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Energy Pioneer: Rowan Companies
Halifax, NS
Oct 6, 2009
International offshore drilling contractor Rowan Companies, Inc. has been chosen as the 2009 Petroleum Pioneer by OTANS, the industry association for the oil and gas supply industry in Nova Scotia. The award will be presented October 6 at the Petroleum Pioneer Dinner at the World Trade & Convention Centre in Halifax.

The Petroleum Pioneer Award honours individuals or organisations which have made an outstanding contribution to the development of Nova Scotia’s petroleum industry. Rowan is the first institutional winner since Shell Canada’s contributions were honoured in 2002. Other past recipients include Don Axford, Norm Miller, Jim Ritcy, Fred Smithers, and Hector Jacques. Last year’s Pioneer was Albert Bohemier.

Although headquartered in Houston, Rowan’s history in Nova Scotia goes back almost thirty years and includes some of the region’s most significant discoveries, including South Venture, West Venture, and West Olympia. The Rowan Juneau and two of its Gorilla class jack-up rigs successfully drilled some of the early discovery and delineation wells for what would eventually become the Sable Offshore Energy Project.

The Rowan Gorilla III performed some of the drilling and production work for the Cohasset-Panuke project, which was Canada’s very first offshore petroleum project when it began production in 1992.

More recently, it was the Rowan Gorilla III that drilled the Deep Panuke discovery well in 1998. That same rig is currently back in familiar Nova Scotia waters for work on the Sable Project, following which it will drill the wells to develop Deep Panuke.

Matt Ralls, President and Chief Executive Officer for Rowan, will accept the award on behalf of the company. “Rowan is honored to be chosen by OTANS for this year’s Petroleum Pioneer Award and pleased to be recognized for our history of strong operational performance. We are very proud of our reputation for operational excellence and are excited to be back in Canada again and to have the opportunity to exceed our customers’ expectations.”

Rowan’s other regional achievements include the Rowan Gorilla IV being the first jack-up rig to be issued a Certificate of Fitness for work offshore Newfoundland, and the Rowan Gorilla VI being the first jack-up rig to operate on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland - which is normally restricted to semi-submersible drilling units due to the risk of icebergs. The Rowan Gorilla III was the first jack-up rig to be issued a Certificate of Fitness simultaneously as a drilling and production installation for the Nova Scotia offshore.

By the time the Rowan Gorilla III finishes its current contracts for Sable and Deep Panuke, it and its sister rigs will have participated in over half of all the wells off Nova Scotia since 1980.

Nova Scotian native Graham Bagnell is Engineering Manager for Rowan and represents the company locally. “I think this is a wonderful achievement. The award echoes historical and on-going commitment by Rowan Companies in this area of operation. As one of many international employees who have worked with Rowan in several parts of the world, it is evident to me that the company remains eager to attract and cultivate talent world-wide. This inevitably produces growth in operating regions like Nova Scotia while also benefiting Rowan’s growth as a global drilling contractor.”
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