2013 Industry Pioneers

Hubert L. (Hugh) Elkins

Hugh Elkins is a celebrated pioneer for his individual contributions in more than 53 years of professional service in the offshore oil industry.

Early in Hugh's engineering career with S&R Tool and Supply Company, he designed and built the 6-ft radius technology for subsea wellhead guide bases and BOP stack guide frames that continues today as an industry standard, permitting the interchangeability of subsea equipment. By one measure, his technical engineering patents over an 18-year period have over a hundred citations from his original dozen patents. In 1980, Hugh joined HYDRIL, serving in a number of executive management and engineering posts before retiring in 2000. Hugh subsequently served as Director of Business Development for National Oilwell Varco before again retiring in 2009.

Visionary leadership and technology has always been Hugh's continuous high mark, discovered in his offshore pioneering journey. At the 2010 Offshore Technology Conference Awards Luncheon, Hugh was honored with the individual distinguished achievement award for his role as a “subsea innovator.” “I got to witness, in 1969, the mess made on the beaches along the Santa Barbara channel caused by a blowout,” said Hugh. “This made me want to get involved in designing equipment to keep this from happening.” At the time of his OTC award, then-IADC president, Dr. Lee Hunt, said that Hugh created a “sense of common purpose” for the industry.

In the ‘80s, Hugh served on the National Council for U.S. – China Trade. He made trips to China representing HYDRIL and the Council. Additionally, for over a half a decade Hugh led the various committees of OEC’s Hall of Fame Initiatives with distinction.  In particular he refined the process for recognition of industry pioneers and technology pioneers during their lifetimes.