One Shell Square
Post-Katrina, when New Orleans had no foodservice available, Shell's goal was to reopen Shell Square and feed its employees. Numbering some 1,000 people, the challenge was to design and build a facility that could provide breakfast and lunch every day without re-engineering the building, that would meet local code, and that could be refitted at a later date once normal operations could be restored.
Working with Waldemar S. Nelson, we had a satellite kitchen up and running in just over 3 weeks, with a fully operational kitchen facility 4 blocks away on St. Charles Avenue. We operated a full-service cafeteria with multiple lines, including salad bars, full meals, express meal and sandwich line, along with a coffee shop and pastry shop all day every business day.
Meals were delivered by our vans and kept hot in mobile equipment throughout each meal period. We fed on average, 900 people a full breakfast each morning and over 1,100 for lunch every day for nearly a year until the city was able to support the employees with local restaurants.
Shell Ursa TLP
Ursa is one of the most ambitious engineering projects ever conceived - a gigantic TLP, constructed in several countries and assembled overseas, it was towed under full power to MC 809.
SONOCO was involved in this project beginning almost a year before construction was completed. During fabrication, we provided foodservice management and housekeeping for the Shell offices at McDermott's Amelia facility.
Prior to commissioning, SONOCO did real-world testing of all equipment - preparing several hundred meals in the process. We worked with manufacturers to assure that all equipment met Shell's requirements, and readied it for towing overseas to Curacao.
We worked with the Logistics, Material and Utilities teams in coordinating the delivery of thousands of pounds of equipment, linen and food for the installation effort.
When the decision was made to do the integration/installation in Curacao, SONOCO worked with local officials, suppliers and staffing firms. We provided housing for almost 400 people on the flotel Venture, and also managed a recreation center, a swimming area, and a "nightclub" type game room. We also coordinated and prepared a cookout with a live band every Sunday. Because local guests and workers (and their families) were invited, we often served over 800 people at the weekly cookouts.
We also operated a duty-free store aboard the flotel.
Ursa was towed 1800 miles to the Gulf of Mexico and set on location. The tow took nearly a month and during this time, Ursa was crewed to maximum capacity and operated fully under its own power. With only 1 replenishment planned, and 156 people to feed, we had quite a challenge planning, ordering and storing all the products needed!
Prior to towing, we prepared complete menus for the duration. We planned the replenishment in the Grand Caymans, and of course, we stocked the pantry completely before getting underway.
The tow took place during the holiday season, so we were pleased to be able to serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal to our co-workers.
This project was a singular event. Never before had such a large structure been built for the Gulf of Mexico. Several record lifts were set. Ursa is currently in nearly 4,000 feet of water - another record at that time. And the driller - Helmerich & Payne International - has set several records as well.
Bullwinkle, a major producing asset in the Shell shelf organization, underwent a substantial expansion that involved housing over 140 people - or roughly 4 times its capacity.
Double-stacked, temporary housing was placed on deck in three different locations, and a temporary galley/dining facility was created from a 4-building tie-in. The challenge was to provide quality food and housekeeping safely, in very limited space and with limited storage.
SONOCO provided housekeeping and foodservice for this project, which ran for several months, with no recordable incidents. We are still on this location, providing complete catering service.
Exxon Mobile Bay Project
Involving over 600 people from dozens of companies, 40 boats, liftboats and quarterboats, the project goal was to bring on line three producing assets in the Mobile Bay.
The properties being developed were situated in a protected wetlands area just north of Dauphin Island. This area is home to highly productive oyster beds and is considered a very sensitive area in which to work. Additional challenges to the project were the fact that Dauphin Island is a popluar tourist destination, and that facilities were situated in high-pressure hydrogen sulfide areas. In fact, Exxon developed several new technologies to deal with the adverse conditions safely and profitably.
Everyone involved in the project lived either on the island or in nearby hotels. SONOCO provided housekeeping services for a 20,000 square foot office and shorebase facility, a lodge that housed 48 crew, several dozen condominiums and houses on the island, and a small apartment complex.
We also provided individual laundry service for each of the 600+ staff living on the project facilities and hotels. All laundry was turned around within 24 hours from the time it was dropped off!
SONOCO also provided complete foodservice for the project, feeding from several lift boats, quarterboats and other vessels as well as from the lodge. Throughout the life of the project, which lasted over a year, we maintained excellent standards of cleanliness, and achieved very high levels of customer satisfaction.
During the project, we also provided numerous special services including shuttle transportation for project managers, special custodial services for VIP quarters, and similar services. We also managed a lunch program at the shorebase facility, and provided vending services for some areas of the project facilities.