2007 Industry Pioneers


Ronald E. McAdamsRonald E. "Mac" McAdams

Mac McAdams was a true pioneer in development of the offshore oil and gas industry. A man of remarkable vision and determination, he led Shell to explore and develop oilfields in water depths exceeding 200-ft, an unheard-of goal at the time.

Working as head of exploration for Shell, McAdams put together a highly focused exploration organization supported by a solid base of theoretical and applied research leading to many technical innovations in geology, geophysics, drilling and production. In practice, McAdams’ organization became renowned for its string of successes, setting many water-depth records for new field discoveries in the process.

McAdams’ pioneering influence remained long after his retirement. His approach to exploration became a model for Shell, leading to continued success in exploring for large and profitable fields sited in increasingly deeper waters, often far beyond technology frontiers supported by conventional wisdom.