By Alam Johnpaul Ifeanyi
The 2018 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) will honor this year’s Distinguished Achievement Award recipients on Tuesday, 1 May at NRG Center in Houston.
During the OTC Distinguished Achievement Awards Luncheon, the conference will recognize Brian Skeels for individual achievement, Shell and SBM Offshore for institutional achievement, Cesar del Vecchio for the Heritage Award, and present a Special Citation for Tom Sifferman.
Founded in 1969 and marking its 50th edition, OTC 2018 brings together industry leaders and professionals from more than 100 countries. Its large international participation provides excellent opportunities for global sharing of technology, expertise, products, and best practices that address current and future industry conditions. The event will be held 30 April–3 May at NRG Park.
OTC Distinguished Achievement Award for Individuals
Brian Skeels will be honored with the Distinguished Achievement Award for Individuals for his extraordinary accomplishments in pioneering new subsea completions in record water depths and for the development of new tieback connections that have set and redefined industry standards. As TechnipFMC’s Technology Fellow, he serves as a technical subsea advisor for HPHT. Skeels is also a strategic planning specialist for frontier technologies and new business opportunities, including deepwater riserless light well intervention, ROV and remote robotics technology, and hydrate remediation programs.
Skeels has 36 years of experience in subsea completion and pipeline design and installation. He is a contributing author to nearly 40 industry related technical papers and articles, an innovator who holds 14 US patents for the oil and gas industry, serves as an educational lead within a state-recognized leading university, and is an instructor in company-lead learning program.
He has presented, session chaired, conference chaired, or participated as an advisory board/program committee member for OTC, Deep Offshore Technology (DOT) Conference, World Oil HPHT Conferences, ASME (IPTI) Deepwater Conference, SPE Forum Series Conferences on Subsea Production, among others.
He also pioneered designs in subsea completions which held world record water depths from 1986 through 2010 and established the first 10K psi and 15K psi subsea completions in the Gulf of Mexico.
OTC Distinguished Achievement Award for Companies, Organizations and Institutions
Shell and SBM Offshore will be presented the OTC Distinguished Achievement Award in recognition of its successful development of the world’s deepest oil and gas project, the Stones field, using a leased FPSO, an industry-first pairing of a steel lazy wave riser system with the largest disconnectable buoy turret mooring system, and an artificial lift system designed for 15,000 psi.
Together, Shell and SBM also completed a successful safety milestone when the Stones FPSO project logged more than 18 million work hours in the construction phase with only one lost-time incident, a notable achievement for an endeavor of this scale.
In January 2018, Shell took over full operatorship of the Stones FPSO from SBM Offshore but continues their successful global collaboration in other offshore regions to help meet the world’s growing demand for energy.
OTC Heritage Award
The Heritage Award will be presented to Cesar Del Vecchio for his contribution to the safe and economic development of deepwater floating systems by establishing, proving, and gaining worldwide acceptance for the use of polyester mooring systems.
His initial research in replacing all steel catenary systems with synthetic taut moorings is considered a breakthrough for floating production system technology by extending the range of moored floaters into deep and ultra-deep water, while reducing seabed footprint.
Del Vecchio led Petrobras’ effort that used a full life cycle approach to design systems. Some of these systems have now been in service for more than 20 years. He currently works at Stress Engineering Services and continues to use his widely recognized experience with the integrity management of mooring systems for a variety of clients.
OTC will also recognize Tom Sifferman with a Special Citation, based on his lifetime of significant contributions to the advancement of production enhancement, complex rheology mitigation, and chemical flow assurance of difficult-to-handle reservoir fluids.
A licensed professional engineer with 45 years of experience in the petroleum business, Sifferman received his PhD in engineering from Purdue University and has held a variety of responsibilities in drilling, completions, and production.
He is an SPE Distinguished Member, a Fellow with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America. He has authored 30 professional publications, holds 17 issued US patents, and has served as chair and organizer of flow assurance sessions for OTC since 2006.
OTC Distinguished Achievement Awards Luncheon
The OTC Distinguished Achievement Awards Luncheon recognizes the OTC Distinguished Achievement Award recipients, raises funds for a worthy cause, and provides an excellent opportunity for industry leaders to network with colleagues from around the world.
The 2018 beneficiary of the luncheon is the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy (YWCPA). The organization is an all-girl, college preparatory magnet school in the Houston Independent School District (HISD) with middle and high school divisions.
Launched in 2011, YWCPA focuses on college readiness and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) with all core curriculum classes being either Pre-Advanced Placement or Advanced Placement.