While We're On the Topic of Offshore Drilling ...

… may I brag just a little?

MMS Announces SAFE Award Finalists

WASHINGTON, D.C.– The Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service today announced the national finalists for the Safety Awards for Excellence (SAFE) competition sponsored by the Minerals Management Service. Presented annually to Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas operators and contractors who achieve excellence in safety and pollution prevention, the National SAFE awards recognize outstanding performance by the offshore industry.

“The SAFE award is one of the highest honors MMS can bestow upon a company,”
said MMS acting Director Walter Cruickshank. “It signifies that safety and environmentally sound operations are the top priority for an offshore operator.”

The 2009 SAFE finalists in the “Moderate OCS Activity” category are:

    Badger Oil Corp.
    BHP Billiton, Inc.
    Hunt Petroleum
    Noble Energy, Inc.

OCS oil and gas operators from the high and moderate categories as well as drilling and production contractors are eligible to be selected as finalists for the award. … A moderate activity company produces at least one million barrels of oil per year and operates a minimum of 100 in-service components during the year. The MMS selects one winner from each category. The National SAFE Awards will be presented at an Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) luncheon on May 7, 2009 …

Badger Oil Corp., a privately-held Lafayette, LA based explorer and producer of oil and gas, was founded in 1959 and this year will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding. Badger’s personnel have worked in the Gulf of Mexico for many years, but Badger’s history as a GoM operator goes only back to 2003.

There are roughly fifty companies whose size qualifies them in the “moderate activity” category among producers.

Badger, the newcomer, gives up the home field advantage to its rivals and is currently a 12-point underdog. Get your bets in early.