Guyana’s Denzel Southwell makes history as nation’s first local offshore driller – El Dorado Offshore 

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Denzel Southwell’s journey is one that defies expectations. Hailing from the small village of Sandvoort in Berbice, Guyana, this 27-year-old has shattered glass ceilings to become the first Guyanese Auxillary Assistant Driller on an offshore drillship. Southwell’s story transcends personal achievement; it embodies the aspirations of a nation on the cusp of an oil-fueled future. 

Southwell’s foundation was built at local schools, Sandvoort Primary and Tutorial Secondary. Armed with eight CXC subjects, he pursued a technical path at the New Amsterdam Technical Institute, specializing in Electronics and Electrical Insulation. He began his working life as a clerk at the New Amsterdam municipality, but his ambition yearned for a more dynamic career. 

In January 2021, Southwell embarked on a life-altering odyssey when he stepped onto the Noble Tom Madden drillship. Starting as a Roustabout, his talents were quickly recognized. A promotion to Rig Administrator followed, where his meticulous nature and work ethic shone brightly. When the Operations Management Development Program (OMDP) was launched, he was a prime candidate. The program demanded an intricate understanding of drilling operations, prompting Southwell to dive into the heart of the action on the drill floor. He began as a Floorhand, then steadily progressed to Shaker Hand and Drilling Fluid Operator. 

Denzel Southwell

This relentless pursuit of growth culminated in January 2024 when Denzel Southwell joined the El Dorado Offshore (EDO) team. At EDO, Southwell contributes his expertise at the forefront of the nation’s oil boom. Today, he stands as Guyana’s first Auxillary Assistant Driller, a pioneering achievement. 

The road to success wasn’t without its trials. Being away from family, especially his newborn daughter, was a significant hurdle. Adapting to a new field and overcoming language barriers presented additional challenges. Yet, Southwell drew strength from his parents’ words: “Your attitude determines your altitude.” This mantra fueled his resolve and helped him conquer every obstacle. 

Southwell surrounded by family members (Source: EDO)

Southwell’s accomplishment transcends personal triumph. It ignites hope for aspiring Guyanese in the oil and gas sector. “This journey as a driller has been a blessing for my family and I know it’ll make a great impact on my fellow Guyanese,” he shared. “Being the first Guyanese to be a Driller 

shows that we as Guyanese can do anything as long as we work hard and be willing to be dedicated.” 

Southwell’s success paves the way for a future where Guyanese talent thrives within the oil and gas industry. A passionate advocate for increased local content, he urges his countrymen, “The oil is here, the time is now…So that together we all can develop this beautiful country we call home.” Denzel Southwell’s story is a powerful testament to the transformative potential of the Guyanese spirit. 

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