Discover the working career of an experienced Heavy Lift Rigger Foreman/Lineup & Conveyor Opera

I work in the Oil & Gas and Mining Sectors (Offshore & Onshore) as a Heavy Lift Crane Rigger Foreman / Lineup Operator in executing challenging and notable projects for clients who are  major world class players in both the Oil & Gas and Mining Industries. Such experience has comprised the dealings and management of deep offshore constructions, facilities installations, modules, various pipeline constructions and installations in S-Lay & J-Lay Mode  configurations in both deep and shallow waters. Additional experience reflects experience in platform installation & upgrades, as well as various marine rigging & lifting works concerned with dynamic positioning (DP) heavy lift derrick lay barges and vessels across various coasts. 

What inspired you to get into this sort of industry?   

I was inspired to get into this  field of work because of its complexities and  was also touched, influenced and  rather inspired by the lives of those who were in such industries during my growing-up days. I Knew there was a lot of  new things to learn each day in the industry because I seek challenge and am very much a result driven person.

What qualifications and experience did you have to gain In order to establish yourself and therefore become a professional within your industry?

I had to get my Basic Education and Trade / Professional Training /Rigging Certification and other Mandatory Offshore Certifications. Thereafter get my Career sparked on through an Entry Level or approach (hands-on-experience) and gradually painstakingly worked my career up to the professional and well experienced standard through always trying and learning new things.

What is the most challenging aspect within your field of work?

I can say the most challenging aspect in my field is  the planning and execution of advanced “Non-Routine Heavy Lift” Operations , achieving the deadlines for perfect project delivery  and  the harsh / unfriendly weather conditions in which we work… it’s Interesting “offshore is never a Lazy Man’s Environment”.

How do you manage and overcome these challenges?

I manage and overcome all these challenges through the application of the knowledge I have learnt over the years the years; safety precautions, applying policies and following set  standards. My ability to keep calm and focused on task at hand has strengthened my ability to work in very  tough situations, knowing fully well it’s with discipline , perseverance and hard work that I can get my goals fulfilled.

What has been the highlight of your career?

The Highlight of my Career has been breaking new grounds and also when I was promoted from one level to the next level of my Career, which brings about reassurance.

If somebody starts as a trainee / beginner within your line of work, what could they earn in salary?

Training in my line of work could earn the relevant employer USD 110 to USD 200 as a daily rate.

What can this person expect to earn after 10 years of experience?   

Such a person with 10 years’ experience can expect to earn roughly USD 600  to USD 800 on a daily basis.

Who is your role model and why?

My Role model has been my Boss Mr Sule Kolo – (Heavy Lift Rigger General Foreman -DP/Derrick  Lay Barge Acergy Polaris),Mr.Luc Puget -(Barge Superintendent- DP /Derrick Lay Barge Acergy Polaris) whom I draw my inspirations and had my technical know –how in the early days of my career  while working with them. Mr.Robert Oromoni (Heavy Lift Rigger Supervisor-DLB Ekulo Cheyenne Barge) has always been a great icon in the oil & gas industry where one can still to this day learn new things.

What motivates you to work this hard?

I am a “Goal- Driven Person” in order to actualise my dreams I know I must work hard and strive to achieve my optimum level in all the things I do. I want to be an icon  or a  pioneer in this industry and lead by example for others to follow.

What is your outlook within your industry over the next 5 years?

My vision within the next 5 years will be to become an incomparable expert in my field, a visionary superintendent and to become CEO of an Oil & Gas Company (an Oil Mogul) to alleviate the struggles of the unemployment market and to contribute my best to the industry globally.

As you know, numerous African countries are being invested in due to their rich minerals. Which country within Africa do you think will be the next hot spot and why?  

I am aware that there are so many African countries blessed with different kinds of natural resources including Nigeria. But I would want to state that a country that has almost a complete combination or what I called “Complete Resources Pool” is “SIERRA LEONE” in West Africa.  Sierra Leone apart from other undisclosed resources is blessed in large amounts of Diamonds, Gold, Bauxite, Rutile, Haematite, Iron Ore etc.  etc., and a number of significant  Offshore Oil discoveries or Wells  Reservoirs were found and announced few years ago in 2009 & 2010 which will make the country a “hot Traffic  ground for not only Mining Extraction but also Oil/Gas Exploration…which is why this region is known as the“Princess of Africa”!

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Francis Akhigbe
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