2013DC MicrositesJanuary/February

People, companies and products

By Joanne Liou, associate editor

Travis Hubert Petty
Travis Hubert Petty

Travis Hubert Petty, the former CEO of El Paso Co who got his start in the mailroom, died 21 December in Colorado Springs, Colo., at age 84. “He lived a real American story,” said Mike Bracy, former CFO of El Paso Co and close colleague of Mr Petty. “He started very young, and as he progressed, he ended up moving into the regulatory department, which was the heart and soul of the regulated pipeline company.”

Mr Petty was born in Clarksville, Texas, on 31 July 1928 to Melissia Kathleen Mauldin Petty and Joseph Hubert Petty. After attending the University of Texas at Austin, he joined the El Paso Natural Gas Co in 1947, rising to become chairman and CEO of its successor company, the Houston-based El Paso Co.

Shortly after becoming CEO in the early ’70s, he was confronted with the looming failure of an El Paso-sponsored LNG project that involved transporting gas from Algeria to the US East Coast. “It became troubled when the Algerians cut off the gas,” Mr Bracy explained. “Travis recognized that this was going to be a terrible burden that would cripple the company and potentially sink it.”

Mr Petty managed to negotiate with Lloyd’s of London the largest marine settlement at the time – about $300 million. “When Travis undertook something, he knew where he wanted to end up, and he would get there. He was never impetuous,” Mr Bracy said.

After El Paso’s 1982 acquisition by Burlington Northern Railroad Co, Mr Petty served as vice chairman. Mr Petty chaired the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, the Pacific Coast Gas Association and the Southern Gas Association. He served on the boards of directors of El Paso National Bank, Texas Commerce Bancshares (formerly Texas Commerce Bank) and the El Paso Electric Co, and he also was a member of the National Petroleum Council, which advises the US Secretary of Energy on national energy policy.

Mr Bracy recalls working with Mr Petty as the highlight of his business career and marveled at how Mr Petty never kept any personal files. “He remembered everything, and this drove plaintiff attorneys crazy. They kept looking for files, and there weren’t any. He was quite a remarkable man.”

Mr Petty’s family was the center of his life, Mr Bracy noted, and “his wife was very much a presence.”

Mr Petty is survived by his wife Berenice Wieland Petty, seven children (Brian – IADC’s executive VP – government and regulatory affairs, Paul, David, Kevin, Sean, Karen and Michael), 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

The family requests that donations in the late-Mr Petty’s memory be made to Boys & Girls Club of El Paso, 14900 Greg Drive, El Paso, TX 79938 USA.

InterMoor UK reaches five years without LTI

InterMoor UK Operations has operated for more than five years without a lost-time incident (LTI). InterMoor UK Operations includes Acteon companies InterMoor, InterMoor Marine Services and ChainCo. The business has conducted more than 2,000 projects during the period from three bases, five storage yards and numerous quayside locations in the UK and internationally.

“A five-year (more than 1.1 million man hours) LTI-free safety record is a tremendous success when your daily operations routinely involve handling equipment varying in size and weights up to 260 tons in some of the harshest work environments worldwide,” Alan Duncan, managing director of InterMoor UK Operations, said.

On average, InterMoor UK Operations’s mooring rental department moves about 3,000 tons of mooring equipment per month over the quayside.

Ray Frisby
Ray Frisby
Jim McGowin
Jim McGowin

TAM appoints executives, opens office in Bakken

TAM International has appointed Jim McGowin general manager of the recently created TAM Completion Systems and Ray Frisby as technical director of TAM International.

As general manager, Mr McGowin will establish, manage and grow operations and sales, while Mr Frisby will lead the development of new technologies for TAM International.

Both Mr McGowin and Mr Frisby are veterans of the oil and gas industry, with more than 50 years of combined experience.

TAM International also recently opened an office in Dickinson, N.D., to better serve the Bakken shale fields.

The 10,000-sq-ft North Dakota office will serve the increased demand in activity and customer growth in the region, as well as help strengthen customer relationships and leverage the growth of TAM’s business.

