Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Port Isabel, Texas, offers jobs building offshore pipelines

PORT ISABEL - Welders on June 29 began work at a new $40 million plant that local officials say marks the Rio Grande Valley's entry in the offshore old industry.
Port Isabel, located at the southernmost tip of Texas, is one of 12 deepwater ports in Texas, with a depth of 36 feet.
"It's a new era here for us," Bob Cornelison, director of the Port Isabel-San Benito Navigation District, during a tour of the new plant.
Subsea 7, an international underwater engineering construction company, is expected to attract other companies in the offshore oil industry to the Valley, Cornelison said.
The company will assemble pipelines that it will haul to offshore oilrigs, Cornelison said.
The company has hired about 90 workers, Cornelison said.
The company hired high skilled welders to fill some jobs, he said, and was training some local workers at the plant.
"There's a core of welders who were brought in to train locals," he said.
The company plans a massive operation on the 58-acre site off the port's ship channel, Cornelison said.
The company's first project calls for welders to join 38 miles of pipe that its ship will carry to an offshore oilrig in the Gulf of Mexico, Cornelison said.

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