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How project control underpins crucial Project Management decisions

For Patrick Blokland, Senior Project Controller on the unique Aasta Hansteen gas production and storage platform project, the basic procedures were of course the same as for any project: delivering timely, ongoing and consolidated reporting and risk management actions such as insurance requirements and contract risks, hedge and treasury management. “The biggest challenge was the huge scale of the project,” says Patrick. “It was unique in terms of both magnitude and innovation: over 100,000 man-hours during five years of preparation and execution.” The project involved transporting the spar hull from Korea, transporting the accommodation level from the Netherlands, and then mating the topside with the spar hull on location off the coast of Norway by means of an impressive dual barge maneuver.

The biggest challenge was the huge scale of the project

Patrick’s responsibilities included involvement in supplier selection at appropriate levels of expertise, quality and cost. “I provided regular reporting on the progress of suppliers’ man-hours, vessel and fuel requirements, and projections for all three parts of the project, so that management had the information necessary for good decision-making.” Patrick spent several days on site in Norway: “I find it important get a feeling for the project, so as to understand what’s going on and how the figures relate to actual events,” he explains. And it was not all plain sailing, of course. “Engineering solutions had to be tested and adapted continually, because of the innovative nature of the task,” he says, recalling the flexibility and cooperation of the entire team, involving the project manager and project engineers, HSE managers, and project buyers for sub-contracted services and equipment.

“I really like working for Boskalis. I appreciate our professionalism, and it’s good to hear that the customer is satisfied with the solutions we find for them. I like the international nature of our work, and how this allows me to see more of the world. For this project, I spent a few days in Norway. I find it important to understand different technical aspects of the projects we work on. It helps me make informed supplier selections and it’s also more interesting. Next week I’ll be in India, in connection with the project I’m working on next.”