Two “career achievers” and one exemplary project were recognized with the Offshore Technology Conference’s highest honors.
The 2022 Distinguished Achievement Awards honored Drew Michel for individual achievement, Roland Moreau for the Heritage Award and Shell’s Appomattox Project for institutional achievement on May 1 at the NRG Center in Houston.
Michel pioneered offshore technologies like diving and ROVs. Early in his career, he worked for Taylor Diving and Salvage, a Halliburton Company. He was also the owner of ROV Technologies Inc. for nearly three decades.
OTC chairperson Paul Jones called him a true pioneer.
“He was instrumental in migrating diving from the basic shallow water into deeper waters in the Gulf of Mexico. He always was a very keen safety-focused individual,” Jones said.
In fact, Jones said, some of Michel’s earliest efforts set the industry’s pattern for safe diving, even as the industry approached the limits of personal diving.
Michel “developed the ROV technology to where it is today,” Jones said. Those ROVs are “our eyes and ears at some of the amazing water depths where we produce oil and gas from.”
Roland Moreau was honored with the OTC Heritage Award for his efforts to improve industry safety through the sharing and analyzing of data and learnings.
Moreau “has spent his entire career focused on industry safety activities,” Jones said.
During his nearly four-decade career, he contributed to enhancing communications and bridging the knowledge gap between the offshore oil industry and government bodies.
“He enabled the industry, government and regulators to work collaboratively and together,” Jones said.
Now retired, Moreau worked at Exxon Mobil, Macrosys, United Nuclear and Ragen Precision Industries and served as a president of the American Institute of Mining Engineers (AIME) as well as vice president of finance and technical director of HSE for the Society of Petroleum Engineers.
“These guys are career achievers,” Jones said, adding they both made the industry “a better place to work in.”
Shell received the OTC Distinguished Achievement Award in recognition of its Appomattox Project in the Gulf of Mexico. Located in 7,400 ft water depth, Appomattox is the operator’s largest and most complex deepwater megaproject to date. The field went onstream in May 2019 four months ahead of schedule and 40% less than initial cost estimates, Jones said.
“That wasn’t Shell on their own. There were lots of companies involved,” he said. “It was an exemplary project.”
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