Offshore Pioneers: Brown & Root and the History of Offshore Oil and Gas Paperback – 26 May 2011
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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) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
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. Because of their dominant market positions, Brown & Root and McDermott were charged with bid rigging/price fixing relative to the offshore platform business. I vaguely remember the project engineer I worked under telling me once that he thought B&R and McDermott kind of "took turns" winning certain bids because both companies were so busy it didn't make sense to go all out to compete hard to win each bid. That sounds reasonable unless you realize, as I didn't at the time, that it's illegal as hell. So, B&R and several executives were indicted in 1978, the company paid a big fine and, most shockingly, the president of B&R, Foster Parker, committed suicide. A pretty big deal by almost any standard and not the kind of thing that could be omitted in any "history" book. I guess this book was commissioned by B&R or some people from B&R, so overlooking how this amazing technological edge led to something so sinister and embarassing is understandable as long as you accept that the authors are more PR flacks than real historians.
So, I enjoyed the book for the reasons I listed, but I hated the fact that some very interesting aspects of the whole history were strategically omitted. If you're interested in a "house organ" style history of the development of this technology, you'll almost surely enjoy this book. If you're looking for the whole story, this won't be it.
i can answer other QUESTIONS IF REQUIRED
Brian Applegate 28YRS OFFSHORE INDUSTRY....NOW RETIRED SPAIN
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