People and projects from around the PETROFAC world


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An Electrical Engineer by discipline, Eddy joined Petrofac as a graduate back in 2009. As Deputy Commissioning Manager, he was tasked with delivering the Ghazeer Phase 2 commissioning plan in the face of the Covid 19 pandemic – at a time when international travel was disrupted and many vendors were unable to travel.

In early March, everything began to change… With the commissioning phase of a project, it’s normal to bring back all of your vendors, so they can test the systems they have supplied, and get everything ready to hand the project over to the client. So, as the pandemic began to take hold, it soon became clear that delivering the commissioning plan would be challenging. And, as Oman itself went into lockdown, the challenges were amplified.

At times, we felt more like travel agents than engineers… A big breakthrough came when we learnt that bp would be chartering flights from the UK to Oman. It was as though we’d been thrown a lifeline. The challenge then was to get the vendors into London (from Italy, for example, or Poland, or Germany) and onto the planes. Then, once they were in Oman, they still had to be tested before they could come onsite. We were orchestrating all of this, convincing vendors it was safe to travel, understanding their corporate policies, working out their itineraries, passing all the information to bp, and so on. It brought another layer of complexity to the commissioning process.

When there was no way for a vendor to get onsite, we had to find an even more creative solution… The first priority was to get WiFi coverage across the entire site. Then we could get remotely located vendor specialists, over Skype or a video call, to guide our own technicians through the commissioning process. Also, we were sending test reports online to the vendors, and they would talk us through the results, advising on which settings and configurations to change. And, remember, we couldn’t take any chances. Often, we were dealing with high voltage systems.

There were some interesting lessons learnt… The way we organised our plan was very different from other projects I had worked on. We had detailed tracking lists, with granular levels of detail. This made it much easier to track progress, identify issues, and find solutions. Also, the safety culture was characteristically strong on this project, with daily safety huddles, and a strong safety record – without a single lost time incident.

It was a privilege to work on this project… In bp, I had the perfect client to work with. The level of professionalism from bp, and Petrofac, and the other onsite players was hugely impressive. We all worked together as a big, cohesive team. There was a remarkable level of trust and confidence in each other. It was as though we were all pulling in the same direction, with the same level of determination.

“We all worked together as a big, cohesive team. There was a remarkable level of trust and confidence in each other.”



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