There were four winners from Operations East, working offshore in West Asia Pacific and Africa Remote locations aboard the Actinia, Cajun Express and Dhirubhai Deepwater KG1: John Fergusson, Mike Keddy, Todd Rovner and Florence Emmanuel Sy. Each received a FIRST Excellence Award for outstanding performance in 2014.
Sr. Toolpusher, Dhirubhai Deepwater KG2
Operations East, West asia
John Fergusson, a Senior Toolpusher on the Dhirubhai Deepwater KG2, uses every opportunity to teach and mentor. He is trusted by his peers and industry colleagues.
Even in the quiet moments, John can be found on the drill floor with crews offering training and learning sessions. His focus and energy is described as “contagious,” leading to his selection as a FIRST Excellence Award recipient.
John motivates those around him to help the rig achieve its goals whether it involves working safely, protecting the environment or drilling wells efficiently with zero downtime, said Stephen Iveson, Maintenance Supervisor on the KG2.
“John is often looking at tasks and asking: ‘How can we do this better?’” he said.
Given his extensive knowledge and experience, John finds solutions when challenges arise, said Henry Kerr, Rig Safety and Training Coordinator.
“He is easy to approach and talk with and is an inspirational person,” Henry said.
Rig Manager Walter Sheffield agrees and points to the systematic way in which John approaches his work.
“He takes the time to get all the facts, evaluate the information, gets others’ input, and then he will make a decision,” Walter said. “As a department head, John sets high, but achievable expectations for his team. While he sets a high bar, he works diligently to make sure his team can achieve the results.”
His peers say he is always willing to spend time answering questions or discussing drilling operations.
“John is a very patient and gifted mentor and teacher,” Walter said. “He uses every opportunity to coach his team.”
This has greatly benefited Transocean and the entire offshore industry, Walter said.
“The caliber of our drilling team is in part, due to John,” Walter added. “As John reviews the drilling programs, he can usually find a way to save the customer time by doing things differently. John is always looking for ways to be more efficient with operations. His passion for doing things safely, efficiently, and reliably are infectious. His team, as well as other departments and individuals, are influenced by John’s passion and professionalism.”
Operations East, West Asia
Michael Keddy is motivated by unknowns. When he doesn’t have an answer, he seeks information – and then provides advice and solutions that are practical and effective. This Marine Manager’s reliability and efforts toward constant improvement through innovation made him an ideal FIRST Excellence Award recipient.
“Mike is always cheerful with a can-do attitude, which makes working with him a pleasure,” said Nikhil Suri, Rig Manager, who pointed to how Mike helped reduce costs and improve procedures for a rig move. “He gives the proper instruction, guidance, support and even discipline where required.”
This has resulted in Mike earning the respect of his colleagues and Transocean’s customers, who looked to Mike to assist with the carrying out of a challenging subsea completion campaign.
“Mike helped us on the operational side to design the proper mooring,” Nikhil said. “The operation went successfully.”
It is Mike’s passion and focus on what he does that makes him so good, said Jimmie Bullock, Rig Manager.
“Mike is a mariner through and through, but has also been an Offshore Installation Manager and now a Marine Manager,” Jimmie wrote. “He is always there when needed in a very supportive manner. He always has a smile on his face, and he either has an answer for you, or will research until he gets an answer for you.”
During cyclone season in India, Mike stays in regular contact with weather forecasters to make sure he is ahead of any issues to help ensure safety, his colleagues say.
“Mike’s advice and decisions are always reliable and effective,” Nikhil said. “This is why Mike has the trust and the respect of those working offshore.”
John MacDonald, Senior Manager, Marine Support, said Mike is someone who delivers outstanding value and has earned the trust others place in him to do the right thing.
“Mike has the strength and confidence to take a stand even when it is a difficult choice,” he said. “He is a man of principle and does not compromise his integrity.”
John said Mike is someone who provides viable and innovative solutions that are practical by listening and providing thoughtful feedback.
“His commitment to ensuring our fleet and the industry is well served is commendable,” John said. “He continually looks for opportunities to help improve our operations. When they are more technical in nature, Mike takes the time to reach out to subject matter experts in order to gather more information, have a better understanding, and then thoughtfully propose guidance and recommendations. These collaborative efforts lead to improved work processes for Transocean that help keep our people, the environment and our assets safe.”
Sr. Maintenance Supervisor, Cajun Express
Operations East, Africa remote
Todd Rovner mentors and develops those around him through his positive attitude, experience and knowledge, which inspire others to excel. This along with Todd’s commitment to the Core Values earned him a FIRST Excellence Award for his 2014 contributions.
The majority of Todd’s career with Transocean has been as part of the GSF Explorer’s crew. The rig is no longer part of Transocean’s fleet. He now works as a Senior Maintenance Supervisor on the Cajun Express.
“Todd’s knowledge of the GSF Explorer is second to none,” Rig Manager Jimmie Bullock said. “He could give you a historical tour of the vessel and all the modifications that were done. … With people like Todd around and in the company, the legacy of what Transocean and the industry has done will live on.”
Todd is known for consistently managing resources well due to his focus and reliable nature, said Blaise MacNeill, Cajun Express Master.
“He sets a very great example for others to follow with the way in which he clearly states his expectations for the job, but at the same time will always share with his people the benefit of his experience, so an efficient and safe plan is in place each day,” Blaise said. “No challenge that arises seems to be beyond a solution for him.”
Beyond finding innovative solutions, Todd is known for earning others’ trust by treating everyone with respect, displaying integrity and honesty in all of his actions and serving as a true safety champion.
“Todd is skillful at mentoring his crew; he guides them and at the same time gives them freedom to complete their tasks first by themselves before just simply giving them a solution,” said Ashok Sahu, Asset Manager. “Todd is very eager to help people understand and accept general change. With his attitude, he pushes his team to be positive no matter the challenges encountered on the rig.”
An example of Todd’s ability to embrace change can be seen in the fact that after spending the majority of his career on the GSF Explorer, he consistently voiced his desire to remain at Transocean. He made an easy transition to the Cajun Express, where he continues his exceptional performance, contributing to both the rig and company’s overall success.
“Todd is always smiling and has a solution to any issue that may arise,” Jimmie said. “He easily accepts change and gets onboard with what the company does immediately and assures his enthusiasm is shared with his colleagues. Todd’s loyalty to Transocean is also what sets him apart from the others.”
Jimmie said that Todd’s love is engines and his dedication to Transocean is just as strong.
“Todd will be the first one to tell you his opinion and he is a very ‘matter of fact’ guy who you always know where you stand and what condition the equipment on the rig is in,” he said. “Todd tells the facts, whether you want to hear them or not – good or bad. He is a very honest person. With all the virtues he brings, everyone on the rig and I cannot help but respect him.”
Florence Emmanuel Sy
Senior Subsea Supervisor, Actinia
Operations East, West asia
Florence Sy, or “Junsy” as he’s called by his colleagues, continues to deliver superior results more than 20 years after joining the company. As Senior Subsea Supervisor aboard the Actinia, Florence is a big part of the rig’s 2014 achievements. He can be counted on to get the job done in a calm, cool manner.
