ECO taps former Shell Alaska boss for future Arctic work

well well …

[B]Chouest taps Shell veteran for Alaska push[/B]

Kathrine Schmidt 24 October 2013 22:51 GMT

Louisiana marine heavyweight Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) has tapped a former Shell Alaska boss to oversee an expansion of air and support services for the Arctic market.
Rick Fox, a 35-year veteran of the Anglo-Dutch supermajor who retired in 2010, will become senior vice president and general manager of Alaska operations, the Galliano-based ECO said in a statement Thursday.

ECO has a longtime service relationship with Shell and supplied the company with a range of support vessels during a setback-filled 2012 exploration season that only saw top holes drilled.

That period was capped by a major embarassment for ECO when its $200 million, 360-foot Aiviq ice-class vessel stalled during a tow of the Kulluk drilling barge due to an apparent fuel-quality problem, after which the rig slipped its lines to become grounded on a picturesque island.

ECO is apparently retrenching in Alaska, having quietly purchased Fairweather, a logistics and aviation support service and also teaming up with Kaktovic Inupiat Corporation to build the Deadhorse Aviation Center, an air support base for the North Slope.

Fox has since his retirement served as an advisor to that facility, ECO said.

“Rick is very highly regarded in the industry and encompasses a vast knowledge of deepwater exploration, development and production,” ECO president Gary Chouest said. “He has forged many strong relationships in Alaska and is a natural choice to lead our growing operations.”

ECO, which builds and operates many of its vessels, has also thrived on marine and supply hubs elsewhere including at Louisiana’s Port Fourchon serving the deep-water US Gulf.

In July it announced plans to build another two ice-class anchor-handlers, bringing its fleet of such vessels to six, as part of a 40-unit newbuild programme.

It also has dozens of worldwide affiliates in businesses related to its maritime specialty.