Congressman tours rig, views training upgrades

While in Morgan City, Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. dropped by the International Petroleum Museum and Exposition to see first-hand the only place in the world where the general public can walk aboard an authentic offshore drilling rig.

He also got a first-hand look at Oceaneering's Remotely Operated Vehicle training presently taking place.

Commonly known as the “Mr. Charlie,” it is the first movable drilling rig ever built for offshore use and went to work in 1954. It is still active today as a tourist attraction and a hands-on live-aboard training facility open to the whole industry to use.

Boustany, R-Lake Charles, was joined on the tour of the rig by Frank Klein, worldwide training director for Oceaneering International, and Virgil Allen, museum director.

Oceaneering’s ROV division will install two remotely controlled vehicles on the rig in early December for more intense hands-on training opportunities.

Such training accomplished on the rig is essential to providing the competency-based training required for operation in the offshore oil and gas industry, Allen said.

“Having visited Mr. Charlie last week, I was able to witness the value of this training platform for those looking to work offshore in the petroleum and natural gas industry. Because it meets training requirements set forth by new government regulations, Mr. Charlie is a great tool being utilized to educate the general public in addition to members of the energy industry," Boustany said.

“Representing south Louisiana, I am fully aware of the important roles the petroleum and natural gas industries play in the lives of constituents," he added.

Boustany represents Louisiana’s 7th Congressional District, which covers Acadiana and southwest Louisiana.

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