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SBM Offshore plans to put more Guyanese on FPSOs and in shorebase offices – Michiel Heuven

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SBM Offshore is looking to increase its local workforce and build the capacity of Guyanese to take up more leadership positions in its operations in the new oil producing South American country. This is according to the company’s Head of Operations for North America and the Caribbean, Michiel Heuven.

SBM Offshore has been awarded contracts to build, install and operate Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) units for both the Liza Phase 1 and 2 development projects for ExxonMobil’s Guyana operations. They have already completed the Liza Destiny FPSO which is being operated offshore Guyana, while the Liza Unity is under construction, and a third FPSO – Prosperity – is to be completed pending government approvals for the Payara development project.

In his presentation at the ‘Caribbean Virtual Oil and Gas Summit’ (CARIVS) on Tuesday, Heuven spoke of SBM Offshore’s goal as it relates to local content in the Caribbean region. He noted that in Brazil, 80 percent of the workforce is made up of locals and that includes leadership positions. Additionally, at some onshore locations, up to 100 percent local content can be found.

“We see the same over time for Guyana, for the Caribbean, we believe that it is possible,” Heuven firmly stated.

Heuven said the first batch of Guyanese was hired when the company opened its office in 2018.

“One of the key strategy decisions we took early on was to hire into leadership positions straight away. For instance, our Finance Manager and HR Manager, they are both local,” he stated.

SBM Offshore Country Manager in Guyana, Herve Laurioux and Human Resource Manager, Onecia Johnson, speak to attendees at a job fair in Georgetown, Guyana on November 7, 2019.

The SBM Offshore official went on to share, “We currently have 27 onshore positions in support of Liza Destiny. Out of the 27, we have 10 expats and 17 locals. By the end of 2021, we will have 63 people onshore so that’s quite a good number of people, and we have 19 expats and 44 locals.”

He told the Summit that he believes there is a good mix required for expatriate workers and locals “so that we can really establish a good environment for the transition of knowledge and learning.”

Similarly, offshore Guyana on the Liza Destiny FPSO, he said, “we have about 30 percent local Guyanese on the FPSO and that will increase year-on-year, over the next years. And the ambition is, to have let’s say 70 or 80 percent local.” Added to that, the intention is for Guyanese to take up more of the key leadership positions.

24 Guyanese trainee technicians return for placement on Liza Destiny FPSO

Heuven said SBM Offshore’s local content objectives extend to its service providers who must provide local solutions and opportunities for Guyanese.

Service providers, he said, “must provide local solutions, promote upskilling of people, adapt to international safety and quality standards, adapt to international contracting best practices and focus on their own expertise, before diversifying.”

Regarding the company’s new headquarters being constructed in Georgetown, he said, “We used a local architect and we used a local builder to complete it, so it was done 100 percent with local content.”

SBM Offshore said it remains committed to local content development and will continue to expand its Guyanese workforce.

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