State Of The Industry: Economic Effects Of Fracking Felt Along The Waterways

The Waterways Journal
20 January 2014
By David Murray

The many transformations of the American economy wrought by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and the resulting new abundance of both oil and natural gas continue to affect the barge industry in myriad ways. Mostly because of fracking, U.S. crude oil production is on pace to match its peak year in 1970, when it reached 9.6 million barrels per day. By 2008 it stood at only 5 million barrels per day, but by the summer of 2013 had risen back up to 7.5 million barrels per day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

One big beneficiary from the surge in oil and gas production has been Kirby Corporation. which continues to acquire smaller companies and to integrate its dominant network of coastal and inland barge routes. Throughout most of 2013. Kirby has been reporting barge utilization rates of 90 percent or above on both its coastal and in-land networks. Kirby's stock reached $ 100 a share for the first time recently.

Barge-builders have also been busy. Last year opened with a tank-barge building boom that had Walter Blessey, chairman and chief executive officer of Blessey Marine Services Inc., publicly worrying about overbuilding. Ken Eriksen of Informa Economics noted in an October symposium that 200 new tank barges had brought the total fleet to about 3.500, bringing the average age of tank barges down to about 20 years. from 25 years just a few years ago (WJ, October 14. 2013).

Boom Continues For Texas Port

Jennifer Stastny, director of' the Port of Victoria, Tex-as, reports that her port, at the epicenter of the Eagle Ford shale boom, reached its milestone of handling 2 million barrels of oil products per day during 2013.

"We're operating at a kind of dull roar now," Stastny told The Waterways Journal.

Having won an open bid. Devall Towing is building a barge fleeting area at Victoria to relieve congestion along the 35-mile-long Victoria Canal (WV, January 13). The port is adding another liquid cargo (lock in an existing slip, and a container dock is under construction, said Stastny.

Stastny said she has spent time persuading customers that they could move goods cheaply to the port by container-on-barge. She said the port will have an announcement "shortly' on the container-barge front.

The port also does a brisk business barging frac sand. Santrol, a subsidiary of Fairmount Minerals and a lead supplier of  "proppant" (as the drilling industry calls fracking sand) leases warehouse space at Victoria from Equalizer; it has six rail terminals elsewhere in Texas serving Eagle Ford customers (see accompanying story on Equalizer, this issue).

Drilling Can Move Fast

While Victoria's near future, at least, seems assured, Richard Brontoli, executive director of the Red River Valley Association, points out that the drilling business can be cyclical and volatile.

"A few years ago, our ports on the Red River were moving about a million tons a year of sand and gravel to help prepare pads and roads for drilling sites in the Haynesville Shale play," which is located under east Tex-as and northern Louisiana. The oil companies "had to move quickly to prepare the sites, because they paid penalties if they missed deadlines," said Brontoli.

But as prices for the "dry" natural gas produced by the Haynesville Shale play plunged. in part due to over-production, companies temporarily closed those sites to focus on the Eagle Ford Shale's oil and "wet" gas. which offers more revenue streams because it is a feedstock for the chemical industry.

King Coal Dethroned

But the rising tide of fracking doesn't necessarily lift all boats--at least, not right away. What fracking takes away, most obviously, is coal.

For decades, coal has been the top commodity by tonnage moved on the inland waterways. But a combination of the fracking revolution and strict new EPA regulations on mercury emissions by power plants have persuaded power companies to retire an accelerating number of aging coal-fired power plants. Up until recently, relatively few of these have been barge-served, but that is changing.

On January 8, despite a four-month delay, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) posted its New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) rule to the Federal Register essentially unchanged from the initial version. The American Coal Council said the rule "will effectively remove new coal plants as an electricity generation option, while having no direct impact on U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases."

On January 15, the energy news service Platts reported that quotes for coal barges loading on the Upper Mississippi and Ohio rivers for delivery to New Orleans had dropped clue to a lack of available tons. Platts quoted unnamed barge industry sources as saving that offers were hovering around $15 per short ton from St. Louis to New Orleans, and $22 from the Big Sandy River to New Orleans. Compared with years past, the sources said, those prices should be between $20 and $28 per short ton.

