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Vice President - Operations

The man for unique projects

Mark has a reputation for dealing with unique and complex projects. Since joining the company more than a decade ago, he managed an oil field redevelopment project in Abu Dhabi, ran an offshore marginal gas field development in Malaysia, oversaw upgrading of a semi-submersible floating production rig in Gdansk, Poland, and worked as Deputy Project Director at Al Taweelah, the first alumina refinery in the UAE.

Mark, what has been your greatest achievement in your time at Petrofac?

The project I am proudest of is the Berantai Marginal Gas Field Development project in Malaysia. We delivered an FPSO, wellhead platform, and subsea infrastructure for the Berantai field off the East Coast of Malaysia in a world class benchmark schedule.

Engineering was performed in the Woking (UK) office, procurement in Sharjah (UAE), fabrication of the wellhead platform in Malaysia, and FPSO conversion in Singapore. I was fortunate to have three high performing teams who worked tirelessly to deliver the project to such a short schedule.

This project won the ‘Driven to Deliver’ Petrofac EVE Award in 2013 as well as Oil & Gas Year Malaysia Marginal Field Development 2013.

What is your highlight moment?

The day the Berantai FPSO sailed away from Singapore is perhaps my best memory. It marked the end of an intense period in my career and a great achievement.

Al Taweelah Alumina Refinery is also one of the memorable and challenging projects I have been on and achievement of first Alumina in March 2019 was the culmination of more than five years of effort by the Bechtel Petrofac joint venture, a unique pairing and arrangement that I am also tremendously proud of.

I have fond memories of so many amazing people that I have worked with and I try to stay in touch with many of them.

"I am excited by, and try and find ways to get involved in the digital transformation initiative sweeping the industry and being developed by Petrofac."
Mark Cowley Vice President - Operations

Mark at Al Taweelah project

How has the industry changed over the last decade and what are the main differences?

In the last ten years the industry has been buffeted by global economic and geopolitical events such as the financial crisis in late 2008, just after I joined Petrofac, and more recently, the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant global economic slowdown. Both the industry and Petrofac have had to cope with changes and a massive cut back in capital expenditure by all our clients.

I am excited by, and try and find ways to get involved in the digital transformation initiative sweeping the industry and being developed by Petrofac. Recently, I have been supporting Petrofac’s efforts to develop our offering and presence in the renewable energy market.

How has the company and your role changed over the last ten years?

I joined Petrofac at an exciting time of expansion in 2008 and was fortunate enough to be selected as the Project Director for the ASAB FFD project, the largest project in the company at the time.

I have seen Petrofac grow and go through the challenges, but the thing I like about Petrofac and our people is that we have remained true to our Petrofac values and I know and am constantly impressed by how much discretionary effort people across the company put in to deliver challenging projects to our clients. This is our strength and why we have consistently been one of the top EPC contractors in the Middle East.

I continue to develop myself as a leader. Over the past couple of years, I got interested in authentic leadership and how to apply it to project teams.

I hope to continue my career until I retire helping Petrofac win and deliver interesting and challenging projects such as those in the renewable market. I also hope to be able to pass on some of my knowledge and experience to younger generations, especially young project managers and directors.