Cover image for Offshore pioneers : Brown & Root and the history of offshore oil and gas
Offshore pioneers : Brown & Root and the history of offshore oil and gas
Pratt, Joseph A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Houston, Tex. : Gulf Pub. Co., [1997]

Physical Description:
xviii, 302 pages : illustrations, maps ; 26 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HD9569.B76 P7 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Fifty years ago, in November 1947, Brown & Root helped Kerr-McGee build the first out-of-sight-land offshore platform that produced oil. The date is widely celebrated as the birth of the modern offshore industry. In the years since this historic occasion, Brown & Root has continued to pioneer in the design and construction of offshore pipelines and platforms. Along with the rest of the offshore industry, the company has helped develop technology capable of finding and producing oil in deepwater and in harsh environments around the world.

This history puts a human face on the process of technological change. Using the words of many of those who took part in Brown & Root's offshore activities, this book recounts their efforts to find practical ways to recover offshore oil. Building on lessons learned in the Gulf of Mexico before and after World War II, the company's personnel adapted offshore technologies to conditions encountered in Venezuela, the Middle East, Alaska, and other regions before becoming one of the first engineering and construction companies to confront the challenge of North Sea development in the 1960's.

Through times of boom and bust in the oil industry, the search for effective technology had continued. The process has not always been smooth, but the results have been impressive. As we enter a new and exciting era in offshore technology, the history of the first fifty years of the industry provides a useful context for understanding current and future events.

Table of Contents

Part I The first challenge: Creation of the modern offshore industry in the Gulf of Mexico
Before the dawn
Beyond the horizon
A maturing system: the Gulf of Mexico in the 1950s. New sophistication: Platform design and pipelining innovations during the 1960s
Wading into deep water: The evolution of platforms during the 1960s and 1970s
Part II The challenge of new and extreme environments: Depth, earthquakes, ice, and fire
Brown & Root Marine goes abroad
Mind stretcher of the century: Project mohole
Inner space pioneer: Taylor Diving & Salvage
Offshore California and Alaska
A crash program in Mexico's Bay of Campeche
Part III The North Sea's challenge: Rough waters, hostile conditions
Confronting a monster: The early natural gas industry
Ekofisk and the challenge of early North Sea oil
Ring master at the Forties Field
Project management in a boom era