“Quiet in his demeanor, it’s easy to underestimate Junsy when you first meet him. However, you only have to work with him a short time to develop a deep respect for his professionalism and dedication to his job,” said Nikhil Suri, Rig Manager - Actinia. “In his interactions with other departments, junior crews or senior management, Junsy is always courteous and respectful. This along with his strong work ethic has ensured that he is respected and admired by all on the rig.”
In support of Florence’s FIRST Excellence Award selection are countless examples of how he achieves success by living Transocean’s FIRST Core Values. He sets a high standard of excellence by being reliable and innovative. Adding to that his positive attitude and relaxed, respectful manner – he is without doubt deserving of this prestigious recognition.
Andrew Robertson, Maintenance Supervisor – Actinia, has worked with Florence on two different installations over the past seven years and says Florence continuously displayed the FIRST Core Values leading to success during their years working together.
“Junsy is an honest, hard-working individual, who has an excellent work ethic and is well respected in his field,” Andrew said. “On both installations where we’ve worked together the subsea departments have had an excellent record with minimum downtime, and I believe that Junsy has played a major part in these successes. His drive and passion have not diminished through the years and he remains as committed to achieving excellence as he was all those years ago. Junsy is a leader in his field.”
Florence often works beyond his shift to assure and verify work, said Tim Holden, Maintenance Supervisor.
“He leads his team from the back row,” Tim said. “Never raises his voice, watches and instructs in a subtle way that has the effect of building trust and ownership with all. I think working with Junsy has made me more reflective and I have used his calm, knowledgeable view of things to work with others.”
Nikhil said the structured way that Florence approaches troubleshooting allows him to respond with precise answers when questions come to him.
“Junsy is interested in learning continuously,” Nikhil said. “He’s always open to trying different things if one approach doesn’t work. Junsy is always excited and raring to go at it. With him, motivation is never a problem.”
Six recipients work offshore in Operations West locations: Jason Braquet, Ståle Færoy, Marla Lee, Keith Mesker, Karsten Petersen and Dakota Wiggins. Hear how the FIRST Core Values are applied to these recipients’ daily lives aboard the Deepwater Invictus, Discoverer Enterprise, Discoverer Inspiration and Transocean Spitsbergen.
OIM, Polar Pioneer
Operations West, US2
Offshore Installation Manager Jason Braquet is known as: “The Wasp.” This resulted from Jason’s constant buzzing around the Discoverer Enterprise to verify his team’s work in line with his safety expectations. Jason now has a new moniker to add to his resume: FIRST Excellence Award winner.
“Jason uses his experience to look for ways to improve the operation each time it is done,” said Bill Ambrose, Vice President, Major Capital Projects. “Jason has a long history of doing the right things for the company along the lines of our FIRST Core Values.”
Jason’s willingness to go above and beyond in demonstrating the company’s Core Values is apparent in the example he sets each day as he influences others to exceed expectations. He consistently is an excellent leader and mentor to those around him, said Steven Cody Warren, Rig Safety and Training Coordinator.
“Jason takes a strong stance and lead on safety,” Steven said. “He demonstrates safety leadership and what it means to be safe through his daily work. Jason is an excellent example of someone who can organize a group in order to achieve a common goal.”
Alan Quintero, Senior Vice President, Operations West, said Jason’s positive vibe is described as “infectious” and he is viewed by customers as a “true leader,” who helped his rig finish a well 60 days ahead of schedule while gaining recognition from the customer two out of four quarters in 2014. “Jason deserves this award,” Alan added.
“A lot of people have knowledge and experience, but being able to lead people, gain their respect, provide inspiration and have a positive attitude in the work environment separates him from others,” said Thomas Foster, Senior Toolpusher. “It takes people like Jason to keep our rigs and our company as the most respected driller in the industry.”
Rig Manager Randy Sivils said Jason offers a natural ability to motivate those around him and resolves each situation that comes his way with a fair outcome.
“I have worked with Jason for the past four years and for every challenge he faces, he will always have a solution. He promotes company values and challenges those who try to undermine these values,” Randy said. “I have never met anyone more deserving of this award than Jason.”
Jason’s commitment to the company’s Core Values is underscored each time someone arrives for the first time on the rig, where he initiates a personal conversation and then shares his expectations. He now is the OIM on the Polar Pioneer.
“Once you have agreed to these expectations he says: ‘You are welcome to stay on board,’” with a slight grin that makes you feel part of the team,” Randy said. “When you meet Jason, you have no doubt who is in charge, what his expectations are and how proud he is of his team and their accomplishments.”
Sr. Lead, Maintenance Strategy,
Fleet Integrity, Norway
He’s known as an excellent communicator, but doing instead of saying is the motto that Ståle Færøy lives by as he takes pride, ownership and responsibility for his work while leading others and earning their trust. Stale exemplifies Transocean’s Core Values every day, making the Maintenance Strategy Senior Lead an easy choice for a FIRST Excellence Award.
“Ståle is one of those silent, thinking-type of individuals who only speaks when he has something to say,” said David Richard, Project Manager, Norway. “But when he speaks you soon learn to listen to his words – as they are usually bang on with respect to the topic of conversation. He is dedicated to the company and believes what he does provides a difference and makes the company better. He works to the motto – do it right, and do it once.”
He’s able to do it right the first time because Ståle pays attention to details and the overall picture, said Johan Gjerde, Manager, Maintenance Systems.
“Ståle is a knowledgeable and dedicated employee and a great resource both onshore and offshore,” he said. “He is always striving for excellence in everything he does. With a very positive attitude, he manages to find good solutions and he tends to see opportunities rather than obstacles. He works well with others, whether they are customers, suppliers or colleagues, and he is a great team player.”
His focus on the company’s Core Values translates into keeping close track of deliverables and never compromising safety or quality while finding innovative solutions, Johan added.
“Ståle is honest and fair and always treats customers, suppliers and colleagues with the highest respect,” he said. “The job is never done until it has been verified and documented and Ståle has an exceptional ability to find intelligent ways of doing it and making sure it is adhered to by all parties involved.”
Asbjørn S. Olsen, Vice President, Fleet Integrity, said during Ståle’s time working as a Construction Manager in Projects, he would travel with new rigs to sea trials to ensure they were run efficiently and would find reliable solutions while offshore.
“He is a remarkable person with an incredible skill set, who is always ready and keen to help team members out of a challenging situation,” Asbjørn said. “Ståle’s technical leadership skills are second to none.”
David said Ståle’s dedication to his career is apparent in all aspects of his life. He is a dedicated husband, father of four children and has a passion for muscle cars outside of work.
“Everyone around him excels because of his passion,” he said. “Ståle wants our projects to succeed. He wants the rig to go back to work and generate revenue for the company. … The electricity that is generated by his passion is contagious.”
Sr. Materials Coordinator,
Operations West, US1
Marla Lee joined the GSF C.R. Luigs’ galley a decade ago. One of the first questions she asked was what she would need to do to become a roustabout. After going on to achieve success as a roustabout, she became an Offshore Materials Coordinator and was promoted a year and a half later to Senior Offshore Materials Coordinator. She is known for her focus, reliability and working toward perfection in all she does.
