The International Petroleum Museum and Exposition  

Sir Isaac Newton once said

Oilfield Divers Monument, Morgan City, LAMonument Location

Oilfield Divers Monument

It is time to acknowledge the many contributions of the oilfield diver. Since the very first over water oil well was drilled, these men and women significantly improved the oil and gas industry's ability to produce these natural resources. The Oilfield Divers Monument is a project of the International Petroleum Museum & Exposition, a 501(c)(3) corporation, in Morgan City, Louisiana. Monument donations are tax-deductible.

Project Team

Rusty Wright, Jack Vilas, Bryce Merrill, Virgil Allen and Micah Allen are the team. The team was formed to oversee the raising of funds to construct our monument, have the monument designed and built, and installed in Morgan City. We have a PayPal account and a PO Box for collecting funds. All funds are deposited in the ODM bank account. It requires two signatures to withdraw any funds.

Donation Information

One of the following Two Ways

You can mail your donations to:
Oilfield Divers Monument
PO Box 1988
Morgan City, LA 70381

Donations can be made through our PayPal account
The Pay Pal button will take you to International Petroleum Museum which is our patron for donations.

Donate now with PayPal

The evolution of the oil and gas industry and its movement offshore has been one of the fundamental forces shaping our culture, geography, society and economy during the twentieth century. In the late 1920s and into the 30s, the lakes, marshes and bayous of southern Louisiana began to rival the famous Spindletop salt dome in neighboring Texas in the production of fossil fuels. A consortium of companies led by Kerr-McGee and Phillips Petroleum completed the first out-of-sight-of-land well in 1947 off Morgan City, marking a new phase in the evolution of the world's oil and gas industry.

Our monument is a life size bronze statue of an early oilfield diver to commemorate all those who have worked underwater to build the international oil and gas industry.

With over 100 countries producing oil and gas, an extremely hazardous area of offshore work was diving, which, by the late 1950s, had become an essential function to offshore petroleum operations. Divers assisted in constructing, installing, repairing, and salvaging offshore platforms and pipelines. The oilfield diver has been involved every step of the way. It's important to recognize those giants now and for the future.

In the late 1800s the first overwater, oil wells were being drilled in the ocean from piers extending off the beach at Summerland, California. Since then, men and women have been getting into the water to support the production of oil and gas around the world.

In 1911, Gulf Oil drilled the world's first oil well in the inland waters of Lake Caddo, Louisiana. None of these operations would have been possible without the guy that jumped over the side to retrieve the lost tool, or to tighten the flange.

In the mid-1940s to early-1950s those men's efforts developed into a profession. And we saw, for the first time, professional oilfield divers. Those divers and the companies they started, made incredible discoveries, breakthroughs and a steady improvement to the profession, including safety procedures. Those efforts have been incorporated by many industries, from robotics to the medical field and space exploration, just to name a few. Who didn't hear the Shuttle astronauts working on the Hubble telescope say "where's those divers when we need them?" as they struggled with installing the new mirrors.

Our monument is of a bronze life size diver dressed in an early DESCO helmet, that shows the transition from heavy gear to light gear. A burning torch, jet nozzle and a hammer wrench with umbilical hoses on the deck.

Our granite monument includes the early history of and some of the improvements in safety, equipment, and procedures made by those hard-working oilfield divers. The monument will also, include a QR code linked to our web-page The website presents more of the history of oilfield diving, early photographs, and links to diving schools and sponsor websites.

The Oilfield Divers Monument is a project of the International Petroleum Museum & Exposition in Morgan City, Louisiana. As such, it is a nonprofit foundation that can accept tax deductible donations.

Together we can be inspired by this monument for oilfield divers. It will inspire our young to follow their dreams. We need continued support from everyone to recognize those GIANTS of the early oilfield diving community.

If you have any questions or comments, please call one of the team members below.

Rusty Wright,
Project Manager

Bryce Merrill

Jack Vilas