"Starting with the first shallow-water tubular steel jackets for oil and gas development in the Gulf of Mexico, J. Ray has amassed an unequaled base of experience," said Morgan City Fabrication General Manager Steve Becnel. "Consistent delivery of high-quality products on schedule and with a can-do spirit has earned J. Ray its reputation as a world leader in the marine construction industry."
Becnel added: "When the industry needed larger structures for deeper water or unstable bottom conditions; when it needed lighter and stronger structures; when it needed lightweight tripod platforms for marginal field developments; when it needed large topsides for tension leg platforms; when it needed compliant towers and subsea templates; the Morgan City fabrication yard not only delivered those products, but was an active partner in the design process to ensure effective constructability."
How It All Began
In the late 1940s, McDermott was using floating equipment for marshland work. As interest in the Gulf picked up, the company formed joint ventures and made acquisitions that allowed it to pioneer the construction and installation of platforms and pipelines to support drilling and development near shore. By the early 1950s, the company had leased land on Bayou Bouef near Morgan City to store and coat pipe. On April 1, 1956, this property officially became the offshore industry's first dedicated steel fabrication yard.
Projects of Historical Significance
The jackets and topsides built at Morgan City over the past five decades are a litany of the offshore industry's most significant projects. These include: Shell Cognac; Union Oil Cerveza and Cerveza Ligera; Shell Boxer; Ram Powell and Brutus; SOHIO Snapper; Freeport McMoran Main Pass; Mobil NGL and EKPE; Shell Auger, Ursa, and Mars; Oryx Neptune; Shell Cinnamon; Chevron Genesis; ExxonMobil Mobile Bay; Kerr McGee Nansen and Boomvang; Marathon South Pass 89C; British Gas Hibiscus; and more. At the time they were built, these projects set the standard for offshore development.
On November 20, 2000, J. Ray signed an exclusive agreement to fabricate topsides for four BP deepwater projects in the Gulf of Mexico. Over the next four years, extending into early 2005, more than 70,000 tons of steel were transformed on the Morgan City yard into four of the Gulf's largest deepwater production facilities: Holstein, Mad Dog, Thunder Horse, and Atlantis.
With as many as 3,500 employees and contractors working at the height of the BP Deepwater Development Program, Morgan City's careful attention to proper safety programs, procedures and tools translated into achieving excellent safety statistics. J. Ray's consistently superior safety record at the Morgan City facility, including a Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) of 0.00 in 2005, led to the company's coveted Five Star Safety Award.
During its 50th Anniversary celebration on Friday, April 28, J. Ray President and Chief Operating Officer Bob Deason will give special recognition to the thousands of employees past and present, who have made the fabrication facility successful over six momentous decades.
Deason will honor the 12 most senior current employees, whose combined seniority equals 470 years: Bobby Hemel (46 years), Chester Blanchard (44 years), Lawrence Mayet (43 years), William Clark (42 years), Leonard Buggage, Sr. (42 years), Allen Leger (39 years), Dale Giroir (38 years), Everett Clause, Jr. (36 years), Jerry Gray, Sr. (35 years), Douglas Sanchez (35 years), Dane Hebert (35 years), and Francis Sick (35 years).
"Today, as J. Ray McDermott's Morgan City facility celebrates 50 years of success, it also looks ahead to a prosperous future," said Deason. "Adjusting to market conditions, the Morgan City yard has repositioned itself to be competitive on small and non-traditional projects as well as on a new cycle of deepwater jackets, platforms, and subsea systems for the Gulf of Mexico and beyond."
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