Metocean Committee appoints new Chair and Vice Chair

Eugene Berek (ExxonMobil) and Valerie Quiniou-Ramus (Total) have been elected Chair and Vice Chair of the Metocean Committee.

“It is difficult for me to imagine improving on the leadership that we have had under both Colin Grant and, before him, Chris Shaw,” says Gene. “So it is my goal to follow in those footsteps, continuing to be an active committee of highly skilled individuals who are committed to: safety in the offshore Industry, enhancement of the industry’s knowledge base in all aspects of metocean, and being an incubator for Joint Industry Projects which provide avenues to facilitate knowledge exchange that is fundamental to our part of the industry.”

Gene, a native of Western New York state, graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a degree in Civil Engineering before studying Coastal and Ocean Engineering at the California Institute of Technology and the University of Delaware.  In 1982 he joined Amoco Production Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma and became familiar with OGP, then known as the E & P (Exploration & Production) Forum. He was a regular attendee at  Metocean Committee meetings through the mid-1980s and the 1990s representing either Amoco or Mobil, which he joined in 1999.  After six as a private consultant, Gene returned to ExxonMobil in 2006.  At present, he is the company’s Metocean Advisor, based at the Production Research Center in Houston.

For Vice Chair Valérie Quiniou-Ramus, the main priorities of her new role “are to promote the knowledge of the physical environment for the safety of O&G design and operations, to share this knowledge between members through the committee meetings and by promoting Joint Industry Projects, and to develop relationships between  the industry and the scientific communities.”

Valérie studied at the Ecole Polytechnique and the National School of Advanced Techniques (ENSTA), graduating in 1997 as a Naval Architect. She started working in naval architecture and hydrodynamics applied to the oil & gas industry with Bouygues Offshore (now SAIPEM) from 1996 to 1999, and then with Noble Denton in London in 2000-2001. Valérie joined Total in Paris in 2002, as a Metocean Advisor.  Her main mission was to bridge the gap between internal clients (e.g. naval architects, mooring and riser designers, and drillers) and experts in oceanography and meteorology. Since 2010, she has led  the Survey Technologies Department for geophysics, geotechnics, metocean, ice engineering and geomatics applied to development and operations – all top priorities for OGP’s Metocean Committee.

Gene and Valérie share the belief that their Committee’s work is particularly useful for OGP members since it displays that the industry “cares about the impact of the physical environment on our design and operations, and we act to improve our preparedness.”  They say that the Committee also provides a great resource of metocean information. The development of metocean guidelines for ISO documents is a good example of this.

What’s more, “For most of us,” he says, “as metocean specialists in oil companies, we generally work in quite small groups within our own companies, so the Metocean Committee is often our peer group and sounding board for ideas and opinions about the broad spectrum of metocean across the globe,” Gene says.

Valerie views the Committee as a fantastic way to network with metocean specialists in the industry, to learn from counterparts and share opinions on metocean-related topics. “It is a real community for discussion and debate about the metocean discipline!” she adds.

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