Ken Arnold received the DeGolyer Distinguished Service Award.
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Paragon's History
Back in 1980, Ken Arnold left Shell Oil Company, where he was managing 150 engineers, and started two new companies...
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Recent Projects
Review of heavy oil dehydration and water treating plant project plans.

Review of high potential safety incidents for a major oil company to extract learnings for management considerations.

"Cold Eyes" review of conceptual study for a new offshore platform in a cold weather frontier area for a major oil company.


Ken ArnoldKenneth E. Arnold has over forty years of industry experience with 16 years at Shell Oil Company. He founded Paragon Engineering Services in 1980 which was purchased by AMEC in 2005 and is currently Senior Executive Vice President of AMEC Paragon based in Houston. He is also Chief Engineer, Oil & Gas, AMEC reporting to the Managing Director in Aberdeen. Ken was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2005.

During the period 1993 to 2005 Ken successfully navigated through several changes of ownership of Paragon while growing the company, maintaining its reputation for quality work and retaining its staff. In 1993 three members of the Board representing 58% of the stock tried forcing Ken out of the company. Ken successfully negotiated a 100% leveraged buyout of their stock and retained 90% of the staff when they left to form a competing company. He then set up an ESOP to free him from debt to the company. In 1995 the ESOP stock as well as some of Ken’s stock was purchased by Dresser-Rand and DR became a 60% owner with Ken owning 40% and serving as a member of the DR executive committee. In 1997 M W Kellogg bought 20% from Ken and 20% from DR and Ken became an officer of MWK. Halliburton purchased Dresser Industries (which owned MWK and a 51% share of DR) in 1999 and assigned Paragon to Brown and Root Energy Services. In 2001 Halliburton sold their interest in DR to Ingersol Rand, and their 40% share in Paragon back to Ken. He now owned 60% and DR 40%. In 2001 Stolt Offshore and Ken formed a holding company to own 60% of Paragon and to manage Stolt’s Paris based engineering effort which was reorganized into a separate company called Paragon Litwin after the purchase of Paris based Litwin Engineering. Ken owned 27% of the holding company and was responsible for running both engineering companies. In 2004 Stolt sold Paragon Litwin to Bateman and in 2005 Stolt, DR and Ken sold all their interests in Paragon to AMEC.

Thus, Ken received intimate knowledge of the workings of a manufacturer (DR), four engineering and construction contractors (MWK, BRES, Litwin and now AMEC), and an offshore installation contractor (Stolt Offshore). He was also been exposed to the unique problems of managing a purely engineering company in a French environment. Arnold is currently a member of the Board of the Gulf Coast Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and has served as the first Director of Projects, Facilities and Construction of the International Board of SPE. Ken is also a member of the Marine Board of the National Research Council which advises US Government agencies, and is a member of the Board of The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas which was set up by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison to promote the technical innovations being developed in Texas.

Ken is co-author of two textbooks and over 50 technical articles on project management and facilities design. He has twice been chosen as an SPE distinguished lecturer and was named 2003 Houston Engineer of the Year by the Texas Society of Professional Engineers. Arnold has taught facilities engineering at the University of Houston and is a recipient of the SPE Public Service Award, the SPE DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal (the highest professional award of the society) and the SPE Production Engineering Award. He has received an American Petroleum Institute citation for his work in promoting offshore safety. Ken is a registered professional engineer and serves on the advisory board of the engineering schools of both Tulane University and Cornell University.