Last week MDN editor Jim Willis (that’s me) had the pleasure of participating in the Northeast Oil & Gas Awards, including the “Conference for Excellence,” in Pittsburgh. Below is the list of winners for the 25 categories of competition. Many of the names you will recognize, some you may not. I will list the winners in due course. But first, a bit about my personal journey in participating in this star-studded and impressive event.
The CEO for the Oil & Gas Awards, Daniel Creasey, contacted me four months ago to see if MDN would consider becoming a media partner for the Northeast event. For those outside of the publishing world, such deals typically include a barter arrangement where a publication promotes an event in return for publicity as a media sponsor–listings in conference materials and on the conference website. The first thing I noticed was, Daniel and the Oil & Gas Awards company are British! Which is a plus for me, because I have worked for and with Brits most of my adult career (I am a confirmed Anglophile). Daniel and I “hit it off” and we both decided perhaps more than the usual media partner deal would be beneficial…
Last year was the first year for the Oil & Gas Awards–at the time a series of three regional award events. This year they’ve expanded to six regional events. In addition, they added a new concept–a one-day “Conference for Excellence” to run during the day, ahead of the awards ceremony which is always hosted in the evening. It was the conference portion which I participated in by helping plan the content and agreeing to moderate two panel sessions at the Northeast event.
On the morning of the event, Thursday, March 20, I met Alex Grant, the man organizing and running the conference portion of the event. Alex gathered myself and the participants for the first panel I moderated–on the topic of Drilling and Completions–in a special room where the group discussed the questions that would be discussed during the panel session. On the panel were Eric Luckey, completions engineer for Noble Energy, Dennis Degner, director of operations for Range Resources, Brett Schellenberg, marketing executive with Orion Drilling, Bryan Dickson, NE division of engineering for FTS International, and Paul Mazalov, account manager and drilling adviser at Progressive Global Energy. Right from the start it was apparent there was great chemistry among the panelists. I said at the time I wished the pre-session was recorded so we could play it back! Very bright individuals with great insights–and that was just how it played out during the session a short time later. The 40-minute panel Q&A session whizzed by.
After my first panel, I cloistered with the panelists for the second panel–Environmental Health and Safety. On that panel were Rob Gough, EHS manager for Anadarko Petroleum, David Renz, senior EHS coordinator for Noble Energy, and Stefan Hirniak, HSE recruitment consultant for Progressive Global Energy. Once again, the ideas sparked and flowed and we enjoyed each other’s company before taking the stage a short time later. And also once again, some great conversations and back and forth questions and answers during the live session. It was a real high for me personally to participate with such knowledgeable, dedicated, professional people like those on both panels.
In addition to the panels I moderated there were three other panel sessions–two of them moderated by former PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) Sec. Michael Krancer. I had the opportunity of re-connecting with Mike at the show, having met him several times before. Mike runs a great session and this time was no exception. The panels Mike moderated were: Marcellus/Utica Midstream Update and Environmental Protection, Regulation and Compliance. Truly outstanding participants on both panels.
Between the panel sessions were short 15-minute keynote speeches by CEOs and industry leaders–a veritable Who’s Who. The opening keynote was delivered by Gary Evans, CEO of Magnum Hunter Resources. Greg Lorson, CEO of Teemco delivered another keynote, as well as Chad Zamarin, CEO of NiSource Midstream and John Applegath, VP of the Southern Marcellus Shale Division of Range Resources.
The conference concluded at 4:00 pm. I had the opportunity to meet a number of people during and after the conference, including Brad Gill, executive director of the Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York (IOGA-NY). Brad and I have emailed back and forth a number of times over the past few months and I recently joined IOGA-NY, so this first face-to-face meeting with Brad was a treat for me.
Following the conference was a slice of down time before the main event–the awards ceremony in the evening. In between, I had arranged to meet an MDN subscriber in the lobby of the hotel where the conference and awards ceremony was being held (the Westin Convention Center Hotel). When I entered the lobby, low and behold the awards ceremony keynote speaker for the evening was sitting there–current PA DEP Sec. Chris Abruzzo. I re-introduced myself and Sec. Abruzzo graciously said he remembered me interviewing him at Shale Insight last September. Sec. Abruzzo and I had a pleasant, impromptu chat for about 10 minutes before I had to leave and Sec. Abruzzo set about to finish refining his remarks for the evening. That chance encounter was just really cool!
