March 24, 2016

Aloysius Ogu, ROV Pilot onboard Bourbon Trieste, explains why his job does not embrace only technical but also operational and interpersonal skills.

Aloysius Ogu is 34 years old. He graduated in Computer Electronics Engineering and Project Management Technology at the Federal University of Technology in Nigeria. He is also finalizing a Subsea Engineering degree at Robert Gordon University, UK. He is a registered member of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, of the Nigeria Society of Engineer and of the UK Institute of Chartered Engineers.

After his first degree he started to work as an IT and Telecommunication Engineer for a Nigerian Integrated Services company; then for the Nigeria branch of an engineering group, specialized in Oil and Gas services. Before joining BOURBON, he worked for a UK Subsea Services group on MPSV Bourbon Emerald for 4 years. Since October 2014, he holds the position of ROV Pilot on MPSV Bourbon Trieste.

"Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) are special high tech robots with human and machine capability used in Oil and Gas industry for subsea intervention. As the industry moves to a more challenging subsea environment, ROVs become an even more important tool in drilling, in Inspection, Maintenance and Repair (IMR) of subsea wells and pipelines and in offshore inspection and development.

ROVs can operate deeper than divers and in greater safety conditions as they can be operated from surface; they require high performance to guarantee operational safety from above. All ROV Pilots on Bourbon Trieste, where I work presently, are highly trained and skilled pilots and technicians, in both technical and operational aspects of the robots. We work with Ultra Heavy Duty (UHDs) Work Class ROVs."

“Ensuring my own safety and that of my colleagues and external visitors is the most difficult and interesting part of my job. When working at great depth, risk management is crucial. Each and every operation is different.”

ROV pilot for BOURBON

"Bourbon Trieste is contracted by Total Upstream Nigeria, mainly as an IMR vessel. We work on Akpo and Egina fields at 2,000 meters water depth. Our regular activity is to survey, deploy beacons, maintain offshore facilities underwater, support drilling, and other subsea interventions. As per ROV specific tasks, we support for instance Hydraulic Flying Lead (HFL) and Electrical Flying Lead (EFL) installations to connect subsea structures such as Christmas trees, manifolds, jumpers, etc."

The ROV Pilot role includes maintenance, piloting, launching and recovering ROVs, from mobilization to demobilization following all safety precautions and standards.
"Above all, I am responsible for making sure the ROV is good to go through proper and regular maintenance. Also, I do inventory updates and other related paper works I am requested to do by my supervisor, making sure we do not run short of spares. Each task requires a specific tool, and the day’s required equipment needs to be in good condition when needed. This means that one must be proactive with general and specific installation and maintenance.

Therefore, I must work within the whole team and prepare operations based on client specifications. That is to say that before any ROV task, everything has to be ready according to the task plan and to strictly follow predetermined procedure: maintenance checks, launching, Piloting, navigating, manipulating and recovering.

Preparation, execution and follow-up are all managed from the deck to the bridge. They are crucial for each operation in order to enhance risk management. Before any operation, I take part in a Job Safety Analysis and a Tool Box talk, to master and review safety precautions. I do pre-dive checks, clean the ROV camera lens and every other last minute preparation. The ROV dedicated workshop is located on deck and is fully fitted with tools and electrical and mechanical equipment."

Aloysuis Ogu


Working as a team 

As he said, Aloysius works within a team, with a Senior ROV Pilot (also called Sub-engineer) and an ROV Supervisor, under the supervision of an ROV Superintendent. This team interfaces with the vessel Master, the Client Representative as well as with the whole crew on deck and bridge. It is doubled to guarantee a 24h/24h schedule, as operations often go on night and day.

This represents a 12 hours shift for 5 continuous weeks onboard. "A very interesting part of the job is that we work in a very multicultural atmosphere. Mix of nationalities and backgrounds are part of our daily routine. For instance, my colleagues on Trieste are from Brazil, Croatia, France, Italy, South Africa and the USA."

"I appreciate the organization and management in BOURBON, as it gives employees real opportunities for professional and career development inside of a multicultural company. With support from my superiors as well as onboard and onshore training, my objective is to gain experience and climb levels step by step: Senior ROV Pilot, Supervisor, Superintendent, etc., as it is the common practices at BOURBON."

Bourbon behind the scenes