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Raspino, Rynd named IADC Contractor of the Year

By Linda Hsieh, managing editor

John Rynd (left) and Louis Raspino (right) accepted the 2011 IADC Contractor of the Year award last week at the association’s Annual General Meeting in Austin, Texas. Jeremy Thigpen presented the award on behalf of sponsor National Oilwell Varco.

In recognition of their leadership after the Macondo incident, IADC presented two IADC Contractor of the Year awards this year to John Rynd of Hercules Offshore and Louis Raspino, who led Pride International prior to its merger with Ensco earlier this year. Both men worked tirelessly to fight the drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico on behalf of both shallow-water and deepwater contractors.

“IADC and its members took a multifaceted approach to end the moratorium, working to demonstrate to regulators and Congress that industry does indeed operate safely, irrespective of water depth,” Jeremy Thigpen, president of downhole tools and pumping for National Oilwell Varco, said in presenting the awards. “To their enormous credit, John and Louis took their case strongly and loudly to the Administration and Congress to put employees back to work.”

As IADC chairman in 2010, Mr Raspino worked with association staff to aggressively fight the moratorium. Among their efforts was pulling together a delegation of industry leaders that made numerous calls on the Washington offices of senators and congressmen in July 2010 to promote the industry’s position. He also participated in a number of industry events, such as the IADC town hall meeting last year that gathered industry and politicians to discuss the moratorium.

At the IADC World Drilling 2010 Conference in Budapest last year, Mr Raspino called on the industry to “answer the call to arms” as the Macondo spill was playing out in the GOM. “It’s important that we lock arms now and address the challenges that we all face together,” he said.

In accepting his award, Mr Raspino noted that the drilling part of the energy industry holds the warmest place in his heart because it is made up of “salt-of-the-earth people.” “There’s not a part of the energy industry that’s closer, that feels like they’re blood brothers and really steps in and helps each other in times of crisis,” he said.

Mr Rynd called the award humbling, and noted that his efforts post-Macondo were driven by fear during the moratorium as well as concern for employees and service companies that were being negatively impacted. “This is a phenomenal industry, and when we had an event, we coalesced and we don’t waste time.”

Mr Rynd, a member of the IADC Executive Committee, was a leader of the Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition, which focused efforts to resume shallow-water drilling in the Gulf. He worked to point out significant differences between drilling in deep and shallow waters and urged mitigation of the moratorium for operations in shallow water. He and his allies also called on numerous congressmen to explain the predicament of the shallow-water industry.

Alone among major trade associations, IADC called for a prompt resumption of shallow-water drilling, making that case in a 14 May 2010 letter to US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

The Contractor of the Year award, now in its 24th year, is sponsored by NOV.

Raspino, Rynd careers

Mr Raspino was appointed CEO and president of Pride International in June 2005 and previously served as its executive vice president and chief financial officer from December 2003.

Prior to joining Pride, Mr Raspino served as senior vice president finance and chief financial officer of Grant Prideco beginning in July 2001 and vice president finance of Halliburton Company beginning in February 1999. Before that, he served as senior vice president and chief financial officer and member of the office of chairman of Louisiana Land & Exploration, where he led the company’s merger into Burlington Resources to create the largest independent oil and gas company in the US at that time. His career at Louisiana Land & Exploration spanned 20 years, where he held numerous executive management positions.

With IADC, he has served as Executive Committee member, director, and chairman in 2010.

Mr Rynd was named CEO and president of Hercules Offshore in June 2008. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the company.

Mr Rynd has served in various executive-level positions since joining Hercules Offshore in September 2005. Most recently, Mr Rynd was the executive vice president and chief operating officer, a role he held since July 2007. He also served as senior vice president of Hercules Offshore and president of Hercules Drilling Company.

Prior to joining the company, Mr Rynd spent 15 years with Noble Drilling Services, where he served in a variety of management roles, including vice president investor relations and vice president marketing and contracts. Mr Rynd also served in various management roles at Chiles Offshore, culminating in vice president of marketing. His vast experience also encompasses 10 years of service for Rowan Companies, where he served in various roles of increasing levels of responsibility on offshore rigs.

In addition, Mr Rynd serves on the board of CECO, the world’s largest independent manufacturer of engine and compressor replacement parts. He was also named to the board of trustees for the Houston Museum of Natural Science, board of directors for the Ocean Energy Center and Board of Directors for Hornbeck Offshore.

His role within IADC have included director and executive committee member, and he is a frequent conference speaker and moderator. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor of arts in economics.

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