October 25, 2017 at 1:23 pm

Notable Alumni | Geology Alum Manages Shell Exploration in Gulf of Mexico

Graphic for College of Arts & Sciences Notable Alumni Award

Editor’s Note: The College of Arts & Sciences launches the Notable Alumni Awards, honoring 37 Notable Alumni in 2017 for broad accomplishments in their careers, a commitment to community service, and valuable contributions to Ohio University, the College of Arts & Sciences, and its students.

Patrick Jackson ’81, ’83M.S. Geological Sciences

Ohio University alum Patrick Jackson went from a master’s thesis on well-design and efficiency to a 34-year career—and still drilling—in the oil industry with Shell. Today, he’s Exploration Manager in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, including Shell’s recently announced Rydberg discovery.

Jackson was named a College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Alumni in 2001 and joins the college’s Notable Alumni as a founding member.

Jackson brings leadership and expertise from his 34-year career with Shell—where he established “a track record of getting wells drilled, developments online and applying leading edge technologies to projects”—to his service at OHIO. He helped found and currently chairs the Geological Sciences Alumni Advisory Board. He also is a co-founder of the Yeats-Smith-Nance Geology Field Camp Endowment, designed to support the annual field camp experience for students.

Patrick Jackson

Patrick Jackson

“I was born in Tennessee and grew up in Poland, OH, near Youngstown. I completed my B.S. in Geological Sciences in 1981 focusing on Hydrology. My M.S. in Geological Sciences was finished in 1983 based on research in well design and efficiency under Dr. Moid Ahmad, with results presented at the International Groundwater Conference in Johannesburg in 1984,” Jackson says.

After earning his M.S., he started his career with Shell in New Orleans in 1983 as a geophysicist.

“Overall, my career at Shell has been balanced between development planning and execution, exploration and geophysics. This includes successfully managing safety aspects of vessels and rigs along with a track record of getting wells drilled, developments online and applying leading edge technologies to projects,” Jackson says.

Initial assignments with Shell included exploration and processing. He moved to seismic acquisition in 1986, eventually becoming Party Chief of the R/V Shell America, the most advanced seismic vessel of that time. In 1991, he moved back into interpretive and leadership assignments that ranged from rank exploration to field developments and redevelopments.

“In 2000, I transferred to The Hague to take a role in the Shell flagship project Sakhalin II. This posting culminated in the position of Chief Geoscientist for Shell Russia. I returned to the United States in 2007 as Development Team Leader for Alaska,” Jackson says.

In 2009, Jackson moved back to Exploration as the Geophysical Coordinator for the Gulf of Mexico for prospect review, seismic data purchase and reprocessing projects. Starting in 2010 he assumed the role of Appraisal Lead for the deepwater Appomattox discovery and executed a three-year appraisal program including wells and seismic.

Shell and the Norphlet play. Credit: Shell. Graphic shows locations of Appomattox, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Rydberg, and planned Appamattox host well sites.

Shell and the Norphlet play. Credit: Shell

“In 2013 I took on all appraisal in the Gulf of Mexico, including completing the appraisal at Vito, drilling the discovery at Vicksburg, and executing appraisal test at Corinth. In early 2014 I took over as Exploration Manager in the eastern Gulf of Mexico including Shell’s recently announced Rydberg discovery,” he says.

“Since returning to the United States, I have worked with the Geological Sciences Department to establish the Alumni Board with the intent of supporting the department in its mission. I enjoy spending time with my family, adventurous travel, and coaching my kids in basketball, softball, and baseball.”

Connections to Ohio University

Favorite Ohio University Memory

“Field Camp, six weeks out West, taking the capstone course for Geology majors” is Jackson’s favorite memory. “This experience taught me how to put together all aspects of geology through different projects and how to work effectively in a team.”

Field Camp 1981, several people posing in front of Ohio University geology van

Field Camp 1981

Ohio University Mentor

“Dr. Moid Ahmad, my thesis adviser, was very tough and demanded a lot. He gave me the skills and attitude to be very competitive in the oil industry. This has served me well throughout my career in many different jobs, but always with the same company, Shell.”

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