People and projects from around the PETROFAC world


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Danielle Bruce’s job can be described as a balancing act. If the right materials don’t arrive at our offshore facilities at the right time, the planned maintenance won’t happen. And considering clients try to limit shutdowns to one a year, it’s a lot of pressure. Danielle, who is based in Aberdeen and works for platforms in the North Sea, tells us more.

Shutdowns involve any maintenance on a platform that can’t be carried out while it’s in operation and usually take place once a year based on asset requirements. They can vary in length from a couple of weeks to two months. We will start working on the planned shutdown a year in advance; this gives us time to work with the client to look at work scopes, confirming what needs to be carried out, planning and then budget.  The clarification on workscopes tells us if surveys are required offshore and what materials are required in order to complete these activities. We’ll often do familiarisation trips to the platforms, go down to our base to check our inventory of materials, and have regular meetings with our clients in the office – it’s a long build up, which gets busier and busier until we ship everything and all works are completed.

During the shutdown period, every day is manic. We have to make sure everything is in place so the maintenance gets done. In the morning, we discuss with the full team where we are progress wise, what jobs have been completed and if there is anything urgently required. I have to prepare a sailing schedule to suit our vessel sailings and for anything urgent, this can include arranging air freight or pulling in our floating storage if necessary. Days also involve chasing suppliers for materials and making sure deliveries are on target. As part of this process, I’ll go to the warehouses to check the materials and get them bagged and tagged before they are shipped – there can be thousands of materials required, so this also takes a lot of time and during this period, everything is very time sensitive. It’s such a busy job – there’s a lot of spinning plates. You are doing everything at once and at a 100 mph.

If something doesn’t get there, it’s on me. You need to have your finger on the pulse of every job that is happening during the shutdown. People often say to me, ‘I have no idea how you do everything,’ but it is part of who I am now. It’s a great role as you can build so many relationships with clients, suppliers and vendors, as well as both the teams onshore and offshore. I basically have to spend a lot of my time in meetings and calls to make sure everyone is doing what they should be. Chasing this information has now become an absolute favourite thing of mine to do!

My son Oscar got to see me flying in on a helicopter. I think it made his day as not all mums go to work on a helicopter! Before joining Petrofac I used to work offshore for Maersk FPSOs as a PMC, which gave me an insight into shutdowns. I’ve been at Petrofac for nearly nine years now. I joined the FPF1 contract in Poland, a project that converted an old driller for production. I then spent three months in the warehouse doing the inventory of all the items we took over from Poland, before taking on the shutdown role. I was the first female staff member in the role which I’m very happy about.

In my spare time I sing in a band locally and have done for many years. We do covers – a mixture of 80s and 90s pop and rock. It’s a good distraction – I go every Wednesday for two hours to practise. It’s two hours where I completely forget about everything else. I started singing in school and when I was 17 or 18, I went for an audition and the first song they gave me was Skunk Anansie’s ‘Weak’ – I thought there is no way I can sing this, but it turns out I could. It’s now been on the playlist for a few years.  

I’ve also been studying for a degree in business management, so it’s been an intense year. I thankfully managed to utilise the ECITB courses we have available at Petrofac and have now completed my degree which will help me on my future work and development path. I’m now on a secondment in projects and gaining great experience as a project engineer – by setting my personal development plan as well as reaching out for help and advice from the projects team. It’s not often you get an opportunity in your role to do something like this, so it’s worked out very well and I’m learning all I can on my new journey with the company.

“It’s a great role as you can build so many relationships with clients, suppliers and vendors, as well as both the teams onshore and offshore.”



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