What is your name, title/occupation, and where do you live?
Tom Broom/Executive Account Manager/Mandeville, LA
Can you tell us a little about what your company does and your role?
I work for Danos, a 72-year old family-owned and managed oilfield service provider, as the Executive Account Manager for the Shell account. My role is to provide strategic guidance to Danos owners and leaders. Ultimately, my goal is for Shell to get the absolute best services from Danos and for Shell to provide Danos with the opportunity to compete for Shell contracts.
How long have you worked in the offshore energy industry?
Forty-two years—from May 1977 through the present. I spent 3 summers in college working in the Gulf of Mexico: first as a deckhand, then as a welder’s helper and finally as a roustabout and roughneck.
After completing undergraduate and graduate studies, I joined Shell Oil Company and had an amazing 35-year career in a variety of roles residing in Louisiana, Texas and California. During this time, I worked with offshore properties in the Gulf of Mexico, Pacific, Atlantic and Alaska Outer Continental Shelf Regions as well as Canada and Brazil.
When I retired from Shell, I didn’t plan to continue working; however, I was recruited by Hank Danos and ultimately accepted the position of Executive Account Manager. It’s been a great fit – the values and culture of Danos are very much aligned with my own.
What originally attracted you to the offshore energy industry, and what has kept you in the industry?
A chance to better myself. I was born and raised in a small southern town with few opportunities. The oil and gas industry provided me with summer employment while I attended college and an amazing career after I graduated.
I chose to stay in the industry because it provided me with opportunities and challenges beyond my wildest ambitions. I was in the ‘right place at the right time’ when Shell began exploring the deepwater Gulf of Mexico in the early 1980s. The opportunity to be ‘on the ground floor’ of such a momentous event in our industry’s history was remarkable. Additionally, I have developed relationships with esteemed colleagues, many of whom have become my lifelong friends; traveled the world, experiencing unique cultures; and been continuously challenged to learn and improve throughout my career.
What types of job opportunities does your company offer? What skills make potential employees a good fit with the team?
Danos offers a range of job opportunities, from fieldwork and staff support, to sales and account management. The most important skills that make a potential employee a good fit are alignment with Danos’ purpose, values and high-performance culture. Danos hires and promotes employees who demonstrate six high-performance traits, so customers can trust that the Danos team knows how to deliver results. These six traits are passionate about winning, participates in coaching, bias to action, empowers teamwork, open to change, and willing to challenge and debate.
How much of a priority is worker safety and environmental stewardship for your company? Can you give an example of safety or environmental practices within your company?
Safety is one of Danos’ values, along with integrity, service, improvement and respect. From weekly safety call-in meetings, to our behavior based safety app, to our Safety Focus events, Danos safety programming is second to none.
Safety and environmental stewardship are core values of mine, along with Danos and Shell. There is absolutely no business objective that is worth harming a colleague or damaging our environment. My objective is to live and work at Goal Zero: “No harm to people or the environment.”
How has the industry changed in the last five years? Are there any new technologies or practices that you wish had previously existed?
The dramatic technological advancement in ultra-deepwater exploration and production has made prospects viable that were previously unreachable. These advancements have rivaled those of any public or private sector venture.
Shell now produces energy from the Stones field in water depths of 9,500 feet. The reservoir is located 26,500 feet below sea level and 17,000 feet below the mud line. Danos employees work in the Stones field on the Turritella, a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, to achieve these amazing results.
What does your family do for fun when you are not working?
We enjoy spending time together in the unique culture of south Louisiana, especially the food and music. We appreciate dining in amazing restaurants, celebrating the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell and cheering on the Saints, LSU Tigers and Nicholls State Colonels.
We also enjoy traveling and experiencing the cultures of other areas. We have taken pilgrimages to Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Ireland and England.
We are active in our church and volunteer at the New Orleans Mission.
People who do not live along the Gulf Coast might not know about the fishing, beaches and other outdoor draws to the region. How much are the outdoors part of the way of life for energy workers along the Gulf of Mexico?
I spend much of my free time enjoying the many outdoor activities along the Gulf of Mexico, especially fishing in the marshes of south Louisiana and waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The best fishing in the Gulf is around the oil and gas platforms. The subsea structures of the platforms become artificial reefs for marine life, attracting a wide variety of species. The Gulf provides recreation, food and a way of life for its residents. The energy workers and people of Louisiana know how truly lucky we are to live in this region.
Finally, what is the one thing you would like to tell Americans about life alongside America’s offshore energy production?
We are working for you-- all Americans, including those who live in states that don’t welcome our industry. The men and women of America’s offshore energy industry are working twenty-four hours each day, 365 days each year to provide our country with a secure and affordable source of energy that allows Americans to experience a standard of living that previous generations could have only dreamed about.