W.H. von Eberstein dedicated his entire career (34 years) to the technical and conceptual development of the drilling industry. His career started at Shell Oil Company in 1974 after obtaining a BS degree in Geology from the University of South Alabama. He is known in the oil industry for his technical/operational knowledge and MODU (Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit) experience. The range of his experience and knowledge is extensive and consists of the following areas of competence:
In December, 2003 Mr. von Eberstein elected to retire from Shell Oil Company. He held the title “Wells Manager of the Americas” at retirement. He formed ExPert E&P Consultants LLC in January 2004, ExPert Oil and Gas, Expert Directional Drilling and Expert Riser Solutions in mid 2004. These companies provide project management/execution/operatorship, MODU commissioning, training, drilling engineering/operations consulting services for deepwater/shelf/land well locations, directional drilling, high pressure tubular fabrication/inspection and marine drilling/production riser services. Customer base is extensive, consisting of major/independent oil companies and drilling contractors both domestic and international.
Current Employment Details
President and CEO of Expert E&P Consultants LLC, Expert Oil and Gas, Expert Directional Drilling and Expert Riser Solutions LLC. Retired from Shell International E&P effective 12-01-2003 after 29.3 years of service. Management position held at retirement from Shell—Americas Wells Delivery Manager. Areas of responsibility- Deep water operations: North America, Canada, Alaska, Central and South America.
BS Degree in Geology/Composite Sciences from the University of South Alabama. (1974).
English. Basic understanding of Portuguese, German.
Competencies and Skills
President and CEO of Expert E&P Companies- Business Management/strategic development and investing Drilling operations/Engineering/MODU Design & equipment, Project planning, Logistics, Project management/execution of both Domestic and International complex projects (Deepwater Gulf of Mexico and extreme remote environments of the Amazon Jungle, Arctic Ocean/Chukchi Sea and Syria). Maintained an extensive knowledge of well designs and MODU ultra deepwater drilling and completions, new technologies, HPHT drilling (Offshore and onshore). I was project leader/Senior DW Superintendent/Wells Manager of all deepwater projects beginning from 1991 to 2004. Expert Witness
Training and Development
Drilling engineering, Well operations, Geology, OJT of rig operations (Tool pusher of Shell Rig 25), Drilling Foreman (16 years), Well engineering, Petrophysics, subsea and surface BOP Systems, multiplex control systems, advanced well control, HSE, drilling fluids, solids control, DW mooring (Hold Patent # US 6,719,496 B1 on existing system used by Transocean Nautilus 9250’ WD), MODU (1st through 5th Generation) design/commissioning, Harsh environment/cold water/Helicopter egress survival, ISO 14001 HSE. Extensive experience and proficient in all phases of operations including H2S, HPHT, Ultra-Deepwater, Complex-low margin/sub-salt exploration, Subsea completions and development drilling (land, shelf, deep water)
Identified/invented new equipment, drilling technology and drilling concepts in ultra-deepwater environments. Performed key role in developing required equipment specifications for deepwater drilling and incorporated same into the new design of 5th generation deepwater semis. In addition to 5th generation MODU design, developed special requirements/specifications/design for new generation AHTV’s to safely and cost effectively handle enhanced polyester mooring systems and components.
December 2003 – Present
President and CEO of Expert E&P companies
September 2003 to December 2003
Shell Americas Well Delivery Manager
Responsible for the deepwater drilling/completion management of all South America, Central America and North America Floater Operations. Supervised deepwater Drilling Superintendents/Engineers
January 1991 to August 2003
Senior DW Drilling Superintendent
Managed drilling operations/engineering in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM). Served as Shell’s only Deepwater Drilling Superintendent from 1991-1996 and was promoted to Job Group 1 Senior DW Drilling Superintendent (Advisor Level) in 1996.
Management position over Shell’s drilling/exploration/development in the deepwater environment of the US GOM. Also managed Shell’s TLP pre-drills/completion projects (Mars, Ursa, and Ram Powell), Subsea Developments (Tahoe, Mars SS, Popeye, and Mensa). Championed HSE and Drilling the Limit/Well Planning Drilling processes with implementation of successful crew training and ISO 14001 certification.
Managed construction, commissioning, upgrades and start-up of several new 5th generation MODU’s (i.e. DW Nautilus, Noble EVA’s, Transocean Marianas, Smedvig Navion). Made significant contributions to new and existing fifth generation MODU design/layout/equipment specification, relative to best developed practices/innovation for effective operations in deep water.