All transportation modes have been affected by the coal slowdown. CSX railroad warned on January 16 that despite its good results last year, weak demand for coal was masked by one-time gains due to real-estate sales and damage payments from utilities that didn't meet their coal commitments. CSX said ongoing weak coal demand will make it difficult to match the company's own targets of between 10 and 15 percent growth in earnings per share from 2013 through 2015.

Campbell Responds

Mike Monahan, president of Campbell Transportation Company, told The Waterways Journal, "The recent closing of the Hatfield Ferry power station is just one of a number of announced power plant closings by several utility companies in the last year. Unfortunately, several of the power plant closings are located in the river system and have been served by barge operators for years .... [Even though the Hatfield plant had] new scrubbers, EPA regulations were going to require additional capital to remain in operation.

"The continued uncertainty of the EPA direction, and no end in sight of raising the regulatory bar, has eliminated the ability of utility companies to project long-term operating certainty for coal fired power plants. The net result for the barge industry has been the loss of a tremendous amount of coal tonnage on the inland rivers, creating an oversupply of open hopper barge capacity."

Monahan said the changes present a "challenge to our business model."

Diversifying and Reinventing

The privately held Campbell has responded in several ways. In 201:3, the company built its first two towboats. the Renee Lynn and Alice jean. It has opened a barge-cleaning and glycol-recycling facility near Congo, W.Va., and has become involved in shipping export coal to New Orleans, a potentially profitable business that can have sudden surges but is subject to many uncertainties.

Campbell is downsizing its hopper barge fleet, and converting 10 percent of its open hopper barges to covered barges that can transport other commodities like fertilizer, grain, salt, cement. finished steel, or fracking sand. Monahan said that he hoped the local dry bulk market around Pittsburgh would stabilize and present some opportunities in 2014.

Campbell is not the only barge company converting hopper barges. "It's a good time to be making barge covers." river analyst Sandor Toth told The Waterways Journal.

Campbell already provides towing services for "a number of companies moving liquid barges on the Ohio River system." Campbell is also positioned with our well-developed infrastructure to sup-port the growth in the liquids markets

and provide an m-plant cleaning and sup-port service through the Campbell Environmental Service Company located in Congo. W.Va.," said Monahan. Campbell has also built a new 150-foot drydock at Congo. with help from a small shipyard grant from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MarAd).

The real growth prospects for Camp-bell come from fracking and its attendant industries, said Monahan. At least four, and possibly five, companies are in various stages of exploring opportunities to build ethane cracker plants in the Ohio Valley region. These multi-billion-dollar investments would generate a number of both "upstream" and "downstream" liquid products from "wet" natural gas, most capable of being moved by barge.

Pipeline Competition

Among the challenges barge companies will face entering the liquids market may be competition from pipelines. The most noteworthy of several planned projects, the Bluegrass Pipeline project, is being developed by a partnership between Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners. In March. the partners announced that their plan calls for a pipeline to move 200,000 barrels per day from the Marcellus and Utica shale region to both the Gulf Coast and the Northeast U.S.

Part of the pipeline network is already in place. while some remains to be built. reversed. or converted from other uses. The Bluegrass plans call for converting a section of pipeline from Hardinsburg, Ky.. to Eunice. La.. to natural gas liquids from gas. and building a new fractionation plant in Louisiana.

Williams and Boardwalk claim that "given current market dynamics in the Northeast, existing liquids systems and local outlets will be overwhelmed by 2016" by the expected volume of 1.2 mil-lion barrels per day of natural gas liquids (NGLs).

The Bluegrass partners have said that they expect the pipeline to be operation-al by the second half of 2015. "assuming all necessary conditions are met." including receiving myriad state, local and federal permits

All Modes Overwhelmed?

But will even this additional pipe-line capacity necessarily take business away from barges? Oil and gas output is expanding so rapidly that all modes of transportation are benefiting. According to the Association of American Rail-roads, U.S. Class I railroads originated just 9,500 carloads of crude oil in 2008: by 2012. they originated nearly 234.000 car-loads, and in 2013 the number was closer to 600,000.