The Main Event
At 6:00 pm a champagne reception was held for those attending the awards ceremony. What I didn’t realize was that the ceremony was a black-tie event–tuxes everywhere! And here I come in a suit. Oh well! They didn’t kick me out (you know, everyone has “one of those” poor cousins). I had a great time shaking hands and chatting about the industry. A common theme I encountered throughout the day at the conference, and then in the evening at the awards ceremony, was the overwhelming sense of professionalism. These are people who love the industry in which they work. They care passionately about the safety of their workers, and are dedicated to preserving the environment. As I have told others since attending, I was bursting with pride about my chosen industry–the oil and gas industry–and the caliber of people with which I get to work and rub elbows.
When the lights were flicked it was time to enter the ballroom–a huge ballroom with tables set for the 500 or so guests attending. A few preliminary announcements were made, an oil and gas chaplain asked the blessing, and dinner was served. It was a filet mignon (encrusted) and man, was it ever good! The meal was first rate all the way. Lots of champagne, wine, whatever you wanted (I stuck to water and ginger-ale–I need a clear head to write!).
Following the meal was the awards ceremony. Each category was announced, and then the finalists for that category. I honestly felt as though I was attending the Emmy Awards. As the names were announced logos would flash on the screen and music played, and as the winners came forward to accept a plaque and get a quick picture with Daniel Creasey, the music played louder. It was first rate–very professional–all the way. The ceremony ran like a well-oiled machine.
At the end, David Spigelmyer, newly appointed president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, was honored with the Progressive Global Energy & Natural Resources Industry Leader award. He gave a rousing speech referencing the new Shale Advocates program started by the MSC. David is a class act and it’s evident that he is an exceptionally worthy successor to Katie Klaber as president of the MSC.
Coming soon on MDN, we will have videos of the event courtesy of the Oil & Gas Awards which is making the sessions available to the MDN audience, for those who could not attend (or perhaps did attend but want to see it again!). Stay tuned.
And the Winner is…
Finally, below are the categories and the winner for each category, for the Northeast Oil & Gas Awards. Our hearty congratulations to everyone who entered and to the winners for 2013!
The second annual Northeast Oil & Gas Awards was held in Pittsburgh, PA on Thursday, March 20, 2014 at the Westin Convention Center. Over five hundred guests enjoyed a champagne reception and an extended finalists showcase, profiling all of the Oil & Gas Awards finalist companies, before moving through to the banquet hall.
The gala dinner opened with a few words of thanks from Daniel Creasey, CEO of the Oil & Gas Awards, swiftly followed by the keynote address from the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, Christopher Abruzzo. Secretary Abruzzo delivered an inspiring speech before the guests settled down to dine.
When all guests had finished their four-course meal, Marc Bridgen, CMO of the Oil & Gas Awards conducted the awards ceremony. Each finalist was treated to a round of applause before the room cheered at the announcement of the winners in each of the categories the Oil & Gas Awards champion.
Congratulations to the following companies for their fantastic achievements in the 2013 Northeast Oil & Gas Awards:
The Award for Drilling Excellence – Baker Hughes
The Award for Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility – Range Resources Corporation
The Award for Excellence in Environmental Stewardship – Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
The Award for Excellence in Health & Safety (Operational) – Range Resources Corporation
The Award for Excellence in Health & Safety (Products) – Cartasite
The Preferred Technology Award for Excellence in Well Completion – FTS International
The Construction Company of the Year Award – Cenergy, LLC
The Consultancy of the Year Award – McTish, Kunkel & Associates
The Engineering Company of the Year Award – Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.
The Progressive Global Energy & Natural Resources Future Industry Leader Award – Brandon Davis of URS Corporation
The General Industry Service Award – Resource Environmental Solutions
The Progressive Global Energy & Natural Resources Industry Leader Award – Dave Spiegelmeyer of The Marcellus Shale Coalition
The Industry Supplier of the Year Award – Total Equipment Company
The Specialty Industry Supplier of the Year Award – The National Lime & Stone Company
The Law Firm of the Year Award – The Law Offices of Cara C. Davis
The Manufacturer of the Year Award – Worthington Industries
The IPS Engineering / EPC Midstream Company of the Year Award – NiSource Midstream Services
The New Technology Development of the Year Award (Software Application) – TEEMCO
The New Technology Development of the Year Award (General / Products) – HalenHardy, LLC
The Oilfield Services Company of the Year Award – Halliburton
The Recruitment Agency of the Year Award – Drill Baby Drill Staffing
The Oil & Gas Financial Journal Transaction of the Year Award – Eclipse Resources
The TEEMCO E&P Company of the Year Award – Range Resources Corporation
The Trucking Company of the Year Award – QC Energy Resources
The Water Management Company of the Year Award – Hydro Recovery LP
*Oil & Gas Awards (Mar 24, 2014) – 2013 Northeast Oil & Gas Awards Winners Announcement