“I saw this in Marla during her early days with the company when she was a galley hand and roustabout and it’s now evident in the professionalism she demonstrates onboard as Senior Materials Coordinator,” Operations Director Mike Wright said of the FIRST Excellence Award recipient.
Rig Manager David Mitchell said Marla passes on the knowledge and experience she gains to others around her and has shown that there is always something that can be done to help others improve.
“Marla quickly showed she was dependable, reliable, cared about the rig and the people on it,” Jimmy Long, GSF C.R. Luigs Offshore Installation Manager said. “Anyone who has worked with Marla will testify to her good nature and willingness to tackle even the most challenging jobs on this vessel without flinching. She can be guaranteed to bring a smile to the faces of the people she works with and in this challenging offshore environment, that’s worth its weight in gold.”
Ben McKenney, Senior Maintenance Supervisor, said Marla made his job easier – plain and simple.
“For me, if my job is more efficient, I can focus on bigger picture maintenance planning that helps make the rig run even more safely and efficiently,” he said.
Another of Marla’s peers, James Glen Johnson, said that Marla is a great leader who has inspired others with her drive and can-do attitude.
“Marla is not afraid to speak up, ask questions and help fellow employees or clients with making sound financial decisions when ordering or requesting parts. She has an excellent knowledge of inventory and purchasing, and shares that knowledge with all employees involved in our operation,” James said. “Everyone can count on Marla to lead by example with respect and honesty.”
Jason Smith said he is a better offshore materials coordinator because of Marla’s tutelage.
“There are plenty of situations that require extra attention and Marla always takes time to completely see them though,” Jason said. “She has showed me how even the smallest actions affect the overall flow in the long run.”
For Marla, she is simply giving back to the Transocean family that embraced her on her first day.
“I immediately felt welcomed. I felt like I belonged. I felt like I was in a place where I could achieve anything,” she said. “When you put the Core Values together, the result is a good person – and birds of a feather flock together. So when someone comes into the environment we have, it is natural to want to follow the leader.”
Operations West, US1
Having spent three decades with Transocean, Keith Mesker has seen industry upturns and downturns and he approaches them both the same: always looking for an innovative approach to creating value in the most cost effective and reliable manner.
For many, Keith embodies Transocean’s Core Values and his unwavering commitment to them is an example others want to emulate. He is trusted by his peers within Transocean.
“Keith is the kind of mentor who will answer the phone any time of day or night and will always be there when you need him,” said James Glen Johnson, Senior Toolpusher. “He is admired and respected by everyone. He sets a standard of professionalism and level headedness that he maintains in any situation. In 26 years with Transocean, no one has had a more positive influence on my career than Keith Mesker.”
Keith said helping others inspires him every day.
“The sky is the limit. You can achieve whatever you want to achieve,” Keith said. “Just because you fail one day, it is not the end of the world. You just get up and go again the next day. If you maintain that outlook, that attitude, you will eventually get to where you want to be.”
James said that Keith’s “cool, calm approach” is highly-valued and among the qualities that earned him a FIRST Excellence Award.
“Keith has never put expediency before safety,” James said. “His knowledge and hands-on approach to managing rigs and the way he organizes priorities motivates fellow employees to do the same. Keith’s decision-making skills always follow our Core Values and commitment to our customers.”
James Kevin Weiss, Asset Manager, said that Keith is committed to helping those around him become stronger and his favorite saying is: “Take care of the rig, crews and customer and the rest will take care of itself.”
And taking care of others – even when the call comes in the middle of the night – is something Keith excels at, said Jason Schollian, Offshore Installation Manager, Deepwater Proteus.
“I would always get the same answer: ‘Do not worry about me. I was getting up anyway. Let’s work together and get the issue resolved,’” Jason said of Keith’s response when he called with an issue. “There were no rig or personnel problems that Keith did not want to be a big part in helping solve. At the end of every hitch, Keith would always call me on my last day and thank me for all the hard work, even if my hitch was not so great. I was appreciative of those kind words.”
To Keith, it is how business should be done and a FIRST Excellence Award is the ultimate honor.
“Any time you are nominated for something by your peers and you are fortunate enough to be selected for it, that is pretty cool,” he said. “That makes it all worthwhile.”
Asset Manager, Deepwater Invictus
Operations West, US1
Karsten Petersen’s straightforward approach and willingness to tell it like it is have earned him the respect of those with whom he works. His reliability, ethics, integrity and commitment to Transocean’s Core Values earned him a FIRST Excellence Award.
“He sets the right example for our rig leadership and that carries through to our staff here on the rig,” said Chris Wokowsky, Offshore Installation Manager of the Deepwater Invictus. “We all make mistakes, but learning from them and using them for the better, as well as humility in them, is a sample of what makes a good leader and is integral in a manager. Karsten has these qualities and I respect that. Also, his intelligence and knowledge is inspirational. The guy is sharp.”
Chris said it is clear when Karsten’s “wheels are turning” and he often weighs his thoughts in order to provide clear, honest and precise feedback.
“It is also great when his humor kicks in,” he said. “It gets a pretty good laugh.”
Throughout his career, Karsten’s dedication to his work, team, customers and Transocean has been evident, said Brian D. Bowman, Master, Deepwater Invictus.
“I can’t count the number of times I have personally observed Karsten coming into the office early to get a start on the day, staying late to get the task completed or to answer someone’s question, or to work on his days off because the ‘team’ or an ‘individual’ needed his assistance.”
Always working toward efficiency, Brian said Karsten “will not cut corners … or sacrifice safety in order to get the job done.”
“His technical leadership is usually unquestioned, as I can’t remember a time when he didn’t know the answer to an engineering or subsea topic,” he said. “He knows the policies and procedures and he adheres to them.”
Known for regularly providing positive feedback and words of encouragement, as well as constructive criticism, Karsten does what he says he will do and follows through.
“If a mistake is made, he addresses the situation with a professional and positive attitude, offers guidance, takes personal responsibility for being part of the team, and works to help solve the issue,” Brian said. “I know that if I have a serious concern, he will listen and give it the attention it deserves. He is very much willing to listen to our ideas and needs; and empowers us to take the lead and succeed for ourselves.”
Richard Thornton, Senior Maintenance Supervisor, said Karsten constantly challenges him to ask questions and seek new solutions to problems.
“It is very helpful to be able to consult with him knowing that he has been in your shoes and understands the issues,” he said.
Driller, Discoverer Inspiration
Operations West, US1
The day Dakota Wiggins learned of his FIRST Excellence Award win was certainly memorable, but the prestigious recognition came amid another celebrated event.
“My son was born less than 24 hours before I received the phone call telling me I had won a FIRST Excellence Award,” Dakota said. “I was speechless, with a lot of different emotions running through me. It is hard to describe the feeling you get to know that your hard work and efforts have been recognized, but also knowing that my success is a result of the great team of people I work with every day on the Inspiration.”
