Alden LaBorde, the son of two educators, was born in Marksville, Louisiana December 18, 1915. He graduated from highschool and in 1932, then headed for Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He attended Louisiana State University for 2 years earlier than coming into the U.S. Naval Academy in 1934. He was commissioned as a Navy ensign after graduating in 1938 however was launched from navy service early due to imaginative and prescient issues. However he was shortly returned to energetic and was given command of the usS. PC560 on the Naval Station in New Orleans. After his navy service, Laborde’s seagoing expertise suited him for the Gulf Coast’s rising offshore oil business. He began as a roustabout however quickly grew to become referred to as an individual different staff might depend on for options to issues, gaining the nickname “Doc” consequently. While Laborde was working for Kerr-McGee Oil Industries in Morgan City as a marine superintendent, he got here up with the thought for a movable, submersible drilling rig. At the time, firms needed to construct piling platforms for every particular person rig, a time-consuming and costly course of, particularly as a result of many wells turned out to be dry holes. When Kerr McGee declined to construct his barge, LaBorde resigned and went into enterprise with John Hayward, builder of the Barnsdall rig, and holder of the patent on his submersible barge methodology. They linked with Charles Murphy Jr. of Murphy Oil Company in El Dorado, Arkansas, who was on the lookout for an progressive expertise that may let his small firm compete with the large firms drilling offshore. LaBorde’s design for a submersible, transportable drilling rig appeared to fill the invoice and he dedicated $500,000 to the deal and assisted LaBorde find extra buyers. They named their firm: Odeco, Ocean Drilling & Exploration Company and shortly signed a development contract with Alexander Shipyard in New Orleans. The title chosen for the unit was “Mr.Charlie,” what Charles Murphy’s father was generally known as.
On June 15, 1954, Mr. Charlie was turned over to Odeco by the shipyard within the Industrial Canal, New Orleans. After provisioning and arrange, they set sail for the journey to “Mr.Charlie’s” first job.
The submersible rig began off for its first job on a $6,000-per-day contract, the primary of its sort within the business. Mr. Charlie drilled in South Pass leases that Shell Oil Co. had owned since 1947. After its first successes, Mr. Charlie drilled for greater than 30 years at a whole lot of websites.
Odeco went onto design and construct a number of variations on Mr. Charlie’s design. After a time LaBorde turned his consideration onto designing help vessels notably for the oil business. Eventually a brand new firm, Tidewater, was shaped and ultimately grew to become the world’s largest offshore vessel operator. LaBorde was additionally concerned within the growth of the primary semi-submersible oil rig, the Ocean Driller. LaBorde retired January 1, 1977 at age 61. He handed away in New Orleans on the age of 98. (Source and Image: Morgan City Rig Museum – The New Orleans Advocate)
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