Looking after contractors working away from home

Client: Global Oil & Gas Supermajor

Industry: Oil & Gas

Job disciplines: Project Services, Project Management,  Engineering, Supply Chain, HSE & QA/QC, Construction, Commissioning & Installation

Key Services: Expat and local contract recruitment, mobilisation, in country support, compliance and payrolling.

Background: Petroplan’s founders – themselves oil and gas engineers – identified a gap in the market, based on the poor service they were receiving from payrolling companies in the 1970’s. Therefore, in 1976 they established Petroplan – to provide market leading services sourcing, managing and payrolling the specialist talent needed for increasing oil and gas exploration and development in the North Sea. This approach answered precisely the requirements of our oil super major who just wanted contractors to be able to get on with the job without the distraction of attending to the peripheral local matters. Petroplan dealt with what could be time-consuming administrative tasks.

Our value add: Based on their own practical experience, our founders developed a package of mobilisation services designed specifically for contractors working in harsh or otherwise challenging locations. This included making sure that contractors received all the appropriate offshore survival and emergency training, that they were fully prepared for work in an environment governed by weather windows, and briefed on the equipment and protective gear required in such an environment.

Petroplan’s highly personalised service meant that contractors went offshore knowing they were working with a trusted agency that was there for them (and their families at home). They never had to worry about delayed payment, due to Petroplan’s prompt and accurate payrolling.  They could remain focused on their assignment, safe in the knowledge that Petroplan would stay in touch with them and their families in an emergency; such as a platform evacuation.

This level of service is what sets Petroplan apart from our competitors – with Petroplan today leading the oil and gas recruitment market in promoting contractor mental health and wellbeing. Petroplan’s rigorous candidate screening processes are also critical in identifying the right personality type for work in challenging environments; saving our clients costly replacement hires and project delays.

Outcomes: The overwhelmingly positive feedback from our contractors led to increased contractor volumes with our client and, later, a global supplier contract. Some of the projects we have supported for this client are described below:

  • Team of 60+ contractors including Construction & Site Managers, Discipline Engineers, Technicians and support personnel based initially during the construction and commissioning phases at the UK construction yard, then in Europe and the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.
  • Contractors (project services, project engineers, discipline engineers, drilling engineers, construction & commissioning engineers) based initially in London, with detailed design in South East Asia, construction / commissioning at the shipyard in East Asia (supported by Petroplan’s local office) – also in Europe, Aberdeen and offshore for the commissioning phase.

Again, Petroplan’s exceptional contractor management services made all the difference to our contractors working in Asia, as they received one-to-one support from the local staff in our regional offices in everything from local orientation to assistance with accommodation and inoculations. The fact that our staff spoke the local language meant they could assist with any language barriers and quickly resolved any difficulties that contractors had, for example with letting agents, banks or service companies. Our regional office connections with the local contractor community were also invaluable in assisting our client with their requirements for national contractors.


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