Mipac’s Senior Systems Engineer Dr Simon Willis is earning his sea legs while implementing leading-edge technology to improve drilling analysis on an oil rig in the Gulf of Thailand.
“Mipac was instrumental in the development of the measurement solution that I am introducing,” Simon says.
“This is the first implementation of the instrumentation and the client intends to roll out the technology on rigs around the world.”
While Simon has to work long hours on the rig, he says it is interesting work.
“It is exciting to work on such an innovative project for a client that has international scope and a strong desire to create world-class technology.
“I have also enjoyed collaborating with the client and my Mipac colleagues to find the best-possible ways to optimise results.”
In addition to working with new technology, working in the middle of the ocean also demands a new way of life.
The rig is a three-hour helicopter flight from the closest regional airport and accommodates about 100 people.
“There are two kitchens, one serving local food, the other, western cuisine and the food is great!” Simon says.
Sleeping arrangements vary. Sometimes Simon shares a bunk room with up to three others.
For most people, leisure time involves watching TV, reading, playing computer games or going to the gym.
“To get a sense of the ‘great outdoors’ some people walk laps of the helipad,” Simon says. “Needless to say, I didn’t have time.”
Simon has spent numerous weeks on the rig this year and on a recent trip home he did not have much time for rest and relaxation because he had to prepare for a presentation to Engineers Australia for his CP Eng, finalising a five-year reporting period.
Simon is now a certified engineer and has also qualified for RPEQ registration, holding him in good stead for life at sea.