Friday, April 06, 2007

Oil and Gas Job in Indonesia

Before I proceed with my Indonesia job, an article commented on how I could remember so many things about my passed projects Well, I would only say these, all the projects that I have gone through were full of fond memories. One example was that all my Project managers were good mentors and in spite being in the construction industry, they do not utter 4 letters words or scold staffs but assisted and guided solving problems that they encountered from the project. Other than these,the different cultures of each country showed me that there were many things out there that need to be told like those stories you will read them in Lonely Planet or any travel magazines.
Good and well respected Project Managers are very hard to come by. One incident happened to me in Iran. It was about 7.00pm, the end of the day, and I was to clock out when my Senior Project manager opened the office door and asked me to eat first before continuing my work so as to avoid gastric. Just for your info, I only met him today and he has just arrived at site(Iran.) Upon reaching the camp canteen, all the workers started to wish him too. You cannot find these sort of warm
atmosphere in most jobs that I have gone through. When will I be like him?

There were many stories untold yet about Iran. Stories like Civil war between Iran and Iraq,pictures on how carpet were made, my retreat from Iran during the outbreak of the war.
How I became famous when I arrived back to Singapore office and so on......

Balikpapan Oil Refinery

I flew direct to Balikpapan(situated in Borneo) from Singapore on a chartered flight. On arrival, I was greeted by my new project manager, Mr Goh Yau Hong. He was a mechanical engineer and was overall in charge of all Indonesia projects. My assignment here was to assist him in all Civil and Structure works within this water treatment project. He introduced me to a local contractor called Charlie, a local Indonesian. I started building the foundation for these job and when the base was completed, he took me into the oil refinery. We were seconded to Bechtel International, an American Oil and Gas company and all the teams were working at the Hydrocracker Plant "A". Upon arrival at the plant, I was very surprised to meet the piping sub contractor that did the first job, Pharmaceutical Plant in Singapore with me. When I was introduced to him by my Project Manager, he only laughed and asked me why I did not die yet. After I have completed my Singapore job, he heard that I have left for Iran and also the outbreak of the Iraq and Iran war.made him wonder whether I was dead or alive. My Project manager got a shock and was very glad that I knew him for he was the one that was going to guide me on Mechanical work. By the way, his name is Mr Lor Ah Chye. Why was this so?? I studied Civil Engineering and has no or zero knowledge of Mechanical engineering especially on piping except some in the first project in Singapore.
I have a very responsible position in this job, Area Superintendent and my ID card entired me to have a Toyota Land cruiser. Petrol was free and also full excess of the whole refinery ,club house facilities which were meant only for American and etc.. First time, I realised that I have so much authority and respect by holding this card.
To get started, he took me to a place where the whole project model was kept. I went with him and he was very surprised that the American who was in charge could print for me a full set of the Hydrocracker Train photos due to the pass I was holding. Slowing I started to know that I could also order crawler crane to lift pipes in other areas or departments.
Bechtel provided us with all the meals,breakfast to dinner and for lunch we will order the meal in the evening and took it before we leave the canteen in the morning. Since this is an international job,we have international food as well. First is the local food than the oriental type and final the western for there were American staying with us the camp. As for laundry, the maid will collect them when we were working and even put a marking for 4D meaning house no 4 and room D. We were provided also toilet roll and soap forthnightly. The camp warden was very strict that mean if ant one were caught bring a lady back without permission he will be terminated. They were very firmed on this matter for there was an American head who held the same rank like me, was terminated within 24 hours. No " play play". Even when my wife visited me, I was also given a specific time to clear my belonging and checked out after seeing the whole camp. Well, you know lah the company let me stay at the company quarter which was not under Bechtel.
After completed my whole project, I was again reassigned to go back to Malaysia for my Iran project manager has requested me to be transfered to Sarawak for the Asian Bintulu Fertiliser Plant at Bintulu.
How my wife went to Balikpapan was a very big surprised to me. It happened one morning when my personnel officer, Mr Beh came to see at the office and wanted me to go to the airport to receive a VIP from Singapore. When arriving at the airport, I was very surprised to see my wife stepping out from the plane. Mr Beh put his hand over my shoulder and told me that she was the VIP. I asked how and he mentioned that my project manager was very happy with my performance and has arranged my wife to flight over and before leaving Indonesia, we will be given a trip by the company to Bali!!!. Wow that was great ....
Regarding my job, I woke up at 6.ooam,take my breakfast at 6.20am and by 7.0oam, I will be in the job site. I finished my work at 7.00pm, leaving the refinery, and arriving at the camp at 7.30pm for my dinner. In spite of this, I still went back to the job site at night until 12.00 midnight. Just to check that those staffs working in the night were well taken care off. and help to resloved any problems. Dangerous to be in the jobsite at night for there were many areas out of bound due to X ray. All welded joints were X ray before we could proceed the rest of the length. Once the joints have passed, they were again under went heat treatment. This process helped the material at the joint area to be uniformity. Ah yah! this is Mechanical work. there are many like steam pipe, welder classification and etc...
Will continue ..............................

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