Dakota has made a big impact on his peers in just five years working at Transocean. A driller on the Discoverer Inspiration, he spends much of his “off” time learning. He regularly demonstrates his dedication to the rig’s overall success and influences his colleagues.
“Dakota’s commitment to his career is evident and he never misses an opportunity to learn and advance his knowledge,” said Jon McMinn, Senior Subsea Supervisor. “He is highly respected and appreciated by both crew members and our clients. His technical skills are often relied upon to achieve tasks efficiently and safely. Dakota has emerged as an individual who will be a driving force behind our future success. His actions provide the type of leadership that takes an organization from operationally sound to operationally excellent.”
One of the keys to Dakota’s success is his ability to effectively communicate with fellow crew members to ensure everyone understands the plan and the important role the entire team plays in achieving success.
Ronnie Merrill, Offshore Installation Manager of the Discoverer Inspiration, said Dakota exemplifies the company’s FIRST Core Values.
“He always goes that extra step to ensure the task is done correctly the first time,” Ronnie wrote. “His greatest impact would draw from his personal integrity. He is the first to stand firm or correct any situation, which is not in the crew’s or the organization’s best interest. He has no reservations about stopping the job to ensure the safety of the crew, the rig, or the environment.”
Dakota’s outspoken nature during safety meetings results in participation from other crew members, his peers say.
“Dakota is quick to speak his opinion on all issues and is honest in his conversations with all,” added Neil Hicks, Senior Toolpusher on the Discoverer Inspiration. “Dakota is a strong safety leader and never compromises safety for any job or person. Dakota treats all personnel onboard with a very high level of respect.”
There were eight FIRST Excellence Award recipients from Global Functions: Kary Alanis, Frank Gordon, Neil Matthys, Shane McClaugherty, Pascal Petit, Widarko Santoso, Karim Tjokromulia and Mark Waltz. Each comes from a different field of expertise – Engineering, Tax, Finance, Human Resources and Supply Chain. But one thing they all have in common – passion and commitment to delivering outstanding results while adhering to the company’s FIRST Core Values.
Sr. Supervisor, Customs Compliance
Global Supply Chain, Houston
Kary Alanis keeps Transocean’s equipment moving. She negotiates, charters airplanes and comes up with innovative solutions to ship thousands of tons of cargo across the globe.
Known for being a strong negotiator, Kary, who is a Senior Supervisor in Customs Compliance, also is known as a “collaborator par excellence,” who works exceedingly well with other departments earning her the distinction as a FIRST Excellence Award winner.
“She is a hard worker who always puts the needs of the business first. Kary makes a difference every day,” said Tracey Fusco, Senior Manager, Compliance and Logistics. “Her values enable her to perform exceptionally, develop long lasting relationships and continue to grow internally with the organization while gaining valuable exposure to the outside logistical world.”
Last year alone, Kary saved Transocean’s logistics department $1 million. She did this in part by coming up with unique solutions, such as dismantling a stand-pipe manifold to reduce freight costs. The innovative idea eliminated the need for a charter aircraft and the shipment was able to move on a commercial carrier saving hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“Through change, she has demonstrated a number of additional ways in which we could be more efficient and innovative,” Tracey said, adding Kary takes an innovative approach given her technical expertise and is someone who is trusted. “This is what the FIRST Excellence Award represents and I am pleased to work with Kary.”
Kary’s peers, such as Joe Jones, Senior Lead, Logistics and Compliance, describe her as the ultimate team member, whose “objectives are always in the best interest of Transocean.”
Sudeep Banerjee, Supervisor, Supply Chain Management said it is difficult to summarize the “shine” that Kary offers.
“Kary’s positive attitude and congenial nature has always made her approachable for anyone who she has worked with,” he said. “She has consistently demonstrated performance levels, which are unparalleled and beyond the call of regular duties. She is ever-ready to help with a demeanor that is worthy of appreciation.”
Kary is quite modest about it all and says it is simply part of who she is and the more she pushes toward the Core Values, the more of an impact she sees happening through her focus on FIRST.
“For me, I am always looking for a deal without sacrificing service just by making other choices,” she said. “Any challenge I am given, I am not going to let it go. That is just how I am built. We try to enhance service for our customers. I like to ask: ‘Can we achieve something that is even better than what we are currently doing for our customer?’”
Human Resources, Houston
Moving an offshore rig across the globe is no small feat. Besides the equipment logistics, there are people logistics and that’s where Frank Gordon excels. Whether traveling internationally or moving internationally, Frank’s team helps employees cross borders with ease.
“Frank’s 24/7 dedication to Transocean personnel would be difficult to duplicate,” said Keith Miller, Senior Global Operations Manager. “He lays out all the boundaries, and works in the background getting the Visa part of the operation sorted. … Frank stays engaged with each individual’s case through weekly calls with the rig. He personally ensures a follow through with either confirmation by the lawyers or a request for additional information from the individual.”
Operations Manager Dan Haslam said Frank has helped his family with an international move and assisted him with numerous rig relocations during his tenure with Transocean. Dan said Frank exemplifies the company’s FIRST Core Values.
“I’ll never forget the time in 2009 when Frank and I tried, successfully I might add, to take a photo of my 1- and 3-year old children for passports,” Dan said. “If you can imagine two men, 30 minutes, a cheap camera and a handful of Matchbox toys then you’ve pretty much got the idea. Lord knows how many times we said: ‘Peekaboo.’”
During each of the rig relocations where Dan worked with Frank there was “uncertainty, urgency, unpredictability and most challenging of all – we dealt with people.”
“Frank’s largest contribution to financial discipline is ensuring we have the ability to get the people we need, where we need them, when we need them,” Dan wrote. “If that doesn’t happen, then revenue can be impacted and that quickly trumps expense. Our company’s success is based on international travel and it takes having a knowledgeable person in charge to achieve success. I admire Frank for a job well done. His willingness to hold the hands of our employees and employees’ families to assist in their relocation and/or work assignment is phenomenal.”
Judi Carlsson, Transocean Immigration Administrator, said Frank makes Transocean’s employees global movements seamless. His recognition as a FIRST Excellence Award recipient is well deserved.
“In Frank’s view, there is nothing more important than meeting the travel needs for our employees and their families,” she said. “He respects the time of Transocean employees. That philosophy percolates throughout the systems within his office and is contagious to his staff.”
With Transocean’s global operations, Janelle Daniel, Director, Global HR Services, said the importance of the work done by Frank’s team is integral.
“Getting the appropriate work permits for Transocean crews to enter a country and work offshore is a complicated process filled with bureaucracy, country specific rules, forms and political boundaries driven by cultural differences,” she said. “This is where Frank Gordon is a key employee for Transocean.”
Corporate Tax, Dubai
Tax Director Neil Matthys is described by his colleagues as a “gentleman” who leads by “delegation and empowerment.”
“Neil asks a great deal but provides the tools, history and education to succeed,” Steve Hayes, Senior Vice President, Tax, said in support of Neil’s FIRST Excellence Award. “His team knows that Neil expects excellence – but feels that Neil believes in them – giving them the confidence to reach and seize all of their potential.”
