Port Bureau Updates

April 2017 Commerce Club
Tahir Faruqui
President, Shell North America LNG

Tahir FaruquiTahir Faruqui, President of Shell North America LNG and GM Origination – North & Central America in Shell LNG Marketing and Trading, will be the guest speaker at the Commerce Club luncheon on Thursday, April 13, 2017, at Brady’s Landing. Tahir joined Shell in 1997 and has contributed in various roles in Commercial and Finance including Business Development, Structured Finance, E&P Finance, and venture capital/private equity.
Prior to Shell Trading, Tahir also gained experience in Strategy Consulting during his tenure at Bain & Co., as a public accountant for HRS, and as a stockbroker for Chatfield Dean / Wells Fargo. He brings a broad base of experiences from both external markets as well as within Shell. Tahir joined Shell’s LNG Trading team in SNALNG in 2014 in his current role. Previously, he held the role of VP/Manager for Energy Retailers (Aggregators) at Shell Energy North America where he was responsible for reviving and growing the portfolio in deregulated markets for gas and power.
Tahir holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and BBA (Hons.) from University of Karachi (IBA).
Thank you to our Annual Table Sponsors: Houston Pilots, Regions Bank, Moran Shipping Agencies, Richardson Companies, Targa and West Gulf Maritime Association and Table Sponsors: Intercontinental Terminals Company.Register for the Commerce Club luncheons by visiting www.txgulf.org/events/commerce-club or by calling the Port Bureau at 713-678-4300.

Savage Inland Marine, LLC Leases Barge Fleeting Area at Bessie Heights Marsh

Savage Inland Marine reached an agreement on Feb. 21, 2017, with the state for a surface lease in the FINA Oxbow of the Neches River. The area is just south of the Bessie Heights Marsh entrance, a protected wetlands. The lease arrangement comes after more than a year of opposition by a Beaumont area conservation group and the Orange County Commissioner’s Court. The final agreement is expected to be signed soon.
The lease was approved by the Texas General Land Office (GLO) for five years for a total of $500,312.95. GLO Press Secretary Brittany Eck told the Beaumont Enterprise, Savage will pay between $81,950 and $119,983 per year. Jeff Hymas, communications director for Savage, added in the Beaumont Enterprise that they had requested a 20-year lease but as long as compliance with the lease’s conditions were maintained, the company would be able to renew the lease.
The conservation group, Citizens for the Preservation of Bessie Heights, opposed the lease because of concerns about contamination to the marsh. The lease approved by GLO stipulates that Savage “must purchase and maintain a policy providing pollution liability insurance coverage in the minimum amount of $2 million,” according to Eck.
In response to questions surrounding the use of the fleeting area, Savage offers operational information on their website. Among other environmental safety measures, Savage uses “spud barges” to keep barges a minimum of 30 feet from the shoreline. The company also maintains a spill-abatement plan and a facility security plan, along with a service agreement with an Oil Spill Response Organization to provide coverage, prepositioning of equipment and expertise should there be an incident.
The need for an increased fleeting area for Savage became necessary after their purchase of Thousand Foot Cut Towing Services in May 2016.

U.S. Coast Guard Honors Captains, Firefighters for Heroic Actions

Houston Pilots Captains Douglas Scott and William Curry receive the USCG Meritorious Public Service award from Rear Admiral David Callahan and Captain Peter Martin. Photo credit Henry de La Garza, de La Garza Public Relations, Inc.

Houston Pilot Captains Michael McGee and Michael Phillips, G&H Towing Captains Douglas Scott and William Curry, along with Port of Houston Fire Boat Assistant Chief Glenn Hood and Senior Capt. Kirk Beverung, were honored by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) at a special ceremony on February 10, 2017.
Rear Admiral David Callahan, the Coast Guard’s 8th District Commander, presented each man the USCG Meritorious Public Service Award in recognition of their “prompt and effective response to a major marine casualty” in connection with an incident on the Houston Ship Channel last fall. The special ceremony was held during the Lone Star Harbor Safety Committee meeting at the Houston Pilots facility.
The incident occurred on September 6, 2016, when the 800-foot-crude oil tanker, the M/T Aframax River experienced a mechanical malfunction, forcing it into a pilling. The tanker’s hull punctured, sparking a fire from the vessel’s fuel reserves. The Houston Pilots captains stayed aboard and the tugs from G&H Towing remained with the vessel throughout the fire, all working together to navigate the Aframax away from other vessels. Port of Houston firefighters quickly arrived to battle the blaze. Their joint efforts helped to prevent injuries, loss of life, and lessen the impact to the environment as well as maritime commerce. According to a report from ABC 13-KTRK, Coast Guard officials estimate that if the fire had spread, resulting fuel explosions and damages could have closed the Houston Ship Channel for months.
The Meritorious Public Service Award is the highest civilian award bestowed by the Coast Guard. Several members of local media were on hand to report on the moment. Kudos, to all of those involved in the successful response.

Attendees of the NAMEPA Environmental Intelligence in Shipping Conference on February 23, 2017 listen to a presentation. During the conference Capt. Sean Arbogast spoke on the mission of the pilots and the challenges they face. “If I may take a moment, the mission of the Houston Pilots sounds relatively simple: Safely bring ships in and take ships out of port on the Houston Ship Channel. Our job, however, is a highly complex and challenging assignment – part art and part science – undertaken in the tricky waters of the largest landlocked port in America. We skillfully perform our job 24/7, rain or shine, with an unwavering commitment to safety first. Given an expanding global economy, larger ships, and worldwide threats of violence, the role of the Houston Pilots has become more essential than ever.”


  • Date March 14, 2017
  • Tags March 2017