I was the first woman to stay in Halul on rotation basis among 2700 men.
By Ann Arul, published on April 24th, 2018
I grew up in Doha & did my higher education in the US. After graduating with a Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, I joined Total in 2008 in the Business development team. My biggest challenge at that time was to learn about Oil and Gas industry. After three years, I was asked by the ALK Asset Manager, Pascal Taillefer if I was interested to join Field Operations. I didn’t hesitate much before grabbing this great opportunity as a young engineer and thereon I started to work as a Junior Production Engineer. At that time, I used to go on site but only for some short visits. Finally in 2015, I took off in the chopper for my first rotation mission of 28 days. I must say that I was a little bit nervous; I knew that I would be the only woman among 2700 men! It was the month of July in Qatar and temperatures were rising up to 50°C! The idea was to work on Halul, located around 80 kilometers northeast of Doha. The place serves as the crude oil export terminal for Qatar marine crude oil produced from different offshore oilfields. Many companies operated in this island. In Halul, I was involved in the Produced Water Treatment & Crude Oil Desalting Project (PWT-COD). We visited site, conducted audits and attended a lot of meetings and followed up on day to day progress. Days started very early, we had to wake up at 4:30am. After 6pm, lots of employees like to play football. There is an entertainment room with a pool and darts. Some people prefer to walk around the island. I lived on this rotation mode for one year and a half. I even spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve on site, where we had a barbecue on the beach and only worked half day. One incident I would never forget was when I was having lunch, I was served wonderful fried-fish fresh off the sea on my plate! This was a very nice gesture by some of the QP employees who went fishing. I felt very touched. When you live offshore, you feel isolated since we are all far away from our family and friends, sometimes it can be really hard especially for some employees who work here for very long duration. However, I must say that I never felt any kind of gender discrimination. I was truly blessed with an amazing team offshore who was like a family! They extended their kindness, support and friendship the moment I went onboard. This is something I will cherish forever.