During his time in the Tax Department in Houston, Paris and now Dubai, Neil has consistently exhibited and lived by the company’s Core Values, earning him a FIRST Excellence Award.
“He is respectful, honest, motivated, humble and team-oriented – a great leader, manager and motivator,” Steve said. “He is one of the global Tax Department’s most diversified and capable performers. He excels in all tax specialty areas – tax reporting, tax planning, tax structuring, tax compliance, contract support, business support, and tax audit and dispute resolution.”
Neil expects the same high standards from his team that he expects from himself.
“Neil carries himself with great composure. He is mature, patient, prudent and professional,” Steve said. “He is honest and candid in a constructive manner. He tells the truth – good or bad – but does so in a fair and proactive way.”
Robert Kemp, Assistant Vice President of Tax, agreed, saying Neil’s dedication and focus on providing top quality service earns the trust of those around him. He is someone who gets the job done and offers innovative and reliable solutions.
“Simply put, Neil is one the guys you can always count on in a tough situation,” Robert said. “He would most certainly be a ‘first round pick’ of people you would want on your team.”
Neil’s peers and team says he promotes discussions, respects others’ opinions and sees value in constructive debates. Mohd Shanazri Shamsudin, Manager, International Tax, said Neil is always transparent with his team and serves as a strong leader.
“My input is both sought out and valued,” said Andrew Ford, Senior Manager, Finance. “That is a huge encouragement to me personally and engenders a sense that we are very much part of the same team, driving toward improving results and reducing exposures.”
Garry Taylor, Director, Global Finance, said Neil’s intelligence and experience provide him with the ability to think “outside the box” and approach matters with a “keen eye.”
“This often results in Neil offering very intuitive suggestions and solutions to complex issues while ensuring that these are both ethical and fully compliant with prevailing regulations,” Garry said. “He conducts himself with exemplary decorum.”
Lead Controls Engineer, Engineering
Shane McClaugherty is an innovative solutions provider who willingly shares his time and experience with others whether during regular business hours or whenever duty calls. As a result he has contributed significantly to Transocean and was selected as one of this year’s FIRST Excellence Award recipients.
“When faced with challenges, Shane responds with innovative and reliable solutions to solve the problem,” Technical Field Support Manager Jeff Marshall said. “When working in a group or team, Shane approaches any challenge with a consensus-building strategy and demonstrates his effectiveness as a team player on a regular basis with a very approachable attitude and clear communications skills.”
He is focused and dedicated to providing reliable Technical Field Support.
“Shane’s character and commitment to his work is inspiring for all those who work alongside him, those who he supports in the field and to me,” Jeff said. “He is a true ‘can do’ type of employee.”
Jeff points to Shane’s dedication to the Core Values that includes mentoring of colleagues, working across departments internally and his ability to also work effectively with external audiences as reasons for his selection as a FIRST Excellence Award recipient.
“Shane brings all the facts to the table, good, bad or indifferent,” he said. “The manner in which he goes through the delivery, analysis and discussion of these facts is where he excels and his honesty goes a long way in balancing what are sometimes difficult discussions with our operators, our customers and our regulators.”
His success is based upon treating everyone in the same modest and respectful manner.
“Shane’s manner of sharing his technical knowledge and teaching others has always motivated me to make sure everyone participating in a support event understands the issue,” said Donnie Pirtle, Technical Manager. “Working with Shane has encouraged me to not be afraid to roll up my sleeves and get in the details and learn more about the technical issues at hand.”
Robert Kyrisch, Electrical Supervisor –Deepwater Asgard, said Shane always comes up with a good plan once a situation is analyzed properly.
“It’s always a plan that focuses on safety, financial discipline, employees and the customer,” Robert said. “He is an inspiration to any employee in the technical field who he comes across.”
Harinder Arya, Rig Manager, agrees, pointing to Shane’s ability to understand technical issues quickly and provide reliable and innovative solutions with a focus on safety.
“He is a very good listener. His sharp and pointed questions help field technical supervisors realize the issue themselves,” Harinder said. “Finally, he has a large bandwidth for processing data, has excellent multitasking skills and provides an excellent level of service to the rigs.”
Global Field Finance, Brazil
Pascal Petit has a unique energy, enthusiasm and perseverance that he’s exhibited throughout his 35 years at Transocean. His demonstrated leadership helped earn him a FIRST Excellence Award this year.
Pascal thinks of his role in Finance as somewhat of a guardian for the company – ensuring trust through financial discipline, a role in which he excels at according to his colleagues. Pascal says his success results from being part of a strong team.
“There is nobody more experienced in field finance than Pascal, yet his tenure has not dampened his unquenchable desire to add value to the company,” said Garry Taylor, Global Finance Director. “Pascal leads by example, but also empowers his team to question prevailing structures and practices, focusing on providing value and improving margins. He conducts himself with exemplary integrity and honesty. When confronting challenges, Pascal respects others and the prevailing constraints, but never gives up – perseverance is just another one of his admirable qualities.”
Another testament to his strong leadership, reliability and mentoring can be seen in the countless letters received from those who have reported to Pascal. They credit Pascal’s mentorship as a key factor leading to their own success.
“Pascal pushes us to develop ourselves by asking us to think about some important subjects associated to each one’s duties,” said Alexandre Ornellas, Rig Accountant.
Euan Rennie, Finance Manager, said Pascal’s experience and judgment make him a leader he seeks to emulate.
“Above all, Pascal meets challenges with a positive manner and attitude,” Euan said. “If we all do our job and look for better ways and answer the questions, success will occur as a matter of course.”
Marwa Essam, Country Controller in South Africa, worked with Pascal for seven years and appreciated the mentorship and support Pascal reliably provided.
“During these years, Pascal was very supportive and always welcomed my questions and took them as an opportunity to pass knowledge onto me,” Marwa wrote. “Pascal has taught me to believe in my capabilities and utilize them towards being successful in my role.”
Given how much Pascal has achieved and his focus, David Tonnel, Senior Vice President and Controller, said it is not surprising to see the overwhelming support for Pascal’s selection as a FIRST Excellence Award recipient.
“Pascal displays a passion for the company and its results, as well as a deep care and understanding of his people, their development and their careers,” David said. “Pascal is very driven, he knows his business – no question about it. When you engage with him, you should be ready for big ideas and robust discussions. He truly cares, and because he cares, he is well respected and trusted by his team and his peers.”
Supervisor, Logistics and Compliance
Global Supply Chain, Indonesia
No matter the circumstances, Widarko Santoso, Supervisor, Logistics and Compliance, maintains a steadfast focus on the company’s FIRST Core Values and inspires others around him to do the same. His efforts have earned him a prestigious FIRST Excellence Award.
Widarko, or “Koko” as he is known by his colleagues, plays an important role in the success of operations in Indonesia. He works with local authorities, governmental agencies and vendors to handle the regulatory aspects that must be addressed when rigs and equipment enter and leave countries in Southeast Asia.
Vincent Berthou, Operations Director, said Widarko has a quiet character, but often is central to getting work done.
“I have been impressed by how Koko remains calm in challenging and fluid situations and keeps working steadily towards the end goal of a successful import or export of our rigs,” Vincent said.
