In 1946, Kerr-McGee Oil Industries and partners Phillips Petroleum and Stanolind Oil & Gas, delineated a salt dome in the Ship Shoal Block 32 located about 12 miles offshore in 14 ft of water in the open Gulf of Mexico. Danielson was the Kerr-McGee drilling engineer on the well team that planned and drilled the Ship Shoal well which obtained a depth of about 1,700 ft.
Early work showed that with Gulf weather conditions, a tender-platform drilling method would be better suited than the large wood piling platforms normally used to drill in open water. A tender-platform could be towed to a safe harbor should a hurricane occur and it was believed a companion steel platform, fixed with pilings, could withstand such storm conditions.
The well team designed the tender-platform rig for drilling in deeper water and for the effects of high winds and rough seas. The drilling and completing of this well is considered to be the event that gave birth to the modern offshore drilling industry.