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.