Mike Munro, Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, said Widarko has a pleasant personality and a desire to be engaged with what is going on. He also is eager to help and provides experience-based and reliable input.
“In working with people around the world, who have to deal with similar day-to-day and strategic challenges, there is no question that Koko stands out,” Mike said. “Koko’s commitment to compliance, and importantly, his success should be a strong motivator for all.”
Widarko is credited with freely passing on his knowledge and expertise. His peers and others highlighted how their careers benefited from the mentoring Widarko shared.
Widarko said he learned through an early morning phone call that he had won a FIRST Excellence Award and had a single word response: “Wow.”
“It is good to receive this award,” Widarko said, adding that he applies the Core Values daily and his biggest challenge going forward will be continuing to make sure he is an example to others and maintaining the high standard of excellence set by past recipients.
Those who know him best are confident he will. He has earned the trust of many.
“Koko is highly dedicated to his work and committed to the company’s goals and success,” Vincent said. “Koko is doing a superb job at supporting our operations.”
A reference manual on Transocean’s FIRST Core Values would include Karim Tjokromulia as an example of innovation. Described as a technical genius, Karim instead exhibits modesty when such compliments come his way.
“Through his technical brilliance on numerous occasions, he has provided comprehensive, detailed engineering studies allowing operations to continue unhindered,” said Danny Rotella, Offshore Installation Manager of the Dhirubhai Deepwater KG2. “Karim shrugs off his technical brilliance and cites that anyone could have done it, but in reality there are few who can.”
During his 22-year career at Transocean, Karim has earned his colleagues respect. An exceptional mentor, Karim leads by example and is always eager to share his knowledge and expertise.
“He has played a very important role in creating a culture in the office wherein everyone is treated well, respects each other and is transparent in their work,” said Akanksha Gupta, Asset Manager, Dhirubhai Deepwater KG2. “He is certainly among the most inspiring people I have ever worked with.”
Karim is a dedicated, motivated employee who is a true champion of the FIRST Core Values, said Gerald Fossett, Senior Maintenance Supervisor, Dhirubhai Deepwater KG1.
“Karim’s ability to accept and conquer every challenge presented has helped me realize that anything is possible if you are willing to accept the challenge and put your mind to it,” Gerald said. “It is quite evident that Karim has reached the top of the pyramid and everyone follows him – not because they have to, but because they want to. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that following Karim’s guidance will lead them safely down the road to success.”
Walter Sheffield, Rig Manager, said that Karim helps others see that with the right mindset and approach, solutions are always possible.
“Karim’s systematic approach and keen eye for detail, coupled with his vast knowledge on a broad range of topics highlights what one is able to do when they are focused and disciplined,” Walter said. “Knowing that Karim will have ideas and solutions that are practical reinforces my motivation that there is a solution for most any challenge. Working with Karim and being part of the team is encouraging and drives me to have the same passion for our business Karim has.”
Akanksha added Karim serves as a role model to many within Transocean and his mentorship is valued.
“Karim has a wealth of knowledge and is just about referred to as an ‘encyclopedia’ here in the office. He is always willing to teach and explain to everyone who works with him or around him,” Akanksha said. “He engages people who work with him in discussions and that encourages everyone to ask questions, and put forth their ideas while learning in the process.”
Director, Upgrade Projects,
Fleet integrity, Houston*
Mark Waltz’s reputation as an exceptional leader who is committed to the Core Values results from his effort to always represent the company’s best interest – something he has done for 33 years.
“If you work with or for Mark, you know his expectations for how business will be conducted,” said Bill Ambrose, Vice President, Major Capital Projects. “This is one of the trademarks of Mark that sets him apart. His expectations are that we will all work by the Core Values. He makes this easy for his team to understand.”
Known for his open communication and frank style, Mark, who is Transocean’s Director, Upgrade Projects, “instills in his organization the integrity to perform up to expectations and it applies to everyone around him – peers, superiors, and direct reports,” Bill said.
“Mark is an outstanding champion of the Core Values,” he added.
Terry Loftis, Director, Engineering, said that Mark’s efforts have contributed greatly to operational efficiency and performance improvements, as well as reductions in downtime.
“Mark is well recognized as a subject matter expert on drilling operations, drilling equipment and all support systems and mechanisms required to keep our rigs ‘turning to the right,’” Terry said. “He has a sterling reputation and is universally held in the highest regard by personnel in the field and office alike, and he holds himself to the highest standards of integrity and safety. For a man of few words, no one’s voice carries Transocean’s Core Values further than Mark.”
A big part of the respect Mark has earned is based upon the time and effort he dedicates to mentoring, said Alex Gautreaux, Project Administrator.
“He guides leaders of projects to think through the issues at hand,” she said. “He challenges them to explore each issue in a scenario and evaluate lessons learned, the impact, and how to avoid repeating the issue going forward. Mark asks for attainable results, challenges the financial impact and offers solutions when needed. His guidance is delivered in a tone demonstrating control, patience and respect.”
Paul Tranter, Vice President, Engineering, said Mark is trusted and relied upon across Transocean.
“Like it or not, Mark will always give you an honest answer and you can be sure that he will always do what he believes to be the best for the company,” Paul said. “He always respects those around him and he treats everyone the same – no difference if he works for you or if you work for him.”
Kevin Knott, Director, HSE Operations Support, agreed, pointing out that Mark does not only challenge his peers and team.
“He also looks up the reporting structure for continued support and communication,” Kevin said. “He has a true belief in the company and what we are capable of achieving.”
*Mark Waltz is now Director, Reliability.
One team was recognized for its successful achievement of 2014 performance goals. This team’s leadership demonstrated unwavering commitment to the FIRST Core Values, and set a tone which led to the team far exceeding everyone’s expectations.
GSF Development Driller II Project Team
When a first-time customer approached with a tight pre-determined timeline for delivery of a rig, which would need to pass under the landmark bridges of the Bosphorus Strait, Transocean’s project team accepted the challenge.
The GSF Development Driller II Project Team achieved outstanding success, overcame limited resources, developed a derrick removal plan, engineered the design and survey work, while constructing a project budget with required analysis and approvals. They did all this while facing the added pressure of knowing the outcome could impact any possible future relationship between Transocean and its new customer. The team adopted a one-team culture from the start, exemplifying the FIRST Core Values to achieve outstanding success.
“This team created a belief that anything is possible with the correct mind set and can-do attitude,” said Robin Short, Senior Manager, Project Operations. “This is a demonstration of how Transocean’s people lead the way in delivering projects of this nature.”
Robin said Transocean’s ability to organize around the company’s Core Values and its leadership when it comes to innovation is a difference maker – and has been for decades as Transocean becomes what he considers “the pinnacle of the best of the best.”
“Even through the rough times, while everybody else seems to be struggling, we at Transocean are still making a positive difference,” Robin said. “The structure is still there. The respect in the organization is still there, and you can look across the industry, and you can see that people are envious of what we have.”
Ramsey Richards, Operations Manager, Development Driller II, said the successful removal of the rig’s derrick in order to pass under the bridges safely came down to the team approach to the company’s Core Values, which earned the project a FIRST Excellence Award.
