Commodity Futures File
Walt Breitinger

Cargo Ship Stuck in Suez Canal

Posted Friday, March 26, 2021, at 1:50 PM
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  • As an independent geoscientist, I was fortunate to work with some of the largest oil and gas companies in the world. A failure that caused one small drill rig to shut down could cost six figures per day for starters. We were often compelled to follow the US Marines motto of “adapt, improvise, and overcome” in a timely manner. Often this involved devising and inventing unconventional ways and means to solve new problems that arose in the course of operations. Since down time equates to a direct monetary loss, the corporations had the vision to afford us the latitude to develop creative solutions that minimized loss. As a subcontractor responsible for my slice of a $1B well field, we took it personally that the operation ran continuously.

    IMHO, subcontractors in general that are hired for a specific task typically rely on “tried and true” conventional methods to solve complex and new problems. In most cases, it eventually works. However, these subs are typically just in it for the paycheck. They have no other interest other than a pat on their own back when the job is completed and the checks are cashed. Hence, they have no incentive to develop new methods.

    In the case of the stuck ship, dig a big pit is the best the “experts” can come up with. Which brings to mind Scott Adams and his recent Dilbert comic; to paraphrase: “experts only know about things that are, if they knew about new things, they would be entrepreneurs”.

    We came up with a viable solution days ago that could free up the ship in a timely manner without risking damage to the vessel or cargo. I contacted the ship owners and the first salvage company to inform them I had an unconventional idea – no interest whatsoever, not even a “no interest” response back.

    But what do I know. I’m just a scientist and owner of successful small businesses – I’m not an expert. Oh well, dig away men. IMHO, it will resemble using a garden trowel to dig a tractor trailer out of a mud pit.

    -- Posted by StevesOpinions on Sun, Mar 28, 2021, at 10:08 AM
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