Several widely publicized rail accidents involving oil unit trains may bring increased scrutiny to rail transportation of oil. The most notorious derailment occurred last July 6, when a runaway oil train exploded in the town of Lac-Mégantie, Quebec. near Montreal. killing 47 people and putting a media spotlight on oil transportation by rail.

The first two weeks of January alone saw two train derailments. including one on January 7 in which a 122-car Canadian National Railway train carrying oil and propane derailed and burned outside of Plaster Rock, New Brunswick. forcing the evacuation of 150 people.

Fracking Water Potential

The potential of fracking-related barge work is well illustrated by Green Hunter Resources LLC. which is taking the lead in processing water used in fracking operations in the Ohio Valley basin. Last March, it bought a 10.8-acre barging terminal facility in Wheeling, W.Va.; last July, it opened a riverside brine injection plant in Washington County, Ohio. The site opened with a 1,200-barrels-per-day injection capacity, but will ramp up to a capacity of more than 13,000 barrels per day.

GreenHunter is positioning itself as the industry-leading processor of fracking-related water, of which there are three kinds: so-called production water or fluid, naturally-occurring water released along with oil and gas; flowback; and pit water. According to GreenHunter president and chief executive officer Jonathan Hoopes, the company doubled its revenues last year, from $17 million to $34 million, and could do so again this year. Ht announced a 10 percent dividend in its Series C Preferred shares on January 8, and Hoopes told The Waterways Journal he is currently raising about $35 million in investor capital for expansion. The company is divesting sonic of its south Texas assets to focus on Appalachia, he said.

GreenHunter is doing well even with-out barging. thanks to its treatment wells and trucking operations. But Hoopes and GreenHunter vice president John Jack made clear that they welcome barging; they said the company is engaging in talks with several barge companies, in anticipation of the Coast Guard's final decision on barging tracking water.

Monahan said that although "Camp-bell believes hydraulic gas drilling waste water shipments on the river will be a cost-effective solution for shippers in the future... the actual market size of transporting" this water "has vet to be determined."

Right now, GreenHunter anticipates barge traffic of one or two barges a week at its Washington County plant — to start.

LNG 'Ecosystem'

Jim McCarville, executive director of the Port of Pittsburgh Commission, has already won kudos from the waterways community for his innovative partner-ships that have developed the first river-focused broadband network.

McCarville told The waterways Journal he has been in discussions with engine makers, towboat companies, sup-pliers, and various other groups about creating an "LNG corridor along the Ohio River, in which towboats would in-stall LNG powered engines serviced by terminals.

The difficulty, the said, is that all the pieces of the puzzle have to become operational at once, since they all depend on each other. "It's a chicken-and-egg thing,"
he said.

"You won't get boat owners installing LNG engines until they're convinced there's an adequate support network, but engine makers want to know there'll be a critical mass of enough boat owners in-stalling them before they make a commitment," he said.

Regulator changes may also have to happen, with rides governing LNG fueling docks and operation and the design of LNG-powered vessels. Present Coast Guard rules about how LNG-powered vessels should be designed make such vessels more expensive to build than traditional boats.

But McCarville said new-builds alone won't be enough to convince support players to jump into the market; retrofitting older boats for LNG engines will have to be made economically attractive as well.

From Tonnages To Other Metrics

No matter how successfully Campbell and other barge companies pivot away from coal toward the new economy created by fracking, one thing seems clear: barge tonnages will likely drop, at least in the short term. It only takes five barrels of oil to produce roughly the same energy output as a ton of coal. Energy-efficiency measures and incremental improvements to the power grid also keep energy demand from rising as fast as it otherwise might.

For decades, barge industry proponents and opponents alike have used tonnage figures as a (rough) measure of the health of waterways industries. Environmentalists have been known to use declining tonnage figures on a particular river or waterway system to argue that the barge industry is "declining" or even "dying," as was said of the Missouri River barge industry (luring that liver's decade-long drought.

Getting The Figures Right

One problem with tonnage figures, according to Dennis Wilmsmeyer, director of America's Central Port just north of St. Louis, Mo.-- who is also currently serving as president of Inland Rivers Ports and Terminals Inc. — is that they are often wrong.

