Categotry Archives: Contractors

Too much information

A mate of mine from my university days works as one of the bosses in a company supplying specialist equipment to the oil and gas industry.  A few years ago, back in the days before the oil price collapsed and such jollies were kyboshed, I met him at his company’s stall at the ADIPEC exhibition in Abu Dhabi.  We started talking about his role in flogging equipment, and he told me over the course of the conversation that you can […]



It’s difficult to overstate the seriousness of the impact the Petrobras corruption scandal will have on Brazil’s oil and gas industry, with even top politicians now being accused of involvement in an enormous kickback scheme. Until this scandal broke, there were hopes that Brazil was breaking away from the South American tradition of oilfield development going hand-in-hand with corruption and mismanagement, resulting in stagnation of the whole industry.  With Brazil choosing to channel the bulk of its future development through […]


I know-a nothing!

In amongst all this doom and gloom there’s a bright ray of sunshine for one company: Saipem has finally secured the $1.8 billion contract to construct a pair of pipelines at the giant Kashagan project in Kazakhstan’s Caspian Sea region. The Italian contractor has been handed the deal to build the two 95-kilometre pipelines by the North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC), Kashagan’s operator. Now that’s a nice little contract, isn’t it? Saipem was thought to be in pole position to […]

QA/QC Fail

He Who Pays the Piper

This article is refreshing in the honesty of the words reported: Quality in the supply chain is the biggest concern for Shell when it comes to its giant Prelude floating liquefied natural gas project off Australia, according to the project’s director. … The sheer volume of individual contracts involved in the LNG project off the north-east coast of Western Australia also, however, causes problems for those in the supply chain, leading to delays. … When pressed during a conference session […]

Ming the Merciless

King for a Day

Several years ago I found myself stuck in some far-flung oil town over Christmas.  As the holidays approached, one by one the company management flew home and handed over to a skeleton crew who would keep things running in their absence.  Due to no other reason that I was literally the only expat left in the office that particular day, on 28th December I was put in charge of an entire operational department. I had two issues to deal with […]


Pass me a white feather

Recently I watched one of Hollywood’s latest outputs, a film called The East which concerns a blonde chick who infiltrates some anarchist-environmentalist group bent on holding unethical corporations to account.  The premise was pretty lame to begin with: apparently it’s based on the experiences of the director and lead actress from when they joined an anarchist collective, whatever one of those is.  Why they thought this would be a good basis for a film I don’t know, but I found it […]