Sonat Marine Acquires Tug And Barge Unit For Petroleum Transportation

Stephen A. Van Dyck, president of Sonat Marine, Inc. of Philadephia, a subsidiary of Sonat Inc., has announced the purchase of a 244,000-barrel barge and its associated 7,000-bhp tug. This tug/barge unit will join the Sonat fleet as the Liberty (ex Satoco) and the Ocean 244 (ex Chromalloy I). This purchase is part of Sonat Marine's aggressive program to improve and expand its petroleum transportation service from Gulf Coast refineries into the Florida market. The Ocean 244 is similar in size and capabilities to the company's 250,000-barrel barges that are the workhorses of its Gulf fleet.

Sonat Marine is taking other measures to increase the efficiency of its Florida service. The recent integration of its seagoing supervisors into management ranks is expected to result in significant productivity gains. The company has expanded the size of its Engineering Department, and is working on designs for a new generation tug/barge unit specially designed to serve the Florida market.

Sonat Inc., headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., is engaged in finding and producing oil and natural gas, field services associated with oil and gas operations, and transportation of energy products.

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