiral Kevin S. Cook, United States Coast Guard (Retired) moderated the meeting.
Tom Payne, Director- Marine Operations, Diamond Offshore, and the current interim OAG Chair, opened the meeting, addressing the group on the opportunities, challenges, and trends over the past two years. He noted that the ability to regularly engage with the Registry on these topics is highly valuable. He also expressed his appreciation to the OAG for coming together to discuss these items openly with key stakeholders.
The OAG facilitates interactive discussion of critical industry topics through annual meetings and ad hoc working groups, bringing together representatives from the offshore industry and the RMI Registry to share information, collaborate, and work together. A notable topic introduced at this year’s meeting was offshore wind and the group had a detailed discussion on the regulatory challenges in this fast-growing sector. Participants noted that the RMI Registry has been able to bridge the gap from a technical and regulatory perspective both at the International Maritime Organization and for its growing client base in this sector, while developing a customized regulatory framework for this growing sector.
Bill Gallagher, President, IRI provided an update from the RMI Registry. Guest speakers included Tom Kellock, Director, Offshore Rig Market Consulting, IHS Markit, who provided a market update; and Jim Rocco, Senior Director, Government & Industry Affairs – Offshore, International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC). Technical presentations and sector updates were provided by Roberto Herrera, Senior Flag State Specialist (IRI Houston); Cosmin Bozenovici, Vice President, Technical-Offshore (IRI Houston); and Luiz Freitas, Vice President, South America (IRI Rio de Janeiro). A regulatory update was provided by Charles McHardy, Regulatory Affairs Specialist (IRI London) and Tom Horan, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs – Offshore (IRI Houston).
With a focus on the future, the OAG also discussed Safety Management Systems and environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards and best practices. ESG practices have become increasingly important as companies look to not only improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations, but also lessen their environmental impact. These group discussions are important in raising the bar industry-wide on ESG principles, and the RMI Registry has led the way in supporting owners and operators in advancing their ESG practices.
The meeting increased awareness of the expertise and competency the Registry has in supporting the expanding and changing offshore industry.