“Everybody worked together,” Ramsey said. “There was no doubt about it, there was one team. It had to be in order to achieve that feat. It had to be – definitely, one team.”
“Without using the Core Values, this would not have been achieved safely,” Robin added. “At the end of the day, the safety, the level of respect, the ingenuity, the engineering and the whole fact of the teamwork is what made this possible.”
Bill Ambrose, Vice President, Major Capital Projects, said the project team’s accomplishments were outstanding for an unplanned project that was quickly brought into focus and executed safely.
“The method of derrick removal and erection was a true sign of Transocean’s technical leadership and innovation,” Bill said. “It was an important job for the company to complete on time, but the team did not let the pressure deteriorate the safety results. They regularly took time-outs to carefully plan the difficult task of taking down the derrick. The leadership and effort that the team exhibited allowed our FIRST Core Values to shine.”
The Discoverer Inspiration and Discoverer Luanda received the Striving for Excellence Award, recognizing rigs in Transocean’s fleet with the most improved scorecard results during 2014. Three installations: Deepwater Champion, Sedco 706 and Transocean Ao Thai received FIRST Excellence Awards for operational excellence during the year. The Transocean Ao Thai was honored with Transocean’s most prestigious award presented to an installation, the Rig of the Year Award.
The ultra-deepwater drillship, Discoverer Inspiration, received the Striving for Excellence Award for improved scorecard results in 2014. The rig accomplished this by achieving a 99% total scorecard – a more than 20 percent improvement from 2013 scores.
Working on the drillship presents new challenges each day, keeping the crew on its toes, said Brandon Hargreaves, Master of the Discoverer Inspiration.
“We work with a great bunch of people, so it makes things a lot easier,” he said. “The FIRST Core Values are just our culture out there. It is inherent. We have a lot of respect for one another and it is like a family.”
The culture of respect led to a successful program on the rig where every crew member was encouraged to share ideas on a process improvement or suggested solution. The initiative resulted in improvements that were put into action and impacted the rig’s performance.
Derek Wilding, Senior Maintenance Supervisor, credited the crew’s commitment to the FIRST Core Values as the key factor of the Discoverer Inspiration’s successful year.
“The Core Values are an essential part of our culture, and especially on the rig,” he said. “All of our actions and decisions are guided by these principles. It becomes second nature.”
Those working on the rig were excited when the hard work and dedication put forth resulted in the award. This has pushed the crew’s focus and drive to succeed to the next level beyond the improved scorecard results.
The Discoverer Inspiration crew is continuing its hard work with a new goal in mind. They would like to achieve the greatest recognition Transocean has to offer as the company’s highest performing rig in the fleet – Rig of the Year.
“We want to take it to the next level,” Brandon said. “Now that we have seen what success is, we know what it is like and we are reaching it now. This is validation of what we are doing, confirming that we are on the right track. It is now time to do even more. We are getting there – we just need to continue forward.”
Derek said that the crew works well together and is confident they can accomplish a lot in the year ahead.
“By focusing on the big picture, being transparent and putting everything on the table, we will all know this is where we are and this is where we want to be,” Derek said. “Nothing has really changed with the way we do our business. We are just striving to be better. It is who we are.”
The ultra-deepwater drillship, Discoverer Luanda, received the Striving for Excellence Award for improved scorecard results in 2014. Offshore Installation Manger, Mark Treeby, credited the rig’s improvement to a focus on the basics.
“A lot of our drive the past two years has been back to the basics and getting the basics right,” he said. “If we can get that down pat and nailed, we are going to go a long way to improve.”
The formula is simple when the company’s FIRST Core Values are at the forefront. The crew was excited to learn that through its teamwork the rig achieved such an honor.
Everyone on the rig played a role and the result was impressive, Mark said, adding it is a testament to what can be done when a team pulls together and takes ownership.
“It is just another feather in our cap as far as where we are and where we are going and where we want to be as a team and as a rig,” he said. “It is just another step along the line for the Discoverer Luanda.”
So what is next? Winning a FIRST Excellence Award for Rig of the Year – a friendly challenge this year’s Striving for Excellence Award recipients are working to achieve.
Part of what may need to be done for such an award has already been accomplished by the Discoverer Luanda, Mark said.
“We just completed a ten day turnaround of a five year out-of-service on a drillship,” he said. “There were definitely a few challenging times, but we were able to pull through and accomplish the task. In so doing, I think we may have laid down a challenge for our peers.”
While delighted to accept the Striving for Excellence Award on behalf of the Discoverer Luanda and her crew, Mark indicated the crew is even more excited to see what 2015 holds.
Striving to be the best versus most improved – he hopes other team members will attend next year’s ceremony to accept another award on behalf of the Discoverer Luanda and her crew.
“Where we have gone with the rig has been great,” Mark said. “Your Core Values are part of your operations every day that is for sure. We’re a really close team on the Discoverer Luanda that comes from all over the world.”
The crew on Transocean’s ultra-deepwater drillship, Deepwater Champion, earned a FIRST Excellence Award by using the company’s FIRST Core Values to maintain a strong commitment to safe operations while reducing operating costs during the drilling and completion of a combination of six wells for two different customers in 2014.
“The Deepwater Champion team is always looking for ways to improve performance,” Rig Manager Justin Richardson said. “Building trust through honesty and integrity has been a cornerstone of the Deepwater Champion’s culture from the very beginning. The current rig team has continued this open and honest means of operation, which has allowed us to continue to foster the great working relationship that we have had with our customers.”
Justin said a willingness among crew members to discuss improvement opportunities results in a “great working environment and relationship onboard that fosters a learning and improvement seeking culture.”
The result is active engagement, support and coaching through operations by all who work on the rig.
“This level of reciprocal teaching and learning is not found often…, but the Deepwater Champion team cultivates this, sets the expectation and executes,” Justin said. “The rig has also formed a unique family environment that incorporates everyone onboard the rig. This environment creates a sense of ownership and understanding that everyone contributes to the success of the Deepwater Champion.”
Joel Anderson, Electrical Supervisor on the Deepwater Champion, said the teamwork and honesty on the rig makes for smooth operations that lead to successes, such as being honored with a FIRST Excellence Award.
“It truly takes a whole vessel full of professionals,” he said. “You have to be a professional. If you go out and do your job the way you are supposed to and you follow the rules, you will get the FIRST Excellence Award. If everybody from the rig manager down is being professional, and has the Core Values in mind, you will get there. It is not a secret formula, but rather a matter of everyone believing in it – 365 days.”
Jared Martin, Senior Toolpusher, agreed, adding that the team atmosphere, leadership and framework provided by the Core Values create a culture that lends itself to success.
“It is wonderful to be there and mix with all the different personalities and come together to keep the bit turning to the right,” he said. “This is a big achievement, but it doesn’t change how we conduct our operations – it is back to business as usual on the Deepwater Champion.”
By focusing on the Core Values, the team on the Sedco 706, a deepwater semi-submersible, earned a FIRST Excellence Award for its operational performance and revenue efficiency improvements in 2014.
