Superintendent Oli & Gas

Ad has worked at Equans Offshore Services since 1993. He started as a Pipe Fitter/Foreman and then progressed to his current position as Superintendent.

Can you tell us something about your background in combination with your position offshore?

I already enjoyed tinkering with motorcycles and mopeds and my interest in mechanical technology grew. From 1982 onwards I started working on various projects onshore, where in 1984 I spoke to people who worked offshore. This aroused my interest in working at sea. To gain experience, I continued to work on land for a while and started working offshore for the first time in 1988 at L&O (Land & Offshore), after which I ended up at DNS (Dutch North Sea Services – which eventually became Fabricom Offshore Services) in 1992.

Energy challange at Equans Offshore Services

What attracts you to working offshore?

The freedom through the “2 weeks work – 2 weeks off schedule”. I do a lot of motorsports and this schedule gives me a lot of time for this hobby.

I also find nature and the animals that can be found offshore very interesting. If animals are injured or need to be cared for at sea, I always take care of that, I like it. An anecdote of this is ‘Project Jan’:

I was walking on the deck when a large butterfly landed at my feet. It later turned out to be the largest butterfly species in Europe. I put it in a box and put it (with some lettuce leaves) in the container. Colleagues came to see what I was doing and showed them the animal.

There were many small moths on the deck. I then took 2 and put them in the box with the large butterfly. I then called my colleagues again to tell them that he had had babies. Laughed out loud of course. In the evening I went to look again and unfortunately the butterfly had died.

The next day during the work meeting, this story was briefly discussed via the OIM. He asked what I was going to do with the animal (now called ‘Project Jan’). He liked the idea of framing it and hanging it in the meeting room. Then I made a box and framed it. I think it’s still there.

What work do you perform and what do you like in your work?

As a Superintendent I supervise (new construction) projects. This means attending meetings, ensuring that the planning is correct, checking materials, sorting things out, preparing the work to come, managing people and ensuring that everyone is on the same page. I spend about 70% of the time at sea ‘indoors’ and the other 30% of the time I work ‘outside’.

What I like is that you have to find solutions and arrange things yourself. You have to think carefully about everything and look far ahead. After all, you cannot go to the hardware store to pick up materials if necessary. I also find the diversity of the work attractive. You also get to know a lot of people. The North Sea is actually a bit of a small village. Everyone knows each other but new people are always very welcome!

What do you find important in your work?

That I’m having a good time! That I do work that I enjoy, work which is a challenge. I don’t like to sit in one place for a long time and Equans Offshore Services helps me with the challenges of the various clients!

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