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Offshore Pioneers: Brown & Root and the History of Offshore Oil and Gas 1st Edition

7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0884151388
ISBN-10: 0884151387
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Editorial Reviews


The authors of this book have an established track record in writing serious company histories rather than the all too common vanity publishing that dominated the genre, and this is valid and well wrought addition to their collective canon. (The Journal of Energy Literature, Vol. V, No I)


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Gulf Professional Publishing; 1 edition (November 17, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0884151387
  • ISBN-13: 978-0884151388
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,153,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. Smith on July 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
For anyone interested in the beginnings of the marine oil and gas industry, Offshore Pioneers provides a good general history. Since this book was commissioned by Brown & Root, you should expect a certain level of bias. Brown & Root's achievements are obviously highlighted while their defeats are understandably downplayed. This history includes the significant roles of other participants, though mainly in relation to Brown & Root, either as competitor, customer or co-venturer. Beginning with the first baby-steps in offshore exploration (long platforms connecting shore to site), this history lesson progresses to the innovation and ingenuity necessary to explore and exploit hydrocarbons from new environments, such as Lake Maracaibo, the Bay of Campeche, California (short lived program though it was) and the North Sea. As an offshore service analyst, I constantly seek out information on the industry, whether current or historical. Brown and Root did play a large role in the development of the offshore oil and gas industry, from constructing the first platforms out into the Gulf of Mexico, engineering massive North Sea structures, laying pipe in several environments, building construction barges and performing project management. My father had worked for the company for 25 years, and I had already developed an appreciation for their can-do attitude and willingness to work in any environment. If you're looking for a history of the industry's humble beginnings, this is a great book to read. However, Brown & Root ceased being a major force in the offshore energy industry during the 1980's, so don't expect to find any recent history in this work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is the history of Brown & Root's Marine Division. Drawing heavily from their knowledge of building warships during World War II, Brown & Root installed the first oil platform out of sight from land off the coast of Louisiana for the Kerr Magee Oil Company in 1947. This was Brown & Root's entry into the offshore construction market. They kept building and installing platforms in increasing depths of the Gulf of Mexico as well as venturing into offshore spots around the world, such as off the coast of Alaska and the most famous offshore location of the North Sea. The book details many of these large well known projects as well as Project Mohole, the cancelled program to drill into the Earth's core from an ocean drill ship. Brown & Root was a participant in this project. An interesting book for anyone who has worked in the offshore oil industry or has an interest in it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By brazos49 VINE VOICE on July 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I discovered that this book existed when the Houston Chronicle mentioned its coverage of the Ixtoc blowout/oil spill in the Bay of Campeche relative to the BP blowout off Louisiana. And, I was glad to find it and read it. I actually worked in the Brown & Root marine division as a structural engineer for about a year in the early 1970's. So, I knew some of the key players in this book and am familiar with some of the specific history covered. Also, a couple of my college classmates worked for B&R in the international offshore pipeline construction area.

I have to admit that reading this book made me wonder if I made the right decision to leave B&R to work for another engineering consulting company. I could see that staying with B&R Marine Division meant that I'd have to move around the world to move up the organization chart and I wasn't sure I wanted to do that. But, reading this book reinforced what I surely knew then - that what B&R was doing in offshore structures was about the most interesting and challenging possible work for a structural engineer. As this book clearly describes, much of what B&R was doing in this area was cutting edge and unique. I remember the situation being such that for a lot of offshore work, only B&R or McDermott were candidates because they were the only companies in the world with the engineering knowhow to do it. And, I was offered a job at McDermott and I considered them to be a half step behind B&R. Engineers such as Jay Weidler, Al Crossman, Larry Starr, Max Koehler and Stan Hruska were truly exceptional talents and their expertise shaped this history of extraordinary accomplishments.

But, as far as this book goes in terms of being a history of the key events, there is a glaring omission.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. P. Barry on September 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Offshore Pioneers describes how Brown and Root was willing to take on all manner of applied engineering and construction challenges as oil and gas production moved offshore and into harsher and harsher conditions. The authors follow the industry and document how Brown and Root demonstrated a can-do culture that still exists today as the Company responded to solve oil companies' problems with engineering skill and by extending known practices.
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