Robyn Maddison is our only offshore graduate, based on the Anasuria in the UK North Sea. She studied Instrument and Control Engineering, graduating in 2018.
When Petrofacts spoke to Robyn, she had just been out riding her horse in the Teesside countryside. “I’ve ridden since I was four years old,” she explains. “I met a colleague offshore who breeds show horses – he lives about 20 minutes away and has given me one of his horses. It keeps me occupied when I’m at home.”
Robyn is our only offshore graduate in the development programme – and it’s a role she is clearly relishing. “My dad worked offshore and he inspired me to follow in his footsteps,” she says. “I’ve never been a fan of office work, and I wanted a job that would keep me stimulated and allow me to develop.
“I’m enjoying the whole experience – learning to live with people you work with and being in the middle of the sea, on my trips this summer I was whale watching! I just love working offshore and then having my time at home.”
Robyn had been contracting as an instrument and control technician on the Culzean project, following her graduation in 2018. She was then offered a job offshore on the Anasuria under the graduate development programme. As part of this, she will sit assessments and gain qualifications across the three areas our operations technicians specialise in – oil, gas and barge.
She found the transition from university to offshore daunting at first, but everything soon fell into place. “Studying at university was like learning how to ride a bike – you learn how to do it but you don’t actually ride one,” she says. “I didn’t quite grasp many things at university, as you didn’t see the use of it, but now offshore, it’s like a lightbulb goes off.”
She is currently working in production, learning about the operation of the asset as a whole. “It’s all been brand new to me. I’ve never considered the whole process as I was occupied with loop checking and calibrating instrument equipment. It’s been really interesting.”
Robyn’s mentor also works offshore on the Anasuria. “He always offers support if I’m struggling with something,” she says. “I was worried I was taking a long time to gain my first competency in oil, but he has been really reassuring.”
Once Robyn has gained her competencies as a technician, she hopes to complete her CRO training and apply for supervisory positions. She would also like to experience working abroad and on different assets.
“Operations is apples and oranges between different places – the way things are run on the Anasuria could be completely different to another asset. I went to Sharjah in October 2019 for two weeks when all the graduates came together and I really enjoyed the experience of working with international colleagues,” she says.
“I would love to get involved in different projects to gain more experience and have the opportunity to work abroad.”
“I wanted a job that would keep me stimulated and allow me to develop.”
WORDS CHRISTINA McPHERSON
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2020