Media Release: Offshore Contractors’ Association challenge award-winners

A TEENAGE role model for the energy industry has helped her company complete an impressive double at a prestigious offshore awards ceremony.

Samantha Thomson joined Aker Solutions, straight from school aged just 16, three years ago. Since then, the trainee piping designer has excelled professionally and personally, achieving a range of goals.

The 19 year-old developed a cheaper way to produce drawings – then tutored her colleagues through courses in the method; promoted the company in schools, colleges and career fairs; found solutions for offshore clients and is working towards an HNC in mechanical engineering.

She has also found time to become a qualified adult Girl Guide leader and receive her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award at Holyrood.

Sponsor, Eric Whiteside, says: “Samantha has outstanding potential and is a great advert for young people in our industry.”

Samantha, of Stuartfield near Peterhead, was honoured with the Offshore Contractors’ Association’s Training Award last night (Oct 29) at the organisation’s annual Challenge Awards in Aberdeen.

The ceremony recognises the wealth of talent in the offshore industry and saw Aker Solutions also pick up this year’s Environment Award for a campaign to curb the company’s eco footprint.

Initiatives ranged from using energy efficient lights to controlling levels of radiant heating; developing graphics to engage the workforce; supporting the city’s Bankhead Academy in identifying a school sustainability initiative and planning an environment day.

The Safety Award was won by Allan Pollock of Wood Group Engineering (NS) Ltd for his leadership in a drive to improve the company’s safety performance on a contract covering 12 offshore installations and two onshore terminals.

He held 15 workshops attended by 150 supervisors and personally visited all the sites. An extensive survey identified actions to be taken and resulted in a marked improvement. His achievement is now being used across the company’s North Sea contracts as an example of leadership in action.

And the Technology and Innovation Award went to Caltec Ltd, part of Petrofac Production Solutions, for its Wellcom Oil Skid System devised to enhance production by utilising borrowed energy from high pressure streams, such as multi-phase wells, to boost or lower back pressure on low pressure wells, allowing them to flow.

The system, which uses an in-line separator and jet pump technology, can boost reservoir recovery, increasing the field life and asset value – potentially increasing production by up to 25 per cent while using ‘wasted’ energy. Testament to the benefit it brings is the rapid uptake of the technology by traditionally conservative asset owners in the North Sea and Malaysia.

The awards ceremony, held during a black tie dinner at The Marcliffe at Pitfodels, is now in its 15th year.

OCA chief executive, Bill Murray, said: “Each yearm the bar is raised by an even higher standard of entries. We already know we have an industrious and innovative workforce offshore who are constantly striving to make improvements across the board.

“But it is particularly gratifying, in these challenging times, to see the impressive work being carried out in all disciplines to achieve better and better results. It is a pleasure to be able to officially recognise this wealth of talent within our industry.”

Notes to Editors

The OCA looks after the interests of companies involved in a range of activities, including mechanical, electrical and allied services, construction, modifications and maintenance work, design and project engineering, fabrication and decommissioning.

Combined, these organisations have a turnover in excess of £3 billion; a workforce of more than 20,000 employees and a presence on virtually every installation on the UK Continental Shelf.

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