OCCMS, Orion’s specialist completions and commissioning services provider, has experienced an unprecedented period of growth since early 2021, both in the UK and overseas. To support this continued expansion, the company is pleased to announce the arrival of two new additions to its Senior Management team. Steve Drummond has joined the business as Operations Director and Jamie Japp has been appointed as Technical Director on a permanent basis, having been a contractor with OCCMS since 2019. Steve and Jamie join OCCMS as seasoned commissioning professionals and bring with them many years of international experience, across a range of energy sectors.
Barry Cann, Managing Director for OCCMS commented:
“We are delighted to welcome Steve and Jamie to the business. Both possess an array of technical competencies, along with a proven track record and wealth of industry experience. Crucially, they also come with the right mindset and behaviours in leadership, safety, environment, ethics, productivity and quality. It’s an exciting time for them to join the OCCMS team as we look to sustain our growth and underline our commitment to providing industry-leading services for completions and commissioning projects across the globe”.
OCCMS launched in 2006 and are currently headquartered in Aberdeen, where the majority of their 25 employees are based. The company provides consultancy and fully-managed specialist services, resources and class-leading technology all geared towards the safe and timely start-up of client assets. OCCMS has been involved in more than 100 major international projects, including covering whole asset lifecycles across a wide range of sectors such as energy, renewables, built environment, life sciences, mining and defence.
As OCCMS gears up for further growth, we get the chance to meet Steve Drummond and ask him some questions about him and his new role with OCCMS.
Steve joins OCCMS with a wealth of experience in Construction, Commissioning, Completions and Project Management within the oil & gas and petrochemical industries. During this journey I found the time to achieve an MSc in Project Management via the University of Aberdeen.
Can you tell us what you do at OCCMS?
I get involved in developing processes, procedures and projects, ensuring operations within OCCMS continue to deliver, evolve and grow.
What’s your background?
I started my career as an electrician in the old John Lewis and Sons shipyard in Aberdeen, which was part of Wood Group as we know it today.
I transitioned to offshore North Sea with Press Offshore before joining AOC International, who at the time were involved in some of the largest hook-up and re-development projects, where Steve held senior Construction and Commissioning roles within the company. I embraced an opportunity to further develop my career overseas, where I undertook projects in various locations, including, Bangladesh, Middle East, USA, Mexico, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Equatorial Guinea, Switzerland, Gabon, Singapore, South Korea, and latterly Sakhalin Russia,
How did you come to work for OCCMS?
Having chosen to stop working overseas and having a long-standing working relationship with Barry Cann and John McWilliam, I seen this as a good opportunity for me to provide my experience in helping OCCMS grow and develop further. The two things that struck me most about this job was Barry’s enthusiasm, coupled with the sustained growth. My background is very much concentrating on structure and detail surrounding processes and procedures, which I believe can hold OCCMS in good stead as we grow the business.
What’s your history of completions management?
Having been involved in completions systems from an early stage of their development, I see them as instrumental in the success of any project in providing documented evidence that projects have gone through rigorous processes to ensure equipment and systems can be safely handed over and started-up.
Has the industry changed over the last 20 years and how has it changed?
I have indeed witnessed a massive change in the industry where the loss of experienced personnel makes it more challenging in project development. This gives a knock-on effect where companies must take responsibility in ensuring mentoring and development of less experienced personnel is paramount in future development.
Where do you see the growth in the future?
Interestingly there is growth in Oil and Gas as well as renewables, particularly offshore wind farms. We have recently received many enquiries for offshore wind in the UK and overseas. There are interesting opportunities coming through right across the board for software licences and services.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I like the football, the odd game of golf, hill-walking, DIY, travelling and generally relaxing when I’m out with work. I’m still practicing my Russian, which I was picking up well in Sakhalin.
We also caught up with Jamie Japp, OCCMS Technical Director and asked him about his career and what drives him within the field of commissioning and completions.
Jamie, can you give us a run-down on your past work history?
I began my career in the Armed Forces and served in the Royal Navy between 1992 – 1999.
This was my first experience of leading people, and it was an exciting time. After leaving the forces I knew I wanted to develop my leadership skills within an industry setting and my major motivation was helping others to be the best versions of themselves and to see people grow.
