Harvey Gulf LNG OSV Launch, January 2014.jpg

Harvey Gulf International Marine's first dual-fuel offshore supply vessel, built by Gulf Coast Shipyard Group in Gulfport, Miss., was put into action in 2014. The company has made a merger offer to Gulf Mark Offshore.  

A federal bankruptcy judge has approved a bankruptcy reorganization plan for Harvey Gulf International Marine, a New Orleans-based company that provides offshore supply, crew and multipurpose construction and support vessels for Gulf of Mexico deepwater drilling operations.

Shane Guidry, chief executive officer for Harvey Gulf, noted that the plan was approved 77 days after Harvey Gulf filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. At the time of the filing, Harvey Gulf had about $1.2 billion in debt.

New Orleans-based Harvey Gulf Marine files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

“We really appreciate the diligent and collaborative efforts of all involved in this process — both within the company and from the legal and financial support teams,” Guidry said in a statement.

The reorganization plan, which Harvey Gulf submitted with its Chapter 11 filing in March, involves a debt for equity swap. There will be no changes in operations, personnel or safety, Guidry said.

In connection with the reorganization, Harvey Gulf has reached long-term charter deals with Hess for three platform supply vessels, each more than 300 feet long. Those ships will take the place of vessels previously operated by Aries Marine that were acquired by Hornbeck Offshore.

Guidry blamed the bankruptcy filing on the global slowdown in drilling activity, brought on by a sustained run of low oil prices. He said it was important for the company to get ahead of 2020, when it faced a nearly $818 million debt obligation.

Guidry has predicted the drilling market will begin to turn around by then and expects Harvey Gulf will be positioned to take advantage of it.

Harvey Gulf has about 580 employees, including about 504 crew members, court filings show. The company's fleet includes 60 vessels, which are almost entirely offshore supply vessels.

Harvey Gulf dates back more than a half-century. Guidry's grandfather, Numa Guidry, started it as a fishing company in 1946. By 1955, Numa Guidry had assembled a fleet of inland towing vessels that would service the Gulf Coast transportation market and named it Harvey Canal Towing Co.

In 1965, Numa Guidry's sons — Robert Guidry and Richard Guidry — joined the business and helped it expand into the offshore ocean towing and rig moving industry. Robert Guidry is Shane Guidry's father. The company later changed its name to Harvey Gulf International Marine.

Shane Guidry joined the company in 1988 and became CEO in 1997.