Jean Curutchet was awarded the Legion of Honour, Knight Class, by the French government for one outstanding achievement—the raising of the Ekofisk Field production facilities offshore Norway.
Ekofisk was one of the first fields discovered in the North Sea. In 2006, its remaining recoverable reserves were estimated at 1 billion bbl of oil. But its life was nearly cut short because subsidence was causing the platforms to sink. Curutchet led and supervised the major task of raising the entire field’s facilities 20-ft (6-meters), a monumental engineering feat. Five platforms, comprising about 80,000 tons, were raised at once— a Guinness record.
Curutchet had a distinguished career with Elf Aquitaine Petroleum Co. that included responsibility for killing the Gassi-Touil #2 well blowout in Algeria. He also directed the Frigg Gas Field in the North Sea, and was named to the Order of Commander of St Olaf by the Norwegian government.