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Noia’s 2017 Industry Achievement Awards Honour Contributions to the Oil & Gas Industry

St. John’s – Noia is pleased to announce James (Jim) Thistle, QC, formerly of McInnes Cooper and Richard Mandeville of Technip Canada Ltd. as recipients of the Outstanding Contribution Award and Rising Star Award, respectively. The contributions of both individuals were recognized at Noia’s Industry Achievement Awards Luncheon, held today at the Delta St. John’s Hotel.

The Outstanding Contribution Award recognizes exemplary individuals who have influenced the development of our local oil & gas industry and who have demonstrated qualities of vision, integrity and leadership through their work and lives. Noia is pleased to award this honour, posthumously, to Jim Thistle in honour of his 30 years’ experience in the Newfoundland and Labrador oil and gas sector, including his key role in the negotiation and drafting of the Atlantic Accord and acting as General Counsel for the Hibernia Project where he played a leading role in negotiating and drafting the Hibernia Joint Operating Agreement. Following a successful career in the oil & gas and legal industries, Jim passed away on March 3, 2016, after a brief battle with ALS.

The Rising Star Award was launched in 2014 to recognize the talents of an impressive individual who is 40 years old or younger and has made remarkable strides in their role in the local oil & gas industry. As this year’s award winner, Richard Mandeville, P.Eng, certainly fits the bill. Since joining Technip Canada Ltd. in 2005, he has made a significant contribution to the company through his multi-project experience both onshore and offshore in the Grand Banks, Gulf of Mexico and North Sea markets. Currently working an internal secondment as Asset Manager for Technip’s five construction and s-lay vessels with Technip’s Marine Operations Services department in Aberdeen, he manages in excess of 900 individuals when the vessels are in operation. In this role, he also serves as an ambassador for the province and the country.

Full biographies for this year’s recipients may be found in the Backgrounder below.

Today’s event also acknowledged organizations marking 30 or more years as Noia members and contributors to the local oil & gas industry. These are:

  • ABM
  • LeGrow’s Travel
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Pennecon Energy M&M Engineering/Offshore

“I was honoured to present these awards to two deserving individuals today. Both Jim Thistle and Richard Mandeville have made significant contributions to the industry and join an impressive group of past recipients whose commitment has positively impacted the industry,” said Andrew Bell, Chair of Noia’s Board of Directors. “I would also like to thank the four 30+-year Noia members for their long-time support of the province’s oil & gas industry.”

2017 marks Noia’s 40th anniversary of representing the industry’s supply and service sector. Noia used today’s event to also celebrate the industry and those who have been instrumental in its development.

“Noia’s 40-year anniversary is a turning point. As we acknowledge those who were instrumental in getting us to where we are today, it is critical that we learn from the past 40 years and apply these learnings to the future, which we know is very promising,” added Robert Cadigan, Noia President and CEO.  “Noia looks forward to continuing to support our members as we work together to turn our potential into reality – a long-term, sustainable offshore oil & gas industry for the benefit of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.”



Industry Achievement Awards 2017


Outstanding Contribution Award
James (Jim) Thistle, QC

James (Jim) Thistle was a founder of the Newfoundland and Labrador oil & gas industry. During the 1980s, as a lawyer with the provincial Department of Justice, Jim was directly engaged in the province’s legal work on offshore jurisdiction. In 1985, he was a participant in the federal-provincial negotiations that led to the Atlantic Accord, which he assisted in drafting. Later, in private practice, he was general counsel for the Hibernia project and, among other things, led the drafting of the project’s joint operating agreement. It is said that, at one time or another in his career, Jim worked for every operator and on every project in the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore.

A partner in McInnes Cooper’s Newfoundland office, throughout his career Jim’s work was recognized through many distinguished awards. He was included in Best Lawyers in Canada 2012 as St. John’s Natural Resources Lawyer of the Year; recognized in the 2014 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory and in Who’s Who Legal Canada on Environmental Law; and was listed as Provincial Litigation Star under Aboriginal Energy and Natural Resources, and Public Law in Benchmark Canada 2015.

Considered a leading partner in his firm, as a litigator, Jim had been counsel before all levels of court and tribunals in Canada and in various Canadian and international arbitration matters. He also played an extensive role in mentoring others throughout the industry and in facilitating effective working relationships that often overcame complex contractual arrangements.

As a lead negotiator of the Atlantic Accord, Jim managed to break through decades of federal-provincial conflict and a Supreme Court case that awarded all offshore rights to the Government of Canada. The Atlantic Accord was recognized as fair, responsible and innovative and the fact that the Accord has continued for 25 years with no major changes is a reflection of the effectiveness of his work.

Through his many publications and regular speaking engagements, Jim was a tireless proponent of the Newfoundland and Labrador industry. He was a steadfast supporter of Noia, always taking the time to answer questions and offer insight and guidance.

Tragically, Jim Thistle passed away on March 3, 2016, after a brief battle with ALS. Jim’s legacy is that he made Newfoundland and Labrador a better place, and the work he did will live on in the agreements and contracts he negotiated and drafted and in the many people he mentored throughout the years.

Rising Star Award
Richard Mandeville, P.Eng.
Asset Manager: Construction & S-Lay Vessels, TechnipFMC.

Richard Mandeville was born in St. John’s, NL, and spent his childhood between there and northern England. Following his graduation from Barnard Castle School in County Durham, England, Richard relocated to Newfoundland and Labrador where he received a Bachelor of Engineering degree with a focus in ocean and naval architectural engineering from Memorial University. He also received the Dean’s Honour Award for Academic Excellence and Leadership.

While at university, Richard earned a commission in the Canadian Armed Forces and completed internships at London Offshore Consultants, C-CORE and the American Bureau of Shipping and assisted in research relating to the ultimate membrane strength of polar-classed icebreaker hulls.

Richard joined Technip Canada Ltd. in 2005 as a flexible pipeline designer and dynamic system analyst before moving into project work. He has been involved in several projects on the Grand Banks while based at TechnipFMC’s St. John’s office, interspersed with onshore/offshore work on BP Schiehallion and Petrobras Cascade/Chinook while based in TechnipFMC’s Aberdeen and Houston offices, respectively. Through accepting positions of increasing responsibility, Richard attained the position of project manager and was responsible for TechnipFMC’s activities for HMDC’s Hibernia Unit BNA project in 2015.

Richard is currently working an internal secondment with TechnipFMC’s Marine Operations Services department in Aberdeen as the asset manager for TechnipFMC’s five Construction and S-Lay vessels. In this role, Richard is responsible for all aspects of their maintenance and operation and the health and safety of the approximately 900 seafarers working them at any given time on projects around the world. In 2016, more than 7.5 million person hours were conducted aboard Richard’s ships. He manages a budget in the range of $300 million USD annually.

Richard is also a certified instructor for TechnipFMC’s PULSE Leadership Program, an in-house behavior-based HSE program, and is a licensed practitioner of Insights Discovery® psychometric evaluator.

Richard continues to maintain a strong relationship with Memorial University of Newfoundland through volunteer activities with the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development and as an occasional guest lecturer with the Faculty of Engineering. He has participated in the City of St. John’s workshop on economic development for oil & gas and has served as a director with the Army Cadet League of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Richard is very fortunate to share his life with his wife, Laura, and daughters: Elizabeth and Claire.