YAQDHAN ALSHARJI, MECHANICAL ENGINEER
Yaqdhan is one of the 22 Omani graduates who joined Petrofac to work on the project. His first placement was in Sharjah where, as well as being enrolled in the Petrofac Academy, he worked with the Engineering & Production Services team. He was then assigned to the Ghazeer Construction and Completion support team, where he played a key role in the tie-in between Phase 1 and Phase 2.
I immediately felt at home here at Petrofac… Since day one, I’ve enjoyed everything about Petrofac. I like how the teams work together, how passionate everyone is about doing a great job, and the way that every difficulty is viewed as a challenge. I also like the diversity of the company, and the way that so many cultures and outlooks come together, with each person bringing their own perspective to every task.
You never realise how massive a Petrofac project is until you arrive onsite… Nothing can prepare you for your first day onsite. It’s only then that you truly appreciate the sheer scale of the project, how much work goes into its delivery, and how many people are involved. At first, everything about it is overwhelming.
It felt like a privilege and also a big responsibility… I was closely involved in one of the most critical and potentially hazardous aspects of the entire project, namely the brownfield work, which entailed the tying-in of Phase 1 and Phase 2 plants and involved the shutdown of the existing facility. For every day the facility is not productive, it’s hugely expensive for the client. So, our work needed to be fast, and precise, and safe. Preparation is everything, and I worked on developing the schedule and presenting it to the client. I’m proud to say that we completed everything in just nine days – three days ahead of the 11 days that had originally been scheduled.
The emphasis on safety is something that’s been drilled into me… In your training, you learn about the importance of safety, but it’s not until you arrive onsite that you understand its true importance. On a project like this, it’s the first and most important principle. It’s incredible to see the way that everyone on the team routinely and rigorously thinks through every risk, and every eventuality of every action.
There were a lot of surprises… One thing I was really not expecting was the access you get to the senior management and also to the client. You work directly with them and get feedback from them, not just in your own team, but across all of the teams. It’s as though every door is always open and everyone is very supportive.
My advice to other graduates is to develop your self-learning skills… there’s no end to what you can learn at Petrofac, but it won’t all be handed to you on a plate. You have to be curious, and to ask questions, and to engage with other teams and, most important of all, to find out as much as you can about the project you are working on. Everyone will be happy to involve you, and all of the documentation will be available to you, but it’s important to make the first move and to be interested in finding out more.
“I like how the teams work together, how passionate everyone is about doing a great job, and the way that every difficulty is viewed as a challenge.”
WORDS PETER HALLIDAY
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2020