Largest Jones Act Penalty in History
Furie Operating Alaska LLC, a natural gas and oil exploration and production company in Cook Inlet, Alaska, has agreed to pay $10 million to satisfy a civil penalty originally assessed against it by US Customs and Border Protection for violating the Jones Act.
Furie was penalized when it transported the Spartan 151 jack-up drill rig from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska in 2011 using a foreign flagged vessel without acquiring a waiver of the Jones Act from the Secretary of Homeland Security. This resolves a civil lawsuit filed by Furie in 2012 challenging the assessment of the civil penalty.
The Jones Act, passed in 1920, prohibits a foreign vessel from transporting merchandise between points in the United States. A violation of the Jones Act may result in the assessment of a civil penalty equal to the value of the merchandise. A waiver may be obtained, in limited circumstances, from the Secretary of Homeland Security when he or she believes it is in the interest of national defense, following a determination that there is no US vessel available to engage in the transport. Settlement in this case is the largest penalty in the history of the Jones Act.