Identified critical deep water operations requirements for new generation offshore service vessels (OSV’s) and anchor handling towing vessels (AHTV’s). Contributed significantly to new design specifications of the first new generation AHTV (ECO AHTV Ross Chouest) and new generation OSV’s for operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GOM). Personally achieved management contract approval to build new vessels. Identified additional specifications, requirements/enhancements for OSV’s that increased vessel capabilities (liquid mud, bulk material, deck load, horsepower , Dynamic Positioning, heavy duty 350 ton cantilevering A-Frame, vessel stability and motion characteristics, marine AHTV installation of subsea components/trees). The industry has and continues to benefit via utilization of these vessels and replicating design for all deepwater marine service vessels operating for all operators in the US GOM.
Obtained patents (US 6,719,496, B1) on new ultra-deepwater mooring design/components and concepts which enable existing and new generation MODU’s to significantly increase moored water depth operating limits to 10,000’. Filed additional patents on uniquely designed equipment for the safe handling of heavy casing/tubular loads in ultra-deepwater or subsea operations.
Consistently selected and led teams that set “Best in Class” performance on numerous- complex (HPHT/Sub-salt unconventional, narrow drilling margin) and challenging exploration projects. Invented and acquired patents on special drilling concepts/processes (Patent Pending), which enabled the drilling of previously un-drillable wells in deepwater (No Margin-HP-ultra deepwater—deep Miocene and subsalt).
Developed several concepts/patents and special equipment/tools that have significantly enhanced HSE and operational efficiency (Drill pipe bucking machine, deep water mooring designs/components, sub-sea well control, ECD management, rig equipment and controls, operating procedures etc.).
May 1977- January 1991
Drilling Foreman/Lead Foreman, Tool Pusher (Shell Rig 25), Assistant Drilling Superintendent
S. Texas, LA, MS, FL, AL, AK (Chukchi Sea—see note below under areas internationally). Experience in both onshore US and Offshore US Gulf of Mexico exploration/development drilling (shelf and deepwater TLP (Auger, Mars, Ursa and Mars) discoveries and miscellaneous deepwater exploration.
Worked most existing types of drilling rigs (MODU’s—DP/moored drill ships/Semi-submersibles, Jack-ups, Barges, Land rigs).
Types of drilling wells included HPHT, Deep HP-H2S, Complex Directional, Deepwater, extreme remote environment, narrow margin deepwater and others.
Areas Worked Internationally (remote environments):
Brazil (Amazon Jungle), Syria (area bordering Iraq) and Chukchi Sea. All work involved complex and critical exploration/development well operations in remote areas (3 years Chukchi Sea—adjacent to Russian territorial boundary and Arctic Ocean).
Designated Lead Drilling Foreman during the majority of my Drilling foreman assignments.
Member of a team that received Shell’s coveted “President’s Award for Excellence” two times and received special recognition many times for exceptional individual contributions. Exposure to critical deepwater operations and remote environments enabled me to develop extensive knowledge of MODU design/construction/mooring/equipment/DP/logistics/HSE/ Subsea drilling equipment/control systems.
January 1976 to May 1977
Drilling Foreman Training
Worked with Shell’s drilling engineering staff (basic and advanced well designs) and onsite drilling operations (onshore/offshore wells). Filled in as relief for foremen and worked closely with experienced Drilling foremen on numerous critical well operations until attaining personal Drilling Foreman Title. Performed duties in various rig positions to increase understanding of actual hands on operations with equipment and diversity of people.
October 1974 to January 1976
Completed thorough Shell Company training in Geology, Invertebrate Paleontology, Structural Geology, Geophysics, etc during first 6 months. Well site geologist/paleontologist—Performed stratigraphic/Paleo interpretations and analysis of drilling wells. Selected coring points, interpreted age/depositional environments and major geologic events or targets.
Patents and Publications
ROV Installed Suction Piles (US 6,719,496 B1) Method for Formation Pressure Control While Drilling (Patent 6823950 (US) Shell’s Experience with Deepwater Mooring Systems for MODU’s Pre-Installed Mooring Systems for Ultra Deepwater Drilling Rigs Floatation Module and Method (Patent 7,383,885 issued June 10, 2008)
American Association of Drilling Engineers American Petroleum Institute Recommended Practice 2 SK Committee member 2003 National Ocean Industry Association (NOIA) Louisiana Oil & Gas Association (LOGA) Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI)