World Oil gears up for offshore sector: Extensive coverage provided by editor Robert W. Scott
By the start of the 1970s, major oil producers outside of OPEC were struggling to identify geological prospects in onshore provinces, that held sufficient potential to justify large lease plays and exploratory drilling. However, it was logical to assume that offshore lands close to oil-producing regions held significant potential to produce high volumes of crude oil, and contained vast amounts of untested offset acreage, if exploration proved successful.
World Oil’s publisher, William G. Dudley, recognized that reporting on offshore developments was a key component of the publication’s coverage. The commitment was supported with extensive offshore content provided by World Oil Editor Robert W. Scott. During the 1970s and 1980s, Scott’s work took him to virtually every important offshore region, to keep readers informed of industry accomplishments.
Raising the offshore sector’s visibility. Bob Scott’s professional travels to offshore locations started in 1969, when he visited a platform in the Santa Barbara channel offshore California, where the Wodeco VI drillship was working on a well operated by Gulf Oil.
In 1970, he traveled to two offshore locations, the first was offshore Texas in the Gulf of Mexico, where Shell Oil had contracted a Penrod platform rig to develop acreage near Galveston Island. On a trip to Italy, he covered operations in the Adriatic Sea offshore Ravenna, where Agip was drilling/producing three gas fields.
In 1971, Scott was in Alaska’s Cook inlet, where Marathon Oil and Union Oil operated the Monopod and Dolly Varden drilling/production platforms. In 1972, a trip to the Schiedam shipyard in the Netherlands produced coverage of the Pelican, a French drillship with built-in wine storage!
In 1974, two articles were produced from a tour of the Middle East; the first was based on drilling platforms and mobile rigs being utilized at El Morgan field, in the Gulf of Suez offshore Egypt, by Gulf of Suez Petroleum Co, a JV between Amoco and the Egyptian General Petroleum Co. The second trip was to Aramco’s Safaniya field, to visit offshore production facilities and tanker storage.
In 1975, Scott traveled to Hong Kong, to witness an ore carrier being converted into the drillship Tainaron, which cost $40 million, for use in South China Sea operations, Fig 1. In 1978, another article showcased jackup drilling rigs operated by the Chinese National Oil Co in the Bohai Bay, construction of jackup rigs in the Dalien shipyard and terminal facilities at Lushun.
In 1980, World Oil sponsored a trip to the historic shipyards in Liverpool, UK, to report on a semisubmersible rig, and in 1981, Scott visited Arco-operated platforms in Arjuna field, offshore Jakarta, Indonesia, in the Java Sea.