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2011 Meritorious Service Awards Luncheon

Two Honored with Meritorious Service Awards

API-Delta Chapter recently joined with the Greater New Orleans Area Oil and Gas Associations to honor Matthew Wandstrat and Joe Leimkuhler as the 2011 recipients of the API Meritorious Service Award. The Meritorious Service Award is given in recognition of the local men and women that actively work towards sustaining and expanding the oil and gas industry along the Gulf Coast as well as for volunteerism in their community and organizations such as API.

Wandstrat, a Senior Advisor with Baker Hughes, Inc. is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, American Petroleum Institute, and Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts. He is a Past Chairman (twice) of the Delta Chapter of the SPE, Director of the Delta Chapter of SPE, Committee lead for the Deep Water Symposium in New Orleans, member of the SPE Delta Golf Tournament Committee. He is a past recipient of the Outstanding Leadership Award, SPE Section Service Award and SPE President's Award for Section Excellence.

Leimkuhler serves as Offshore Well Delivery Manager for Shell International. He has served twice as the Chapter President of the American Association of Drilling Engineers and served on AADE's National Board of Directors from 2007 to 2009. He remains active on the National Board as a Director at Large and focuses on AADES support of Drilling Education within the Nation's Petroleum Engineering programs. He is a 25 year member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and also served on API's committee addressing the Post Macondo Deepwater Drilling issues. Joe serves on various University Engineering Advisory boards focused on Petroleum Engineering.

The Keynote speaker for the event was Ms. Rayola Dougher, Senior Economic Advisor for the American Petroleum Institute. She currently is one of API's principal spokespersons. Her efforts focus on informing policymakers, the news media, and the public on energy market issues and trends.

Dougher showed facts and statistics that demonstrate the positive side of the oil industry and refuted the misleading statements often made by the media and the current Administration. She discussed the facts about alternative fuels, the potential for energy independence in the US, gasoline prices and much more. She stated that a recent report by the U. S. Energy Information Administration found that last year was the first time since 1949 that the U. S. became a net exporter of petroleum products. She also provided statistics illustrating the financial impact on investments resulting from the rig movements outside of the Gulf of Mexico. She reported that $21.4 billion in investments were lost and 91,000 jobs were lost. With the Gulf production down more that 21%, there was an estimated $5 billion in lost government revenue.