2013 Industry Pioneers

Mark A. Childers

Mark Childers joined Humble Oil & Refining Company (now ExxonMobil) in 1965 after receiving a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. At the time, the offshore industry was in flux, with a move into waters deeper than 250-ft. This required a different type of rig, and Mark employed his inventive talents and engineering skill to help develop floating drilling and workover units, as well as deepwater mooring systems. He holds 9 domestic and international patents for his efforts.

After joining ODECO, an offshore drilling contractor, he served as an engineering manager rising to Chief Engineer in 1977. Five years later he was named Vice President and manager of domestic operations that comprised 29 rigs. Mark was responsible for many technical upgrades to offshore drilling units affecting safety and drilling efficiency. During this time, he was heavily involved in the training and development of 39 drilling engineers.

Mark was named Contractor of the Year in 1990 and was also a Distinguished Lecturer for the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE). After executive assignments with Diamond Offshore, DI Industries and Oceaneering Production Systems he joined Atwood Oceanics as General Manager where he worked until his retirement.

Mark is credited with writing offshore drilling standards that remain in use today, covering safe operations, mooring, and drilling unit construction. He was the recipient of the prestigious Cedrick C. Ferguson Award, of the SPE. He is widely published and considered an expert witness. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Texas and Louisiana.