Oil and gas projects are larger, more complex, and increasingly resource-intensive. They operate on an unforgiving schedule, where delays cost millions of dollars. Mobilising and deploying thousands of people around the world poses a wide range of unique and often location-specific challenges. Global Mobility Services (GMS) mitigate the people-related risk of international projects by managing personnel deployed from their point of origin and ensuring a safe and efficient relocation process.
Air Energi’s dedicated Global Mobility Team (GMT) is focused on ‘people, process, and places’ and delivers GMS via 35 offices in 40 countries worldwide. GMS reduces people-related project risks by ensuring personnel are in the right place at the right time, minimising the threat of costly project delays. Operational 24/7, the GMT is made up of highly-trained professionals in the oil and gas industry. It has global reach, technical insight and in-depth knowledge of how the industry functions. This ensures a total personnel solution delivered by people who understand the situation and needs of both clients and candidates.
Compliance, bureaucracy, security, and challenging environments are all reasons why companies need to take a holistic approach to Global Mobility, as it is now an essential element in ensuring project success. With the safety and comfort of consultants paramount, the GMT regularly goes above and beyond to deliver personnel and project support. No two Global Mobility projects are the same, so each case requires an individual approach to address any cultural, logistical, or personal challenges that mobilised personnel encounter when on assignment.
Part three: Projects
Central North sea development project
Air Energi’s GMT was contracted to supply all personnel and associated mobilisation services to support a $3.5 billion expansion project in the central North Sea. The development will provide three additional platforms and a seven-mile pipeline linking the new facilities to an existing platform.
Various components were built simultaneously in different countries before being shipped to the North Sea for commissioning. The project called for coordination of multinational consultants across seven locations in five countries. By the time development entered commercial production, Air Energi’s GMT had successfully mobilised more than 420 consultants.
The global scope of the development meant that projects were running simultaneously in Italy, Spain, and Dubai. As candidates were placed, processes for work permits, visas, and tax compliance had to be established and synchronised globally under a managed programme if project delivery was to be successful.
Regulatory compliance was also a key concern. Due to the multiple project locations, strict compliance in each of the host countries was critical to ensuring the competency of personnel and to avoid any delays that could potentially jeopardise the project. Essential areas included immigration paperwork, medicals, inoculations, health certificates, and appropriate qualifications.
The mobilisation and deployment process had a strict time and cost schedule dictated by the project’s delivery date. Recruitment for foreign sites commenced three weeks after Air Energi was awarded the contract, meaning the GMT had a short timeframe to organise the mobilisation of hundreds of personnel around the world.
To ensure that the right people were in the right location at the right time, Air Energi appointed a dedicated Account Manager to work with the operator’s leadership team. In keeping with local content regulations, 30% of staff at the sites in Italy and Spain were sourced locally, while in Dubai costs were controlled by mobilising staff from Singapore and the Philippines. In addition, 28 of the personnel deployed offshore in the North Sea were retained from the Spanish site.
In total, Air Energi mobilised 426 consultants for the client and delivered the full support service required for successful completion of the development. It came online as scheduled, with the timely success of the project driven in part by the performance of GMS.
Set procedures and policies delivered by Air Energi’s GMT meant that the standard of service and experience received by personnel working on the project was the same in every location. This consistency manifested itself in the seamless transition of people from one location to another across the globe, with pre- and post-mobilisation briefings ensuring that relocation was carried out safely and compliantly.
With the support of Air Energi’s GMT, the operator deployed consultants were ready to work on arrival. This was essential given the strict delivery schedule and the number of ex-patriate consultants required.
At the Cadiz site in Spain, a high volume of technicians were mobilised in a short timeframe. Air Energi managed the entire project logistics for personnel: negotiating accommodation; booking and coordinating all rotational flights, and the buses needed twice-daily to transport personnel from the hotel to the site; and recruiting a bilingual UK expatriate on-site coordinator to address any language barriers.
Collaboration with the client was also necessary to make arrangements for those personnel without mandatory qualifications to complete their basic offshore survival and medical certifications in order to be compliant with regulations on the North Sea site. For example, when appointing consultants for the offshore hook-up of the new platforms in the North Sea, 30% candidates had no prior offshore experience, so had to be trained and certified before they were deployed.
All consultants deployed to the project were compliant with legal, fiscal, and immigration legislation. Each individual experienced a seamless and enjoyable entry and exit from the region. Ultimately, the GMT proved its capability to deliver a solution at any stage in the field development or project lifecycle, mobilising clients from anywhere in the world.
The model of appointing personnel to oil and gas projects is evolving. Today, there are typically three workforce suppliers, with each submitting a selection of candidates for the client to choose from. For major projects however, a number of E&P companies are now looking to appoint a single master vendor, as this provides the robust, efficient, and wholly-compliant end-to-end service required to meet compliance and safety standards.
By approaching Global Mobility from a strategic perspective, Air Energi can draw on its years of experience in the oil and gas industry and global expertise to deliver a robust and comprehensive end-to-end personnel deployment solution. Air Energi’s GMT recognises, anticipates and mitigates challenges, while identifying the right services, needs and realistic costs that together are critical for successful completion of a project.