“We believe the Bakken region will continue to grow, and we are excited about the opportunities that will come from having an office close to the shale play,” said Michael Dion, Bakken regional manager.

Ship classification, risk experts form DNV GL Group

An agreement has been signed to merge DNV and GL to create DNV GL Group. With more than 17,000 employees, it will be one of the world’s leading ship classification societies and risk experts in the oil and gas, renewable energy and power sectors, and among the global top three within management system certification.

Hercules Offshore appoints executive management

Hercules Offshore has appointed James W. Noe to executive vice president, Beau M. Thompson to general counsel and secretary, Charles A. Lestage to deputy general counsel and chief compliance officer, Cecil H. Bowden to vice president engineering and capital projects and John B. Crabtree to vice president technical support, compliance and maintenance.

web_RichardWilliamsWilliams named Baker Hughes’ US region president

Richard Williams has assumed a new role as Baker Hughes’ president, US Region.

Mr Williams will oversee the US land region and the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) geomarket. Williams previously served as president, GOM region, and has been with Baker Hughes for 37 years.

Finlayson appointed chief executive of BG Group 

Chris Finlayson has been appointed as chief executive, to succeed Sir Frank Chapman, of BG Group. Mr Finlayson has more than 35 years of experience in the oil and gas industry and joined BG Group from Royal Dutch Shell in August 2010. He was appointed to the Board on 15 November 2011.

BP appoints Lamar McKay new upstream head

BP has appointed Lamar McKay as chief executive, upstream. Mr McKay will lead BP’s combined upstream business, comprising the exploration, development and production divisions with the upstream strategy and integration team. With a background in petroleum engineering, Mr McKay has served in operational and commercial roles globally during his 32 years with BP.

VAM USA has expanded its Connection Technology Center to 90,000 sq ft, doubling its R&D capacity.
VAM USA has expanded its Connection Technology Center to 90,000 sq ft, doubling its R&D capacity.

VAM USA expands Houston technology center

In response to customer requests for new and innovative products and the qualification of existing product lines to new standards or well conditions, VAM USA has expanded its Connection Technology Center in Houston to 90,000 sq ft, doubling its R&D capacity.

The recent building expansion is able to support additional equipment to ultimately triple the current R&D capacity.

At this facility, VAM connections for shale applications or projects for the Gulf of Mexico undergo the harshest full-scale tests: make and break, simulation of combined loads (tension or compression), bending, high temperatures and fatigue life.

VAM also has opened a field service office in San Antonio, Texas, for technical support. The 4,800-sq-ft facility warehouses service tools and crossover rentals, provide connection inspections and wellsite running assistance.

Integrated Drilling Equipment merges with Empeiria

Integrated Drilling Equipment (IDE) has merged with Empeiria Acquisition Corp (EAC), a special-purpose acquisition company.

Based in Houston, IDE provides land drilling rigs, rig refurbishment and reconfiguration services, upgrade packages and related components for offshore rigs, and integrated electrical and control systems for land and offshore rigs.

“The transaction with EAC will strengthen our ability to pursue attractive growth opportunities in new and existing markets and increase our access to sources of capital,” IDE CEO Steve Cope said.

Miller named Morningstar CEO of the Year

Merrill A. (Pete) Miller Jr., CEO of National Oilwell Varco (NOV), has been named Morningstar’s 2012 CEO of the Year. Morningstar, a provider of independent investment research, annually recognizes a chief executive who exhibits exemplary corporate stewardship, creates lasting value for shareholders and has put his or her stamp on an industry.

TOTAL Angola hires Welltec for intervention services

TOTAL Angola has awarded Welltec Corporation a three-year contract for conveyance and intervention technologies and services.

Welltec technologies and services increase flexibility and reduce the mobilization time for intervention operations compared to intervention methods utilizing coiled tubing or jointed pipe. Other benefits include a reduction in the number of offshore lifting operations, personnel and footprint, which contributes to improved risk management.