"Some of the tonnage data collected today tends to be estimates; and in some cases, very bad estimates of what is actually moving on our rivers. Not only do we believe that the overall tonnage handled on our nation's rivers is grossly under-reported, but this under-reporting can have devastating impacts. Two years ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed reducing hours of operation at locks whose tonnage movement was below a certain threshold. This criteria was later changed to the number of commercial lockages, but it certainly demonstrates how errant data can cause real-life issues," Wilmsmeyer told The Waterways journal.

Equally controversially, the Corps of Engineers in recent years has used tonnage figures of river ports to allocate scarce dredging resources, denying dredging for those that move less than a million tons a year.

"The numbers [of dredge-deprived ports] are growing dramatically," said Wilmsmeyer. Ports are having to either pay for dredging themselves, or turn to state and local sources. "There is a mixed opinion on whether this is rewarding bad behavior [by the Corps]." said Wilmsmeyer, "but the reality is that dredging may not get done otherwise."

IRPT, along with other industry associations such as Waterways Council. continue to lobby Congress to restore dredge funding.

Central Location Benefits Port

Wilmsmeyer port, formerly known at the Tri-City Regional Port District, is well-positioned at the center of river, rail and road networks, and was "relatively unscathed during the recession," he said. Even 2012's low water benefited the port, causing "an increase in barge traffic for offload to rail and truck" as operators were concerned about river levels.

An economic impact study released in June 2013 estimated the port's impact to Madison County. Ill., at 8282 million a year an increase of 36 percent from its impact in 2007. With 75 industrial and commercial tenants. the port loads or unloads 2.500 barges each year and passes 2.5 million tons of commodities valued at $1.1 billion each year.

A master plan prepared by the port in 2010 identified 11 landside and 11 water-side projects; Wilmsmeyer said the port is "ahead of schedule" and expects to complete the largest and most ambitious project, the South Harbor expansion, by the fall of this year.

"2014 will be a big year for America's Central Port," said Wilmsmeyer. "With new leases and facilities, it could be our best year ever in terms of revenue...

New Study, New Metrics

Tonnage figures will continue to be collected and used, but both McCarville and Wilmsmever believe the barge industry has to stop thinking in terms of tonnage alone, and to start thinking (and presenting itself) instead in terms of the economic impact and reach of water-ways industries. especially in the number of jobs it supports. McCarville believes that the "spinoff' effects of oil and natural gas movement and processing may have more of an economic impact than those of coal. Among other indicators of economic vitality, new barges and vessels continue to be built at a lively clip. IRPT is pushing for a Nationwide Inland Rivers Economic Impact Study to gauge the true value the river system has on this country, using many metrics.

"A study such as this has not been clone for a very long time and would be used by nearly every port in the country to promote the use of the rivers," said WiImsmeyer.

Jim Kruse, director of the Center for Ports and Waterways at the Texas Transportation Institute, suggests one striking metric: "Barges move 16 percent of America's freight for 3 percent of its freight bill," he told The Waterways Journal.

"But apart from the savings that continue to make barge transportation so at-tractive. we simply can't do without it because the other surface transportation modes can't take up the slack," were the barge industry to disappear. Kruse said.

Benteler Steel Plant

Despite Corps dredging cutbacks and Congress' failure so far to adequate inland infrastructure maintenance, river locations continue to attract new investment. Port directors on the Red River system have welcomed several major new projects in recent months.

In September, construction began on a 5975 million barge-served steel tube manufacturing plant in Caddo Parish. La., at the Port of Caddo-Bossier, that, when finished in August 2015, is expected to generate 675 jobs with an average salary of $50.000.

The plant, which will serve the needs of the expanding drilling industry, is the first manufacturing facility to be built in North America by Benteler Steel/Tube. a subsidiary of a global steel company headquartered in Austria with 30,000 employees in 170 plants, locations, and warehouses in 38 countries.

At the groundbreaking, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal credited the Red River Waterways commission and the Port of Caddo-Bossier with helping to bring the plant to Louisiana. The construction work will employ about a thousand workers. Benteler says construction is on track to be completed in late 2014, with manufacturing operations beginning in the second half of 2015.

