After working for BOURBON as a Chief Officer for several years, then as a Master, Sergei Petrochenko is now an Operations Manager based in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Keep reading for more details on his past activities at sea, and his current responsibilities.
OFFshore: tell us about your career path at BOURBON
Sergei Petrochenko: After training at the Saint Petersburg Naval Academy, I was hired by BOURBON in 2012 as a Chief Officer. Four years later, I became a Captain (Master SDPO).
Throughout all my seafaring years, I was in charge of piloting two types of offshore supply vessels: Platform Supply Vessels (PSV), with high deck and hold storage capacity, and Anchor Handling Tug Supply vessels (AHTS), which were mainly involved in towing and anchoring floating drilling rigs. In June 2017, I was promoted to Operations Manager at Bourbon Baltic, in Russia.
OFFshore: what surprised you the most when you started in your new role as Operations Manager?
S. P.: Previously, I was only concerned about improving the performance of a single vessel, for a single client, and for a single contract. Now, I’m working in an office and I have the “big picture” of the performance of a fleet of vessels. I ensure that the performance complies with client requirements and international standards. Now I have to consider things on a large scale. My work schedule has also changed, now I work every day. Before I was only working on vessels on a rotating schedule.
This new job is really interesting for me. I have to define the performance standards and design strategies in order to achieve compliance. I have worked in several regions around the world, and with different types of AHTS / PSV vessels. I draw on this experience in order to improve the performance of the vessel fleet that I’m in charge of.
During my previous jobs with BOURBON, I gained an excellent understanding of offshore work.
OFFshore: your past experience as a Master must certainly be an advantage to you in your current new position in Saint Petersburg...
S. P.: Indeed it is, my work involves different regions where I used to sail (West Africa, Mediterranean). I am working on offshore project engineering in these regions. I was recently in Nigeria to visit vessels and technical teams. My experience facilitates dialogue with all of the stakeholders, as I have strong industry knowledge and I’m familiar with the various challenges faced in the regions under consideration. We offer innovative services encompassing all the requirements of operators and contractors. I am in charge of budget oversight in particular. This new experience has also made it possible for me to improve my knowledge in the area of maritime standards, in order to keep them up to date and provide clients with the most reliable information and services possible.
OFFshore: what skills should an Operations Manager possess?
S. P.: For this job, it’s important to have a good understanding of maritime industry issues and stakeholders. It is also necessary to be proactive, and to be capable of managing various departments and technical teams.
OFFshore: how are you coping with your new career direction?
S. P.: My current position is entirely different, it’s much more sedentary. Sometimes, I miss sailing! But I really enjoy my new responsibilities.
The challenges are stimulating, and it’s very motivating to be involved in providing genuine proximity and continuity of service to clients.
OFFshore: is there a defining moment that you’d like to share with us?
S. P.: In the summer of 2016, I participated in a project that was unusual for me, on the Bourbon Liberty 163. The goal was to test and verify whether submarine pipelines laid 10-15 years ago, at a depth of 120 meters, were still operational for carrying gas. The client had gathered a team of 12 people and had installed special equipment on the vessel. We were at sea for a while, and we connected to the pipelines several times, in order to carry out inspections and cleaning operations. Divers and ROVs from other MPSV vessels were providing assistance to us in order to connect the testing and cleaning pipes to the buried pipelines. We had to keep the vessel position stable, using the dynamic positioning system, so that the client could carry out the tasks on time, and in a safe manner. The project was extremely interesting, with excellent teamwork between BOURBON and the client. Three vessels were involved - two BOURBON PSVs and the client’s MPSV vessel.