When Hydro celebrated the official opening of the Ormen Lange gas field on Saturday, it was also the completion of project director Tom Røtjer’s final major oil and gas assignment. Røtjer is staying on with Hydro as the company meets the future as a pure aluminium company. Though many capable project team members have been transferred to StatoilHydro, Hydro’s well respected project organization has not been stripped of talent. On the contrary.
“After the split of the project organization earlier this year when Hydro’s oil and gas division merged with Statoil to form StatoilHydro, we have devoted time to recruiting new project team members in addition to the 60 originally belonging to the area. New employees have been hired from both other areas in Hydro and externally.
“There are now 90 employees in Projects in Hydro and we reckon on having closer to 100 by the end of the year. Including staff on contractual hire, there will be roughly 150 employees in total. I believe that number is about right until we find out more about future developments,” maintains Røtjer.
Final major gas project
Røtjer, who has been project director for the Hydro-operated development Ormen Lange and the Langeled pipeline, has on several occasions described the gigantic gas project as a historic milestone for Norwegian industry, Hydro and the company’s license partners.
When operative responsibility for Ormen Lange is transferred to Shell on December 1, it will be 10 years since the field was proven by Hydro.
Meticulous planning and foresight were the basis for this smoothly executed development. A highly competent supplier industry, close cooperation with field partners and intimate local custodianship of the project were also vital to its success.
“For the Ormen Lange development we developed and adopted pioneering technology for producing gas at great depths in cold and demanding conditions. This development can therefore make important contributions to other technologically demanding oil and gas developments in future,” adds Røtjer.
Provided unique opportunities
“We readily acknowledge that Hydro’s oil and gas involvement provided some unique opportunities to develop the high-level expertise needed to head up really demanding, major projects. Though offshore and land-based projects may differ, their routines, procurement competence and project management are in many ways the same. Our oil and gas experience has contributed strongly to our being able to develop, in a better way than we otherwise could have done, the tools required for the expert execution of exacting projects.”
He also points out that Hydro has a highly competent organization in place that has now come far in its work on the huge Qatalum aluminium project in Qatar.
“After 2010, when the metal plant is completed, we will be aiming to take on exciting new assignments.”
Røtjer also points out that Hydro’s project organization has a significant number of employees who have already put the main part of their careers behind them.
”We have taken this factor into consideration in our recruitment drives. Our age profile gives us a unique opportunity to recruit younger employees,” explains Røtjer.
Preparing for new assignments
”One of the exciting aspects now will be to see what sort of major assignments come our way. I and my project organization will be spending much of our time working closely with Hydro’s aluminium operations, and the company’s energy areas, in order to support their business development to come up with sound and credible plans and investment decisions.
“For me there are two things that count: to deliver in line with expectations and to build an organization of proud team members,” concludes Røtjer.