My time in Bandar was a balancing act on a tightrope!
By Didier Douay, published on June 4th, 2018
My three years in Brunei as the Drilling Manager turned into a real balancing act on a tightrope! We had to deal with tight deadlines during the start of the development of Block B. The Field Development Plan (FDP) had just been finalized and the challenge was big. We only had two years to get production started.
Many shortcomings had to be overcome. Fortunately, our small team was very professional and I like to remember it as a dream team. Each of us had to be able to multitask and to adapt constantly. In addition to all the technical challenges during the construction phase, some geopolitical issues started: Asia was dealing with a massive economic crisis, Indonesia was struggling and some of our equipment was being built there.
Meanwhile in Bandar, technical challenges followed one after the other. We installed temporary decks in order to start the drilling. To install the definitive decks without touching the wellheads was a very delicate operation to settle; it was an unusual process but the only solution to meet our tight schedule.
Once, due to human error, we had to perform a well control procedure with the well almost full of gas and the drill bit half way in the well. This was an awkward moment that we were able to overcome thanks again to our great team and the full support of our management.
The rig was one of the first fully computer controlled for power generation and safety logic. At the beginning, some random problems occurred and fortunately, after a total black out, the whole system operated perfectly: thanks to a large-scale reboot! Many things happened during my assignment in Brunei but the fact that we all worked very harmoniously made things much easier.