Bio-Refineries Launch In Louisiana

In January, construction began at the Port of Alexandria, La., on the first of three bio-refineries to be built in Louisiana by Cool Planet Energy Systems, for a total investment of $168 million. The second plant will he located at Natchitoches, and the third at "a site to be determined." The Natchitoches plant will begin construction in the summer of 201.5, with an estimated completion date in summer 2016.

Using a proprietary process called the carbon-negative fuel cycle, the plants will make high-octane, low-vapor pressure gasoline from wood waste and forest products for barging to blending facilities at Louisiana refineries, after which the company says the fuel will be usable for vehicles. Feedstocks can include wood chips, grains stubble. dead trees that have been killed by pests, corn cobs, sugar-cane, or switchgrass.

Each plant's output will be about one-hundredth that of typical refineries, but the plants can be located close to biomass sources, the company said, enabling them to produce gasoline for the target $50 a barrel, competitive with traditional refineries.

The plants will also market biochar, a refining by-product that farmers use in the soil to reduce carbon loss from crops and to increase water retention.

Cool Planet, headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colo., describes itself as "deploying disruptive technology through capital-efficient, small-scale bio-refineries to economically convert nonfood biomass into high-octane gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel fuel." The company's backers include Google Ventures, Energy Technology Ventures, North Bridge Venture Partners, and a division of Exelon. Its business model calls (or it to build 400 micro-refineries across the U.S. over the next 10 years.

Cool Planet's bio-refineries will be well-positioned to take advantage of' a biomass-based diesel-use mandate under the Renewable Fuel Standard of' the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which rose to 1 billion gallons for 2012 and is assumed to remain at that level for subsequent years. Some biodiesel production above this mandate is assumed to meet a portion of the advanced biofuel mandate of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Challenges For Red River

Despite all the positive news. Brontoli  said the J. Bennett Johnston Waterway faces several challenges. Dredging "is a challenge since we are reduced in dredging funds," he said.

"We were able to get supplemental funds two years ago, which helped us get through this present fiscal year. Mother Nature has also cooperated, and we have not had high-water events on the Red River in the past year to deposit silt in the pools. The Mississippi River has also remained high enough to keep drafts greater than nine feet below Lock 1."

Another threat ignored except by local meddia is the rapid spread of an aquatic fern pest, giant salvinia. Most national media attention on aquatic threats goes to the possibility of Asian carp migrating from the Mississippi River system to the Great Lakes, on which the Corps of Engineers
just released a final report (WJ, January 11).

Giant salvinia in a lock on the Red River

A Brazilian import, giant salvinia was first found in Caddo Lake in 2006; it is now "becoming a major challenge for navigation and recreation," Brontoli told The Waterways Journal. If conditions are right, the plant pest can grow from a two-leaf sprig to a 40-square-mile mat in three months.

One solution employed by ports has been to import from Brazil and release one of giant salvinia's natural predators, a weevil that eats its leaves. Red River officials have also used mechanical removal and spraying with herbicides to reduce infestations.

Silicon Plant Breaks Ground

On the Tennessee "Tombigbee system, the big news so far in 2014 was the groundbreaking on January 13 of a 8200 million barge-served industrial silicon metal plant at Burnsville, Miss., 100 miles southeast of Memphis, Tenn., and close to the Northeast Mississippi Waterfront Industrial Park.

The Mississippi Silicon plant will pro-duce silicon metal for the aluminum, automotive and chemical industries in the U.S. and Canada, with some product possibly going to Japan or South Korea, ac-cording to company officials. Mississippi Silicon is a strategic partnership between Rima Holdings USA, Inc., and domestic investor group Clean Tech I, LLC.

The project had previously been pro-posed for neighboring Lowndes County, but stalled due to what Mississippi Silicon chairman of the board John Correnti de-scribed to local media as "unreasonable demands" by county officials. Richard Vicintin, Rina's chief executive officer, revived the project. Vincintin had been looking all over the world for a place to build the plant, but Mississippi officials, including Gov. Phil Bryant, persuaded the company to locate the plant in Tishomingo County.

The state provided a total of $21.5 mil-lion for construction and workforce training, according to the Northeast Mississippi News, and Tishomingo County kicked in a $3.5 million infrastructure loan. Bryant's office told local media that Mississippi has seen 81 billion in new investment in the state during 2013, and the creation of 6,265 new jobs, compared to $455.5 million in new investment and the creation of 2,664 new jobs during the previous year.