After a brief spell working for the Hydro board, I got my first start in Commissioning as a Technician in 2001 in Aberdeen for various oilfield services companies and working throughout the world, initially on the drilling side. I was a technician, field services engineer until becoming country manager for a SME Instrument and Controls Specialist Company. After a time, Marathon oil approached me to work in Equatorial Guinea in west Africa in a maintenance technician role. This led to working as a contractor in 2012 for Wood Group PSN on a large contract for Total Energies as a commissioning engineer and then as Lead Commissioning Engineer. After some time, an opportunity arose with QEDI for the Magnus Life Extension Project (MLXP) which was a BP GPO Project. The position was Commissioning Verification Manager. The position was not one that would win friends and influence people’. It was a job that required sitting between the EPCC and the client to make sure that Commissioning and Completions works were compliant. The role involved overseeing and verifying the work and ultimately reporting into the BP operations manager. Thereafter, a new role as Project Commissioning Manager reporting into the BP Project General Manager was offered to me. The project took 15 months to deliver and was circa half a billion pounds in value. The scale of the project was huge, and I learned a lot about which direction I wanted to take the rest of my career. It was my first taste of senior leadership and managing people within a team and being responsible for their welfare.
How did you get your current job with OCCMS?
The next contract for me was another QEDI appointment this time for Apache North Sea Ltd. I was the Lead Commissioning Engineer brought on board to lead their brownfield modifications of their North Sea assets for the next 3 years. At the tail end of this period, QEDI had transitioned to be Wood’s commissioning and completions arm. This is where I met Barry Cann, who brought me to OCCMS when he became MD.
At this juncture, I got married and bought a croft in Aberdeenshire and started breeding donkeys. I planned a sabbatical just before a unique opportunity arose to consult for OCCMS and to be mainly based at home. I was delighted as it was a unique opportunity for me and really suited my personal circumstances at this point of my career. It was an ideal fit.
That was 3 years ago and OCCMS has grown from strength to strength since.
Has taking on a staff role with OCCMS changed things?
I’m delighted to be taking up this staff role and begin a new chapter with the company. The growth and traction has been remarkable and throughout the pandemic, Covid 19 constraints really did affect the way we could work and was filled with uncertainty. No longer could we make client or site visits was one impact, but we were keen to keep focused on strengthening the delivery model.
How has the OCCMS business changed since the pandemic?
OCCMS were approached for an opportunity to work for PBS (Ponticelli, Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services and Semco) who look after all of Total Energies assets in the North Sea. They approached OCCMS with a view to deliver Commissioning and Completions Services on two flowline projects as they had recently been awarded a new GMOC contract but required specialist expertise in Commissioning and Completions. It was a fantastic opportunity for OCCMS, and they immediately knew the right people with the necessary experience to approach and help OCCMS to deliver the two projects. On the success of the delivery of both flowlines, OCCMS received some further opportunities to collaborate with PBS as their preferred specialist Commissioning and Completions supplier and were thereafter awarded a 5-year contract. That was a significant period for the business and elevated OCCMS to a new level.
OCCMS have been busy with bidding for various tenders which I’m heavily involved with. Personally, it’s been great to be part of the growth and I’m really looking forward to my staff role and continuing to assist in the growth of the company. There are lots of new opportunities within the traditional Oil and Gas sector, but also other sectors such as Renewables. It is an exciting time for OCCMS”.
What does the future hold for you and OCCMS?
One of the biggest drivers for me is my MBA, which I will complete in April 2023. I’m delighted to be supported by OCCMS and their work within the UKCS brownfield sites who utilise the OCCMS operating model as a basis for my academic consultancy project. As a business, OCCMS want to leverage the success of this model, showcase the simplicity of it and provide it for other clients in other regions and other sectors too. Asia Pac and the Americas are two regions with growth opportunities that the company is interested in exploring further. In terms of new sectors, renewables and offshore wind could readily use the same or adapted processes and procedures that have been developed already for Oil and Gas clients. In parallel, I have discussed longer term plans with my wife about opportunities to live and work overseas. My children will have all flown the nest very soon and the timing is perfect to explore other avenues for growth in a personal and professional capacity. I very much look forward to strengthening the OCCMS brand and to see what the future brings.