October 2, 2008
Offshore pioneer Edison Chouest dies at 91
Offshore industry pioneer Edison Chouest died Wednesday. He was 91.
A report on Houmatoday.com notes that Chouest, a shrimper by trade, got into the oilfield business in 1960 when he purchased a 65-foot steel-hulled shrimp boat, The Holiday, and inherited six months of a contract bringing supplies to an offshore oil rig owned by the Humble Oil and Refining Co., which would later became Exxon.
This was the beginning of Galliano, La. headquartered Edison Chouest Offshore, which with its affliates is now a shipbuilding and oilfield-service leader that has two shipyards in Louisiana, North American Fabricators in Houma and North American Shipbuilding in Larose plus GulfShip in Gulfport, Miss. and Navship, in Navegantes, Brazil, with a third Louisiana yard, LaShip, under construction in Houma. The company operates worldwide, employs more than 7,000 people and has a fleet that numbers more than 150 boats, including some of the most advanced in the industry. It is a partner in Norwegian based Island Offshore.
Gary Chouest, Edison Chouest's son, took over the company's leadership more than two decades ago. Until the past year, though, the elder Chouest stayed active in his company and visited its Galliano headquarters every day.
Edison Chouest is survived by his wife, Delores, three sons, Edison Jr., Lainey and Gary, and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.