Allie Cribbs, one of InterMoor Houston’s senior engineers, spent a few weeks in InterMoor’s Stavanger office in Norway during the summer of 2019. She talks about her experience.
1 – Why did you go, and which projects did you work on?
The Norway entity was very busy at the time with several temporary mooring jobs and rig moves. They asked me if I would consider spending a month there to support their local team with engineering analysis. I said yes!
2 – How different was your work experience there?
First, let me say that a lot of the work is similar. Most of the drilling contractors being global companies, I worked on several projects with the same clients we work with in Houston and for similar semi-submersible rigs. We perform our engineering with G-Moor as the mooring analysis software, just like we do in other offices.
Weather conditions and sea states in Norway are pretty different than what we typically encounter in the Gulf of Mexico. In this part of the North Sea, we need to plan so the mooring systems withstand significant wave heights as high as 10 meters (33 ft).
As far as language is concerned, there was no real language barrier as everyone speaks English and the local team was nice enough to do the engineering meetings in English while I was there. They’re all very friendly and helpful and made me feel welcome. I really liked our coffee breaks around the barista machine they have in the office, and the lunch service provided in the office to employees was a perk too!
3 – How different was your life there?
Obviously, transportation is very different than in Houston. In Houston, you drive everywhere, and the city is large and spread-out. In Stavanger, I was able to borrow a bike, and to bike or take the bus to work. It makes for more work/life balance. The whole Norwegian culture is very balanced: they enjoy and respect their beautiful environment, recycle as much as they possibly can, and understand the growing part renewables play in the energy spectrum at the same time as they recognize the importance of the oil and gas industry, particularly to the industry in Stavanger.
I learned Stavanger used to be a fishing town for herring, and as a result of overfishing they adapted easily to supporting oil and gas. The good news is that now the herring fish are back. I tried some, but it is a taste I haven’t acquired quite yet.
4 – What did you enjoy the most?
I must say that the sunrise hike at Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock) was one of the highlights of my trip (no pun intended…). Because of the short summer nights, the group picked me up at midnight so we could reach the top of the cliff by sunrise (at 3:30 am).
5 – What do you feel you have taken back with you?
The biggest thing is, of course, the improved relationship between our entities, and learning what specialities and expertise exist amongst the offices. The trip was really a great steppingstone to sharing more information between offices and to foster further collaboration and even workflow.
In the end, it’s about getting to know your colleagues, whether they’re in the same office or far away. The engineers organized a long dinner while I was there and that was terrific. A great opportunity to further get to know everybody, and it was a really nice send off.
6 – Would you do it again?
Yes, absolutely! I love that InterMoor gave me the opportunity to travel and to have that experience.