OTIS DANIELSON PIONEER OF THE OFFSHORE DRILLING

September 16, 2018

Otis Danielson was born in 1916 at Beaumont, Texas. He became a petroleum Engineer after completing successful studies at the Classen High School. He was one of 361 graduates who clutched a “document of passage”, the equivalent of a high school diploma. Danielson became a Civil Air Patrol pilot, while starting a family and earning a petroleum engineering degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1939. In 1946 at the age of 30, Danielson was the Kerr-McGee drilling engineer on the well team that planned and drilled the Ship Shoal well which obtained a depth of about 1,700 ft. Ship Shoal Block 32 located about 12 miles offshore in 14 ft of water in the open Gulf of Mexico. His early observations and studies showed that a tender platform would be more suitable and economical and could be towed to a safe harbour should a hurricane occur and it was believed a companion steel platform, fixed with pilings, could withstand such storm conditions. He was part of the team involved in the design the first tender assisted drilling rig. With four Kerr-McGee employees, Seale, George Parks, and Leo LeBron Otis Danielson converted WWII barge and a land rig for the ocean drilling. The drilling of the Ship Shoal well in 1947 gave birth to the modern offshore drilling industry. Otis Danielson died the 6 August 2008. (Otis Danielson and Kerr-McGee first tender assisted rig)