SOURCE: Athens Group

September 12, 2007 08:00 ET

Athens Group Dedicates Chief Technology Officer to Oil and Gas

Significant Customer Growth and Employee Expansion Prompt Appointment

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - September 12, 2007) - Today, Austin-based consulting firm, Athens Group, in response to tremendous customer growth, announced that it has dedicated Don Shafer as Chief Technology Officer for the company's oil and gas practice. In this role, he will concentrate his extensive technical expertise on providing strategy and solutions for the world's leading oil operators and drilling contractors, including Shell Oil, BP, ExxonMobil, Maersk, Schlumberger, GlobalSantaFe, ConocoPhillips, Noble, Diamond Offshore, Parker Drilling and KCA Deutag. In addition, the company is experiencing a 76% revenue increase for the oil and gas practice over this time last year.

Don started Athens Group's Oil and Gas practice in 2002 and leads Athens Group consultants in engineering, developing and delivering rig software services for oil exploration technology and production and pipeline monitoring systems. Prior to co-founding Athens Group, Don led teams developing and marketing software products for Motorola, AMD and Crystal Semiconductor.

"Don has been working side by side with global operators and drilling contractors for almost ten years," said Mike Haney, CEO at Athens Group. "He is uniquely familiar with their challenges and requirements and best poised to provide the technical strategy to ensure their success, whether it be safely accelerating time to sail or time to oil."

Don has successfully implemented the following services for some of the largest oil and gas companies in the world; commissioning services for rig software; software acceptance testing; control systems failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA); software configuration management; verification and validation; and rig security audits.

"Our growth is dependent on our customers' success," said Shafer. "Seventy-six percent growth is a strong message from our customers that we are meeting their commitments to project accuracy and safety."

Don earned a BS degree from the USAF Academy and an MBA from the University of Denver. He is currently a lecturer in software engineering at the graduate engineering school at Texas State and a faculty member of the UT Software Project Management Certification Program. An avid writer, Don has contributed to three books, written over 20 articles, and is co-author of "Quality Software Project Management," recently released by Prentice-Hall. He is a Senior Member of IEEE, Editor in Chief for the Computer Society Press and on the IEEE Board of Governors. He was also appointed Chairman of the 2005 Ethics in Business (EIB) Award Program.

Athens Group Oil and Gas

From Front End Engineering Design (FEED) to bid package, there is rarely any significant mention of software quality, so it is not surprising that complex rigs almost always have under-performing control systems. Athens Group can help solve this problem right from the start by ensuring that software is treated with the same rigor as the other engineering disciplines. Working as one with your team, our highly experienced consultants provide flexible services that can be implemented quickly and cost effectively to speed project completion and enforce software project management best practices. Athens Group serves clients such as BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, GlobalSantaFe, National Oilwell, Schlumberger, ConocoPhillips, Shell, Noble and KCA Duetag. For more information visit

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