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Science & Technology:

Mohole Phase II

Project Mohole was a U.S. government-sponsored effort in the late 1950s and early 1960s to drill down to the earth’s lower crust and upper mantle to learn more about the interior composition and geologic history of the planet.  Mohole produced technological and scientific innovations vital to the offshore industry and to the nation as a whole.  During the 1960s, many segments of the offshore industry worked with Brown & Root on the project to develop path-breaking drilling technology capable of exploring a realm familiar only to science fiction, the earth’s crust.  In the process, Brown & Root Marine gained valuable project management experience.  As a manager of Project Mohole’s Phase II, Brown & Root showed off its skills in offshore and onshore engineering and design and demonstrated how commercial technology can be applied, modified, refined, and invented for scientific study.

Mohole contemplated something almost unimaginable for the time – drilling in 15,000 to 18,000 feet of water, and then through another 25,000 feet of the earth’s crust to the mantle.  The maximum water depth drilled in those days, it must be remembered, was only about 200 feet. Although politics, scientific arguments, and the Vietnam War brought an end to Phase II in 1966, Project Mohole led to engineering and design innovations that benefited both the study of geophysics and the commercial offshore drilling industry.

Recognizing the pioneering efforts of the following individuals that contributed to this technology:

George Brown, Herman Brown, Jules N. Biron, Frank Briggs, Joe Lochridge,

Alan McClure, Rick Rochelle, Bill Schneider, Bill Tonking, Bowman Thomas, Bill Walker


2011 Call for Nominations
2011 Industry Pioneer Nomination Form 
2011 Technology Pioneer Nomination Form

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