Evacuation by boat off the volcano Krakatoa in Java
I spent three years on this project, which was divided into three stages.
During the first stage, I spent six months in Kuala Lumpur wIth TECHNIP as preliminary and basic engineering manager.
The second stage, was on the island of Java, Indenesia, for the construction of two platforms, and finally, the third stage was spent in Brunei looking after the hook-up and commissioning.
MLJ was a big challenge because Elf drilled for the first time in Asia. But the management was very attentive. EIf had to succeed in this project; it was a question of reputation. On Java Island, we were building the jackets and the platforms. We implemented a strong and comprehensive action plan to raise the safety level to fulfil our expectations and started a welding school from scratch in order to train the local staff: 80 were trained and we finally recruited ten of them.
During our time there,it was the end of the reign of President Suharto, the country was politically unstable. One day, in May 1998, on the way to Jakarta airport, I experienced the insurrectionary climate: Chinese shops were targeted. Straight away, I told the driver to turn back. Foreigners were potential targets. Tanks were in the streets. Back in Cilegon, I boarded my construction team on a boat for a few days. We stayed offshore around the Krakatoa volcano.This remains a very powerful human experience, and a very positive one.Today, I am very nostalgic about thls project. ln human terms, I made friends for life and on a personal level, I discovered three countries in three years: Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. The success of this project owes nothing to chance: we all had many years of sound experience in the oil and gas field when we joined the Maharaja Lela Jamalulalam field project.