OPINION: Collaboration is key, says BHGE after landing BP Tortue FEED work

L to R: Graham Gillies; Gerry McGurk, VP Projects for Mauritania and Senegal, BP; Scott Munro, VP Americas, Europe and Africa, McDermott
L to R: Graham Gillies; Gerry McGurk, VP Projects for Mauritania and Senegal, BP; Scott Munro, VP Americas, Europe and Africa, McDermott
Opinion by Graham GilliesVice president – Subsea Production Systems & Services, Baker Hughes, a GE company

If I have learned one thing during this downturn, it’s that adversity can steer us in a different, healthier direction.

Cost pressures are among the factors that have led to a lack of competitiveness in our industry and some of those factors have been outside our control. Yet – if we’re honest – there are also plenty of things that the industry could have tackled sooner, including unnecessarily complex engineering requirements and overly customized technical specs. We weren’t in great shape and we didn’t do enough to address it.

Shaving a few dollars off the cost of hardware here and there was never going to cut it because the transformation of the industry needs more than just some short-term belt-tightening. It’s like trying to put the industry on a quick-win diet, rather than making long-term lifestyle changes and smarter choices.

As I write this, I’m also thinking about the grit of our own teams inside BHGE, who deserve major plaudits for staying focused on how we do business and how we support customers. Earlier this month, their hard work paid off as we kick-started a new piece of work with BP, collaborating with them and McDermott Marine Construction to define equipment scopes for the Tortue development on the maritime border between Mauritania and Senegal. We all bring something different to the table and it’s a great example of a hugely collaborative effort and new ways of thinking we’re seeing in the industry.

And you’ll have noticed that everyone loves talking about collaboration right now, but don’t underestimate the opportunity that true collaboration represents. Today we’re seeing more appetite for partnership, with operators working together with the supply chain to solve challenges and cooperate on designing the safest, most efficient and cost-effective solutions for each job.

It’s about working as a team to do the right thing for the project, and our involvement in Tortue can act as a template for others. It’s exciting to see three companies exercising their collaborative muscles to optimize the project’s design, development and execution, and deliver a sustainable solution.

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