A North Sea industry veteran is worried that an upsurge in tendering activity risks a sector-wide “burn-out” for employees.
Roger Esson, newly-appointed decommissioning solution centre manager at the Oil and Gas Technology Centre, said conditions were still difficult in the market, though there was “quiet optimism” that work is picking up.
“It’s still tough out there,” said Mr Esson, who left his role as chief executive of membership organisation Decom North Sea earlier this month. “A lot of tendering activity is going on, but not a lot of work is being awarded.
“A member said to me recently that there is four times more bidding activity, but not four times more work.
“We have to get better at tendering activity as an industry. A substantial amount of work goes into tendering activity and companies do not have the same number of people they once did.
“So I do worry that we’re burning people out right across the sector.”
Mr Esson said tendering activity still represented a challenge for “true collaboration”.
Mr Esson said: “In a tender you demonstrate your competence and capability to do the work, but you need to make sure you’re not being used as a consultancy tool for good ideas.
“In any given tender you’re being asked questions and are giving ideas. It’s hard to protect them from being picked up further down the line by the company that’s awarding the deal.
“I don’t think we’re at the point of true collaboration. People are cooperating on specific work scopes, but we need to collaborate across the sector.
“At the end of the day, we’re still a competitive industry.”