A stalwart of the North Sea oil and gas industry has reflected on the time its career prospects were “relatively unknown” as he prepares for retirement.
John Morrison completed a general engineering apprenticeship in Aberdeen in 1976, when the city was on the verge of being transformed by the discovery of oil offshore.
He went onto a career spanning more than four decades in the industry, with the last 13 spent spearheading EnerMech’s installation, operation, maintenance, engineering and inspection services, as well as overseeing the Aberdeen firm’s international division.
He has a real passion for sharing knowledge and experience with the younger generation.”
Christian Brown, chief executive, EnerMech
Mr Morrison, who was raised on a farm in Banffshire and turns 65 next month, said: “Back in the early 70s, oil and gas was a very new industry, so the prospects were relatively unknown.
“I remember being advised not to make the move, but I’ve never looked back and I’m really glad I took the opportunity. Even after 40 years I still find it such a fascinating sector to be a part of.”
The cranes and lifting director added: “I will miss working at EnerMech. The firm is a real champion of driving safety and efficiency and I’ve enjoyed being part of a global company and team where everyone is working together to achieve a common goal.
“It really is the people that make a business, and this is why I’ve stayed all these years – working with such talented, driven individuals.
“It’s also been exciting to play a role in EnerMech’s diversification success as it extends its services across the renewable and industrial sectors.”
EnerMech chief executive Christian Brown said: “John has been a highly valued member of our team over the last 13 years, continually driving our cranes and lifting division to ensure we remain at the forefront of safer and smarter operations.
“He has a real passion for sharing knowledge and experience with the younger generation and supporting the development of our people. We are very fortunate that he has taken the time to generously pass his expertise on over the years. Personally, I know that he will be sorely missed, and we all wish him the best for his retirement.”
Mr Morrison started his career working in engineering roles, gaining opportunities to travel offshore and work on major assets, including the giant Forties field, before finding his passion for cranes and lifting operations.
In 1989 he was one of the founders of a start-up business, Specialist Maintenance Services, after spotting a gap in the market for offshore crane maintenance, inspection and training. The company was eventually acquired by EnerMech in 2008 and he was brought into the fold as the business’ cranes and lifting director.
From Ford Cortinas to BMWs
During his time at EnerMech Mr Morrison has been involved in a string of committees promoting safety within the cranes and lifting sector. He has also witnessed a huge evolution in the technology and practices used to deliver the most efficient operations.
Interviewed by Energy Voice – The Press and Journal’s sister publication – in 2019, he said: “When I started in the business, the cranes in use could be compared to a Ford Cortina, whereas now happily we have access to the equivalent of Jaguars, BMWs or Audis.”