OTC 2015: Distinguished Achievement Award recipients announced

Offshore staff

HOUSTON – OTC will present the Distinguished Achievement Award to Elmer (Bud) Danenberger III for individual achievement, the Petrobras presalt development for corporate achievement, and Ray R. Ayers with the Heritage Award at the Annual OTC Dinner on Sunday, May 3.

Elmer Danenberger III will be honored for his contributions to offshore safety and environmental protection. He held a 38-year career with the US Department of the Interior in the offshore oil and gas program. He initiated the MMS industry awards program and co-authored legislation leading to offshore renewable energy and alternate use authority.

Danenberger approved and monitored the first exploratory drilling in the North Atlantic and the first California development north of Point Conception. He also authored pioneering papers on the causes and occurrence rates for OCS oil spills and blowouts.

During his post-retirement consulting, he consulted with the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and was one of the principal investigators for the Blowout Risk Assessment joint industry project, among other accomplishments.

Petrobras’ presalt development will receive the OTC Distinguished Achievement Award for Companies, Organizations, and Institutions for its successful implementation of ultra-deepwater solutions and setting new water depth records.

Petrobras increased its efforts in technology development to exploit this hard-to-access resource, in waters up to 2,200 m (7,200 ft). By the end of 2014, the company was producing more than 700,000 b/d of oil in the presalt layer of the Campos and Santos basins.

The oil and gas production in this challenging environment demanded the development of different riser systems, which were successfully applied and are now available for the industry. Additionally, Petrobras achieved a significant reduction in the drilling and completion time for wells.

The Heritage Award will be presented to Ray R. Ayers, PhD, PE, in recognition of his 50+ years in offshore research and development. He formed joint-industry programs at Shell and performed R&D for the Pipeline Research Council International, DeepStar, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and Research Partnerships to Secure Energy for America.

Early in his career, Ayers led many significant developments, including testing of techniques to measure and arrest buckles in offshore pipelines, and performing the first wave tank testing of oil spill clean-up on water, which formed the basis for the design of current-day booms and skimmers. He later led programs to make deepwater fiber rope mooring systems safer and more cost-effective, and he formed the DW RUPE Pipeline and HP/HT Flowline repair projects to improve environmental safety. 

Ayers has been awarded 49 patents and has received numerous other technical and leadership awards, including one from the American Gas Association for “Engineer of the Year.”

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