Home / News / Ocean Star survives Ike but needs industry assistance for repairs


Only the shell of the Ocean Star gift shop was left after Hurricane Ike passed through Galveston in early September.

The Offshore Energy Center (OEC) has reported that the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum in Galveston, Texas, survived Hurricane Ike’s powerful winds and storm surges in September. A helicopter on a rooftop exhibit was damaged, and there were damaged windows and some flooding – minor compared with what could’ve been, said OEC executive director Sandra Mourton.

However, the museum gift shop that was housed in a portable building on the pier didn’t survive the storm, and the OEC hopes that the industry can offer its assistance in finding a replacement. “Size-wise we’d have to get something similar because of our lease on the pier,” Ms Mourton said. The original building was 20 ft by 34 ft and housed not just souvenirs but also the manager’s office, restroom and storage facilities, and communications wiring for the entire museum, including telephone, computers, etc.

Ocean Star survives Ike but needs industry assistance for repairs

No repair cost estimates were available yet, but Ms Mourton noted that even before Ike, the rig museum was badly in need of general repairs. “About $3 million worth,” she said, explaining that labor is more expensive because the rig is in the water. That means boats have to be brought in, scaffolding must be erected, environmental containment, etc.

As of mid-October, the Ocean Star was still without electricity. Several employees have been displaced from their own damaged homes on the island as well. It is unclear when the museum will reopen. “We’ve seen some very strong storms come through, but this was the strongest,” Ms Mourton said.

For many years, the OEC and Ocean Star have been working to educate the public about the offshore energy industry. The museum provides exhibits, tours and even career fairs, while the OEC provides educational programs and materials such as teacher workshops and mobile school exhibits that help students to explore possible careers in the energy industry.

The Ocean Star also participates in the International Forum of Energy Centres and Museums, an effort initiated by IADC to improve public perception of the drilling industry. (For more on how the industry is working to improve its public image, please see Page 44 of the November/December 2008 issue of Drilling Contractor.) To find out more about how you can help the Ocean Star, please contact the OEC at +1-281-679-8040.

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