Donald Vidrine, a former engineer for BP plc, has been sentenced to 10 months of probation for a misdemeanor pollution charge related to the 2010 Macondo well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. Vidrine had served as the night rig supervisor aboard the Deepwater Horizon platform, which was destroyed following the blowout, killing 11 men. Prosecutors had argued that Vidrine and former co-defendant Robert Kaluza, the day supervisor, had incorrectly interpreted pressure tests before the tragedy. Each man originally faced manslaughter charges, but the Department of Justice dropped the charges and instead pursued misdemeanor Clean Water Act violations. Vidrine had pleaded guilty in the agreement, which included probation. Kaluza, who chose to go to trial, was acquitted (see Daily GPI, Feb. 29).
Doug Hollett, a former Marathon Oil Corp. executive, has been appointed principal deputy assistant secretary in the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy, DOE said. Hollett's responsibilities are to include oversight of research and development, and programs in clean coal and carbon management, oil and natural gas systems, international engagements in clean fossil energy, and inter-agency engagements within the U.S. government. Hollett previously served as deputy assistant secretary for renewable power in DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), and from 2011-2014 he was director of the EERE Geothermal Technologies Office. Hollett came to DOE in 2011 with 32 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, most recently with Marathon, where he held a number of positions, including director for unconventional new ventures with the responsibility for capturing and initiating domestic and international opportunities in shale gas and tight oil reservoirs. He also served as manager, international new ventures, and as vice president/general manager of Atlantic Canada. Hollett holds a bachelor of arts in geology from Williams College and a master of science in geology from the University of Utah.