Ray Worth, Rig Manager of the Sedco 706, said the rig’s performance was a direct result of the one-team culture on the rig.
“A team that can successfully adapt to the many changes that have occurred within our company and the drilling industry over the years will always make it work,” Ray said. “The Sedco 706 is fortunate to have this group.”
Ray credited the adaptability of the rig’s crew who focused on Transocean’s FIRST Core Values while working toward safety and operating efficiency.
Dave Aldridge, Offshore Installation Manager of the Sedco 706, said when the company’s FIRST Core Values are used to lead by example versus just speaking the words: “it becomes contagious.”
“That passion and that commitment is going to drive them, and if you can do that, then you can get that team together and you are going to be successful,” he said. “For these projects to succeed, it needs to be a team.”
Sedco 706 Safety Officer Patricia Ribeiro said the Core Values and support for them by the full rig team allowed everyone to work together and accomplish the ultimate award through focus, dedication, reliability, trust and hard work.
“I am so glad to be a part of this excellent team,” she said. “It is a result of the teamwork. We had an excellent year because we stayed focused.”
Dave said the team had all of the tools it needed to be successful.
“The development of the rig scorecard brought all of the FIRST Core Values together, and got the entire company unified as to how we put these words into measurable actions,” he said. “For the team it was an achievement, acknowledgement and recognition. We have been very fortunate over the past six years. We have had three FIRST Excellence Award winners – two individuals in one year. To take it a step further, now we have one as a team. And I think to myself, taking this award back to show what we have achieved as a team is such an honor.”
However, the team award is yet another accomplishment in this rig’s focused path toward continuous improvement and success, Dave said.
“You cannot plateau and stay there,” he said. “You need to keep on striving. This is how we as Transocean are going to continue to stay at the top. We need those customers to continually say we want Transocean to be drilling our wells. And that is how we are going to succeed.”
Transocean Ao Thai
The Transocean Ao Thai, a high-specification jackup, earned a FIRST Excellence Award and the company’s most prestigious honor – Rig of the Year – for its outstanding operations performance in 2014 when the rig delivered 56 wells.
The Transocean Ao Thai’s crew says a dedication to living the FIRST Core Values helps the rig maintain a high standard of excellence.
“There is a family atmosphere aboard the rig,” Rig Manager Kittichote Burana said. “Everyone who sets foot on the Transocean Ao Thai knows that they play an important role on the team, and understands that we are all working together to achieve the same goal. Our challenge now is to keep improving on all aspects that are fully within our control.”
Mike Prothro, Maintenance Supervisor, and Harvey Olson, Toolpusher, said what they love most about working on the rig is the people. They described the many different personalities and backgrounds on the rig and how they all just “gel” into one big family working together with one goal in mind – to keep the rig turning to the right.
“The morale on the rig is great,” Harvey said. “It is unique. Everybody fits in … and the safety culture on the rig is excellent.”
Mike said the Core Values provide a framework for success.
“With the diverse cultures we have, if we did not have trust, we would fail,” he said. “No matter where you are from, the Core Values are the way to treat people. It is the way to conduct business. We want to be the best, and if you follow the Core Values, you are going to get there.”
Mike and Harvey, along with Jean-marc Medina, Offshore Installation Manager, and Worawat Buasi, Toolpusher, accepted the FIRST Excellence and Rig of the Year awards on behalf of the Transocean Ao Thai’s crew.
The Thailand Operations Team received a FIRST Excellence Award last year for its execution of the newbuild process for the Transocean Ao Thai and two additional high-specification jackups working in Thailand.
“You just don’t believe it until you actually come and sit here,” Harvey said of winning the awards. “All that hard work does pay off. It is a great accomplishment and a great feeling.”
Mike said winning Rig of the Year accolade is something within reach when a crew is on the same page and everyone wants to do it.
“You’ve got to have fun,” Harvey added.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is Transocean’s most prestigious honor. It sets out to recognize tenured employees who have made profound, solid contributions to the company’s operations over a continuous period of time.
This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented, for only the third time in the company’s history, to Dr. Francois Pelat, Sr. Manager, Medical Services, HSE, Aberdeen and a 2002 First Excellence Award recipient.
Dr. Francois Pelat
Sr. Manager, Medical Services
Dr. Francois Pelat is always behind the scenes at Transocean working on preventative measures and providing care whenever called upon, earning a Lifetime Achievement Award for his efforts that have spanned more than two decades.
“The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals whose efforts and contributions have a lasting impact on our company and on the industry at large,” President and Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Thigpen said as he prepared to present Dr. Pelat with the company’s highest honor. “Throughout their careers, these individuals have demonstrated steadfast dedication to Transocean’s Core Values. … This year’s recipient is someone whose efforts have touched many.”
Ed Moro, Director, Operations, said through his years of working with Dr. Pelat he has seen the benefits the doctor’s work has had and the peace of mind he has brought to Transocean employees and dependents living in remote locations.
“Dr. Pelat’s contributions and the value that he adds to Transocean are difficult to measure as most of it is below the radar and prevention is the bulk of his work,” Ed said.
Medical Advisor, Dr. Patrick Awotula, who reports to Dr. Pelat, said beyond being an outstanding professional, Dr. Pelat is a passionate leader.
“His passion for the company is evident in the way he manages the medical support structure and provides leadership, guidance and support to company operations in matters related to personal health and corporate health policies,” Dr. Awotula said. “He is very proactive, anticipates issues and works regularly with his colleagues to find solutions.”
Darrel Pelley, Director, Governance, Compliance and Security, said those who work with Dr. Pelat quickly recognize his dedication to the medical field and those working for Transocean.
“What strikes me personally about Dr. Pelat is his ability to manage multiple issues from anywhere at any time with a phone and a laptop,” Darrel said. “His impact on personnel, especially when injured is tangible. His response is immediate and thorough. When he’s needed most, he’s always there regardless of time zone or location.”
Dr. Pelat received a FIRST Excellence Award, among the requirements for receipt of a Lifetime Achievement Award, for his dedication in 2002. That award was based on his accomplishments at the time that included advocating for, developing and supporting employee wellness and medical care protocols that are unique in the industry. He continues to lead a global team of medical professionals and provides functional leadership and subject matter expertise to company medics throughout Transocean’s fleet.
“To this day, he works tirelessly to ensure our people are healthy on and off the job; and should someone become hurt, he makes sure the best possible and most urgent medical care is provided – no matter how remote the location,” Jeremy said in June as he introduced Dr. Pelat. “Please join me in acknowledging this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner and a true super hero, Dr. Francois Pelat.”
Dr. Pelat said he was grateful for the Lifetime Achievement Award recognition, emphasizing his work is that of a team and the credit should go to those at Transocean who support and make it all possible.
“The medics on the rig are the first line,” he said. “I am a field advisor. It is a team and these people are not visible, but whenever we need them they are there to respond 24/7.”
And that’s exactly why Darrel says Dr. Pelat is the perfect Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.
“Who better to recognize than someone who toils in the background for the welfare of others?” he said.
Copyright © 2014 Transocean, LTD.