LAFAYETTE — Tim Mannon is starting his oil and gas drilling career at just the right time, in just the right place, and he knows it. The technology is cutting edge and intriguing; there’s a genuine emphasis on safety and in protecting the environment.
Mannon, 25, is in the graduate petroleum engineering program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He also works in Stone Energy’s deepwater drilling department, where engineers are employing complex methods to drill, recover and bring to processing facilities the hydrocarbons far below the mudline under thousands of feet of water.
“I’ve heard people compare it to trying to land someone on the moon,” said Mannon, who received an undergraduate degree in geological engineering from the University of Mississippi before enrolling at UL-Lafayette in pursuit of a master’s degree.
“I believe all the technology is making things safer for people and also the environment,” Mannon said.
Mannon was one of about 100 who attended the monthly luncheon of the Lafayette chapter of the American Association of Drilling Engineers on Monday, one of a number of gatherings of industry experts in Lafayette leading to the Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil Exposition’s multi-day event next month.
LAGCOE will run Oct. 22-24 at the Cajundome and Convention Center, and will feature speakers and guests from around the world.
Monday’s luncheon featured the owner of one of five companies chosen by LAGCOE in its Spotlight on New Technology.
The sizes of the selected companies run the gamut, from giants such as Baker Hughes to startups such as 5D Oilfield Magnetics.
5D’s owner, Mark DeRouen, said his company’s creation — The Open Hole Net — is not that complex, but it can save producers and drillers money and headaches by catching wrenches, chain and other metal objects dropped by accident or on purpose, as in a roughneck’s fit of pique, down the well bore.
“What we’re talking about has been an issue from Day 1,” DeRouen said.
The device is contained in a box that essentially wraps two 3-foot-long magnets around the well on the drilling rig or production platform, catching the steel object before it falls deep into the hole.
DeRouen, who started his drilling career with ARCO, is scheduled to give a presentation during the LAGCOE technical sessions.
Others scheduled to present are other LAGCOE technology winners, such as Baker Hughes’ new hydraulic fracturing system, and E&B Green Solutions’ G-Clean Products.