December 9 - Classification society, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), will establish a new office in Houston, USA to serve its offshore industry customers.

The office will be positioned on Houston's "energy corridor" and will house members from ABS' engineering, project management, technology and business management teams. ABS says the new office will enable it to better serve the needs of its client base in what it describes as a "significant energy research and development hub".

Company chairman, Christopher J Wiernicki, explained: "ABS recognises that our customer base in the offshore industry demands on-site support with best-in-class services", and that, "This move reinforces our commitment to support Houston's leading energy industry".

As well as classification services, the ABS Houston facility will provide education and training seminar rooms. ABS hopes this will provide an opportunity to boost knowledge-based partnerships among stakeholders operating in the region.

ABS expects the new office to open during the first quarter of 2014.