OUR GREAT MINDS

    by Tina Olivero

    Spotlight On: Dave Billard & Aker Solutions Canada

    AKER SOLUTIONS CANADA

    Dave Billard is a local Newfoundlander with a world of experience in the offshore. He formerly worked with TCO, Chevron and was also the Director of Engineering for the mega-Hebron project that is currently operating offshore Newfoundland.

    With the foundation of his career in senior engineering roles in the oil and gas sector, Dave found himself working abroad but when he got the call to work at home with Aker Solutions Canada, like all Newfoundlanders, he jumped at the chance.

    Dave is excited about his new role as the Country Manager for Aker Solutions Canada and how it will unfold. Dave says, “I oversee the St. John’s office, Edmonton office and we are doing work in Fort Mac as well. I am proud to say that 95% of our team are Newfoundlanders.”

    In Canada, Aker Solutions currently has multiple clients offshore Newfoundland and is prospering in the region. Dave says, “I’m responsible for the success and profitability of the Canadian operations and we plan to expand our operations here even further in the subsea sector. It’s an exciting time for us.”

    AKER SOLUTIONS: GLOBAL

    Aker Solutions is a 177-year-old Norwegian company. They have 14,000 + employees around the globe, they operate in 20 countries with 52 office locations. From subsea to surface and concept to decommissioning, Aker Solutions technical expertise and partnerships provide energy companies with what they need to succeed. Combined with Aker Solutions long history of engineering in the most challenging environments, their approach delivers high-performance results for customers and shareholders worldwide. Aker Solutions leadership team realizes that it’s an international game we are all playing in the offshore. Their strategy is to have local people employed at home where possible, making Dave a perfect fit for Aker Solutions Canada. The company CEO, Luis Araujo is not Norwegian, he is Brazilian. It is very much a multi-national game.

    OIL PRICE

    When asked about the price of oil and how it has impacted operations Dave said, “We are all challenged to reduce, reduce, reduce. Further reduction is not sensible. Reductions can only go so far because quality and safety can be compromised if we lack the appropriate resources. We also can’t continue to do things too fast or we will reduce the quality of our output. Quality solutions take time and focus.”

    REGULATORY REGIME

    In terms of new regulations for operators offshore Newfoundland, Dave says, “We can’t afford to wait for regulations to change, nor speculate that they will be detrimental. We have a regulatory regime now and we simply operate from there. I believe regulation changes will usually support better structures moving forward. We can’t come at this from a place of fear, rather a place of collaboration and continuity. If change happens we address that change as it comes. Right now we have solid policies and procedures in place and we follow them.”

    INVESTMENT

    Attracting companies to explore for oil offshore Newfoundland is critical. Dave says, “The work that Nalcor has done in terms of making data available to allow oil companies to understand the full potential of the region is the foundation of our success. We should build on the mindset of cooperation.

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