Out of Africa—Maverick oil rig, certification, buyout


Chevron’s Benguela Belize drilling-and-production platform in Angola is receiving accolades as the undertaking was named “Project of the Year” by the Offshore Energy Association. The structure, situated in waters 1,300 feet deep, features a compliant piled tower with topsides weighing over 40,000 tons. It was completed within budget and ahead of schedule and is expected to begin production in early 2006, with a capacity of 220,000 barrels of oil a day. It is the first structure of its kind outside of the Gulf of Mexico, and one of the largest such structures in the world. In related news, it received a professional certification and acquired a unit of GE .

Flawless, timely and efficient execution was critical to the Belize project. John Watson, president of Chevron International Exploration and Production, praised the project team—including Maverick —for successfully managing the engineering challenges they encountered.

Separately, the company announced its CSIA (Control System Integrators Association) certification as “Registered Member Level 1.” Level 1 firms must have: an intensive third-party audit of performance against benchmarking criteria in six business areas; annual revenues exceeding $5 million; employ over 30; and focus over 60% of its business on integration. Maverick becomes one of 64 U.S. 'Registered Members' and one of 75 worldwide.

Maverick recently expanded in new markets with the acquisition of GE Energy’s Automation Services. It claims enhanced capabilities in the semiconductor, power generation, water and wastewater, pulp and paper, and automotive markets. The company sees itself as North America’s largest independent systems-integrator.

GE Automation Services employed over 300 at 16 sites across the U.S. offering expertise in such areas as batch and continuous processes, packaging and material handling, motion control systems, electrical systems, installation, and maintenance/repair.

The acquisition also brought controlling interest of C.F. Picou Associates Inc., a leading global provider of advanced process control design and implementation services based in Baton Rouge, LA.

Maverick’s core operation comprises 500 engineers and IT professionals in 25 locations across the U.S.

— Richard Phelps, senior editor, Control Engineering

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