When the 100-acre plant opens some-time between 18 months and two years from now, it is expected to provide about 200 jobs with average salaries of $55,000 each. It will use coal, wood chips and quartz chips as feedstocks for its two furnaces.

Tenn-Tom Growth

Bruce Windham, administrator of the Tenn-Tom Development Authority, told The Waterways journal that traffic and tonnage on the Tenn-Tom system has "gone up steadily over the past several years, due mostly to steel and chemical products." Tonnages of forest products, including wood pellets exported to north-ern Europe, have declined somewhat, he said.

While Windham welcomes the uptick in overall tonnage, he agrees that tonnage alone doesn't tell the whole waterways story.

Eugene Bishop, executive director of the Yellow Creek State Inland Port Authority at Inka, Miss., notes that several of his port's tenants move heavy-lift, high-value cargoes whose value cannot be captured by tonnage alone.

Iuka's waterfront has attracted several steel-fabricating plants in recent years. PSP Monotech, which makes large components for power plants, expanded its Iuka property in 2006. G&G Steel opened a facility in the port in 2007; it makes some of the world's largest fabricated metal components for industrial and infrastructure-related projects, including bridges, locks and mining equipment, virtually all of which must move by barge.

"Oversized products really can't be shipped economically any other way," Windham notes.

In 2012, Contract Fabricators Inc. moved into the 97,280-square-foot facility at Yellow Creek formerly occupied by Dynasteel. CFI manufactures large pressure vessels for oil refineries, power plants, and chemical plants, as well as heat exchangers, stripping columns, cyclones, dryers, and other large equipment.

Shepherding WRRDA

While ports develop and the market moves forward, the barge industry continues to wait on developments in Washington. Shortly before press time, the omnibus funding bill called the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 was released by House and Senate leaders. WCI said it was "pleased" with the bill's waterways provisions, noting that it "significantly increases spending for critical port and navigation channel improvements, with $1 billion provided from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund." The 81.012 trillion bill includes a 8748 million increase in waterways spending from the FY 2013 .post-sequester enacted level.

Despite last year's encouraging passage of the Water Resources Reform & Development Act versions in both houses of Congress, it is not not signed into law. The American Waterways Operators' top legislative priority this year is, of course, to continue to shepherd WRRDA through the conference committee and to the president's desk, working closely with the WCI and other advocacy groups.
Craig Montesano, director of legislative affairs at AWO, told The Waterways Journal that while a "quick finish" in January and exit of WRRDA from the conference committee that resolves differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill is not as likely as was once hoped, he remains optimistic about its passage.

"There are differences on language that remain to be worked out," he said, but these are not ideological; the spirit of bipartisanship that marked its overwhelming vote or passage in the House last year continues to prevail.

Montesano is a
lso optimistic about the Coast Guard's policy on barge transportation of fracking wastewater, which he says AWO is following closely as the Coast Guard collects comments to prepare for its final version.

Vessel Discharge Bill

After WRRDA, AWO's next top priority is a new hill that would establish uniform national standards for vessel discharges to replace the patchwork of requirements from the states. The two key senators here are Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who are expected to introduce the new bill "soon, according to Montesano. "We feel more optimistic about this issue now than we did in 2012," he said.

Rubio has a seat on the powerful Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, as well as on two of its important maritime subcommittees, the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, and the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine lnfrastructure, Safety, and Security.

Apart from specific legislative goals, Montesano said the AWO will continue to reach out to relatively new legislators, perhaps two thirds of whom have been elected to Congress since the last passage of a WHOA in 2007. Montesano agreed that it's common for the barge industry's friends and enemies alike to use tonnages as a measure of the industry's health.

"We have a good story to tell. because our industry has been a reliable job-creating engine for decades." he said.

Ann McCulloch, director-public affairs and communications for AWO, adds, "This is a dynamic industry that is making many positive impacts and actively preparing for its future. We would agree that tonnage is only one measure of how to examine the industry — many factors come into play. We think it is best to take a holistic. approach that encomopasses not only tonnage, but employment and revenue generated as well as industry investment in new vessels and technologies."