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MEASURING OUR SUCCESS
Spotlight On: Terry Bonno
When we take away the processes, systems and mechanics common in any rig, we have what’s left unique to the Champion: what makes it all function so efficiently – her People.
Beacon visited the Champion 222 miles offshore in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico to hear from the hands that guide the rig along its path of operational excellence. From Roustabouts to the OIMs, there is always one common explanation as to why and how tasks are executed so proficiently: passionate and committed “teamwork.”
“The Deepwater Champion team has pulled together since day one. Since the very beginning, every decision, every action was driven by teamwork,” said Dan Haslam, Rig Manager.
The hands that laid the groundwork
Before the DWC left Korea, there were many reservations about the possibility of successfully drilling three different wells in two locations, in the Black Sea and Gulf of Mexico, all within three years. But the “Is it possible?” has now become, “Consider it done.” And the new employees coming on board in the Gulf are just as energized to take ownership in their work as the last group.
“There was one goal set out for the team since the outset: to be the best operating rig in the world. And we all wanted to achieve it; that’s what ignited our passion, every day,” explained Richard Calhoun, Senior Toolpusher. Richard has worked on the Champion since the very beginning in the shipyard, to Turkey, Romania, and the United States. He, along with others, made it very evident that without the level of support from both project and operation teams from the shipyard days, the foundation wouldn’t have been laid so well for success.
The decades of experience behind construction management, operational management, and offshore support all added up to well thought-out resolutions and high expectations.
“If something wasn’t right, we stopped to fix it. If someone had a question, we resolved it as a team. We all had high expectations set by management. No matter what your position, we all worked together to achieve our expectations. We want to be the best,” said Jim Saunders, Senior Maintenance Supervisor, who has also worked on the Champion since Korea in 2010.
The level of detail that went into the commissioning and integration processes, and the time invested in planning and learning the intricate parts of equipment didn’t necessarily eliminate every challenge, but it prepared each employee to tackle anything with confidence and leverage their performance.
DERRICK INSTALLATION(2012)DEPART HHI (DEC. 2010)SINGAPORE (DEC. 2010)CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
(FEB 2011)LAS PALMAS(JUNE 2012)BANDIRMA, TURKEYGULF OF MEXICO (JUNE 2012)
Success enabled by camaraderie
“The interdepartmental communication and collaboration isn’t just recognized by the Transocean team, it’s also appreciated by our customer, ExxonMobil, and third parties,” said Dan.
On this rig with 200 employees from Transocean, ExxonMobil, and various third parties, the level of transparency and teamwork is palpable and remarkable. It’s understood, at every morning meeting, on every shift and with every task, that safety comes first, and excellence is required by all. Not just any team can pack up and move, four times in two years, across the world, and continue the level of efficiency at every well. Team Champion did just that, though, and did it with customer focus.
“Our relationship with our customer has also played a large factor in adding to our success and teamwork. We don’t want to make them feel like they are just ‘renting the car,’ if you will. We want to make them feel like they are driving it. The relationship we’ve established with ExxonMobil has lent itself as another stepping stone to the Champion’s success,” said Jim.
The different nationalities, languages and cultures could have created many barriers for any team. But employees on the Champion saw it as a challenge and motivator to grow even stronger—learn about each other’s backgrounds, capitalize on each other’s strengths and compensate for any weaknesses.
“Everyone was eager to get their hands on the drillship in any way. As long as we were all striving to attain the goal to be the best operating rig in the world, no barrier could get in our way,” said Iain MacAulay, Toolpusher. “It became the ‘DWC rig.’ Not the Transocean rig, not the ExxonMobil rig. Leadership and good ideas were discussed in the beginning because of the experience level and willingness to work as a team. The level of commitment and pride in our jobs today stems from the ownership shown early on.”
Motivators for the future
“It’s the culture that allows us to drive success, and we need to maintain it, that’s what a lot of us are trying to pass on to the new guys coming onto the rig, and they are catching on quickly,” Iain explained.
The strong performance of DWC’s early days in her journey through the Black Sea doesn’t mean “the best is behind them.” Now that the glamour has worn off from 2011 FIRST Excellence Awards and the dust has settled from the move into the Gulf of Mexico, the DWC team can begin to resume momentum by benchmarking from the previous team’s performance.
“The right equipment is in place. We have the right people. It’s about training, learning and taking accountability for our jobs and working together to continue what has already been executed,” said Jim. “We are out here to work smarter not harder.”
“I’ve been in the industry for 35 years and this rig, hands down, is the best one I’ve worked on. I want the guys who come on to this rig to feel the same way and have the same sense of pride in their work. It is that type of ownership that leads to team success,” Richard explained.
Challenges in the Gulf will differ from previous locations, but in speaking with employees at all levels of the DWC, it’s obvious that no matter the location, equipment or resources, as long as you have the teamwork, support and commitment to reach the high-set goals, any objective is attainable. And with the right ownership and leadership, any goal is maintainable.
“The guys had an incredible sense of ownership in the rig especially when we brought it out of the shipyard. That ownership is now the leadership that is guiding the employees coming on to the Champion. They see the history and achievements from previous months, and they want to perform even better. I believe they see it as their motivation to outperform previous numbers and take ownership in their job,” explained Sam.
Our people make the difference at Transocean. Not just the equipment. Not just the resources. The passion, loyalty and drive to perform safely and effectively, make up the human element that drives our company’s success. Commitment to our FIRST Core Values goes beyond creating a safe and successful work environment. It sets an example for others to strive for operational excellence, effective teamwork, and lets our customer know we value their partnership–and the Deepwater Champion Team has done just that.
The proof is in the performance. Keep it up, DWC team.
Jim began working for Transocean 15 years ago as a roustabout on the High Island 1. Currently he is the senior maintenance supervisor on the Deepwater Champion and will soon be transferred to the Aker Rig Asfard. As for the DWC future, he hopes that “the future teams who operate on her continue the performance and safety record we were able to accomplish as a team.”
Richard has worked 35 years in the oil industry, and 22 with Transocean. He recently transferred from the DWC onto the Deepwater Frontier as the new offshore installation manager. Richard explained that the best years of his career were spent on the DWC because he was able to “work with such a dedicated team working and pulling together for the same goal to be the best and safest rig in the world.” Richard is looking forward to making the same impact on the Frontier.
Iain began his 25-year career with Transocean on the Santa Fe 135. Fourteen rigs later, he is the Toolpusher on the DWC. His proudest moments on the DWC were experiencing a great drilling campaign in the Black Sea, followed by being awarded the “Rig of the Year in 2010.”
Dan’s career with Transocean spans over 15 years. He started as a trainee engineer with Sedco Forex on land rigs in Pakistan in 1997 and joined the DWC team in March 2012 and is now the rig manager under the new asset/performance organizations. When reflecting on the DWC collaboration, Dan states, “The ownership that the rig team has in delivering outstanding performance is infectious. There’s nothing like being part of a high performing team.”
Ten years ago, Sam joined Transocean as a maintenance, procurement and inventory (MPI) engineer, rotating on jackups Trident 6 and 8. Sam joined the DWC team in the shipyard days in Ulsan, Korea in November 2009 and was recently Rig Manager, Asset. Sam says “Working with the DWC Team helped me recognize the true assets of our company are our people.” In October, Sam relocated to the Newbuild – Drillship Project in Okpo, Korea.