Offshore Petroleum Industry Pioneers Receive Hall of Fame Induction

Friday, September 24, 1999
The Offshore Pioneers Gala, sponsored by the Offshore Energy Center (OEC) Society, showcased the 1999 class of offshore petroleum industry pioneers inducted into the OEC Hall of Fame. The 10 industry inductees included: Robert F. Bauer, former president of Global Marine, for his developments in the technology of offshore drilling from floating drilling rigs. Herman Brown and George R. Brown, founders of Brown & Root in 1919, created a premier design and construction company, producing offshore platforms and pipelines. Ralph Thomas McDermott began J. Ray McDermott & Co. when he took a contract to build 50 wooden derricks in Luling, Texas. Lad Handelman and D. Michael Hughes co-founded Oceaneering International, Inc., in 1969. Together, they oversaw several major innovations in underwater technology. W. Henson Moore, with the Offshore Co. (now Transocean Offshore, Inc.) recognized the need to move into deepwater in the Gulf of Mexico and brought together talents to make the first discovery from a floating vessel in March 1959 in 93 ft. of water. Fred Olsen of Fred Olsen & Co. (also chairman of TIMEX Corporation) was instrumental in the development of the Aker H-3 semisubmersible deisgn, 26 of which were built during the 1970s, the most built of any semisubmersible type and design. William H. Silcox, with Chevron, pioneered the development of a wide range of subsea and shipboard drilling and production systems that extended the industry's capabilities offshore. John Clarence Karcher, co-founder of Geophysical Services, Inc. (now Baker Hughes), conceived the idea of using seismic waves through the ground, rather than air waves. This study consummated in the development of the reflection seismograph, which is used to this day as a practical and economical oil and gas exploration tool. The Hall of Fame recognition will be prominently displayed at OEC sponsored Ocean Star, an offshore jackup rig and museum open to the public at Pier 20 in Galveston, Texas.
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