Songa Offshore CEO resigns, Wilhelmsen assumes role

Songa Offshore recently accepted the resignation of the company’s CEO, Asbjørn Vavik, and Jens A. Wilhelmsen, chairman of the board of directors, assumed the additional role as interim CEO.

UTEC opens office in Italy, acquires Geomarine

UTEC recently opened a 600-sq-meter office and workshop/warehouse space in Naples, Italy, to serve the Mediterranean and African markets.

The company has also acquired Geomarine to complement its services and increase geotechnical capabilities.


A ROMAR technician commissions a Packer Management System on a rig.
A ROMAR technician commissions a Packer Management System on a rig.

ROMAR management system reaches 80 rigs

ROMAR International has secured the 80th sale of its Packer Management System (PMS) within four years of introducing it to the market. The product is used on 80 rigs globally.

PMS was designed and built by ROMAR in-house in response to a gap in the mobile rig market for an early-warning mud spill preventer system. The system has been further developed into an automated diagnostic and intervention unit, which provides a warning to rig staff of a potential mud spillage into the environment. The system also captures a full data history.

“It is increasingly important for the oil and gas industry to prevent environmental damage,” Robbie Gray, commercial director at ROMAR, said. “We continue to see a high demand for the PMS system, and we will continue to modify the technology in line with customer and industry requirements.”

Non-magnetic hardband improves wear resistance

A non-magnetic hardband by Hardbanding Solutions by Postle Industries provides up to 500% improved wear resistance over other non-magnetic welding alloys, such as 310 stainless steel.

Ultraband NM also provides up to 500% better abrasion resistance than drill collar base materials. The hardband is ideal for directional drilling applications, such as non-magnetic drill collars, stabilizers and MWD/LWD drilling tools and related components.

It is made to be used on non-magnetic base materials. Ultraband NM can be applied directly to non-magnetic tools and over previous layers of stainless steel.

The new hardband is non-cracking and has a hardness reading of 40 Rc. It meets API specification 7 and has a relative permeability less than 1.01.

Infostat Systems module tracks rig personnel, drill assigments

Infostat Systems has launched the RIMDrill Personnel On Board (POB) module for RIMDrill. RIMDrill POB is designed to meet the reporting needs for tracking personnel onboard drilling rigs. Personnel details are entered into RIMDrill POB upon arrival on the rig, including room, lifeboat and muster station assignments. Data can be output in several report formats to help streamline preparation of helicopter manifests or activities, such as lifeboat drills.

RIMDrill POB is fully integrated with RIMDrill, and a record for each person is continually backed up to onshore databases, ensuring data integrity and security.

Variable Bore Rams offers Hydril shearing blind ram

Variable Bore Rams has added to its offerings the Hydril shearing blind ram, which is capable of completely shutting off the well after pipe has been sheared.

The ram features interchangeable shearing blades and is recommended for applications using 9 5/8 -in. pipe and below and available in sizes 18 3/4  in. to 10M and 18 3/4  in. to 15M. The ram is ABS- and DNV-certified.

web_ALDSSonardyne debuts 360° leak detection sonar

Sonardyne Asia’s new automatic leak detection sonar (ALDS) is designed to continuously monitor 1 billion cu ft of water for leaks around subsea oil and gas assets. Capable of 360° coverage, it can detect leaks at rates of less than one bbl/day at ranges in excess of 500 meters in deepwater.

web_ErgodyneStrap-on ice traction device provides freedom, grip

Ergodyne has introduced the TREX 6315 Strap-On Heel Ice Traction Device to the TREX Footwear Accessories line. The design utilizes a corrosion-resistant steel heel plate secured to the boot with heavy-duty webbing that can be adjusted for a secure fit. The tread pattern of the steel heel plate increases worker traction on ice and snow, yet leaves the mid-foot region open for common activities, such as vehicle operation or ladder climbing.

“The unique design of the new 6315 gives workers that freedom while still providing tenacious grip and stability where it’s needed most,” Andy Olson, senior product manager at Ergodyne, said.

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