Deep-sea oil de­vel­oper draws on the well of good­will

China Daily (USA) - - LIFE / PEOPLE - By LIU XIANGRUI li­ux­i­an­grui@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Peter Quiatkowski­is­proud­to­have made his mark on China’s deep-sea oil ex­plo­ration in­dus­try in the past decade.

“When I ar­rived, the oil busi­ness in­Chi­nawaspickingupvery fast. We were lucky enough to be on the­move and were car­ried along with this,” says Quiatkowski, 67, an oil ex­pert from Bri­tain.

Since2007, Quiatkowski­has­played a pi­o­neer role in the in­dus­try as gen­eral man­ager of Cosl-Ex­pro Test­ing Ser­vices (Tian­jin) Com­pany, a joint ven­ture es­tab­lished by China Oil­field Ser­vices Lim­ited and the oil­field ser­vices providerEx­proGroupof Bri­tain.

Quiatkowski, who has been in the in­dus­try for more than 40 years and has worked in many places, in­clud­ing Africa and South Amer­ica, says he did not know what to ex­pect be­fore he ar­rived in China.

He soon found the new en­vi­ron­ment en­cour­ag­ing. The coun­try was busy pre­par­ing for the Olympic Games in Bei­jing in 2008, and there was “a gen­eral en­thu­si­asm for change in the coun­try”, he says.

Al­though Chi­nese com­pa­nies were en­ter­ing new fields and needed overseas help, he was happy to see his Chi­nese team was well ed­u­cated and was keen to learn.

“So we had the right in­gre­di­ent,” he says. “They just needed some lead­er­ship to get ev­ery­body to pull in the right di­rec­tion.”

Early on Quiatkowski put a great deal of em­pha­sis on poli­cies and pro­ce­dures. It took some time for his Chi­nese col­leagues to un­der­stand his ap­proach and get used to new ways of do­ing things.

“It was a prac­ti­cal chal­lenge to let ev­ery­body un­der­stand we had to be­have in an in­ter­na­tional way if we wanted to en­ter the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket,” he says.

Drawingonhis in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence, Quiatkowski made train­ing a key part of his long-term strat­egy.

The joint ven­ture fre­quently sends groups of em­ploy­ees, 99 per­cent of whom are Chi­nese, to Bri­tain for train­ing.

“No mat­ter how good the cap­tain is, the ship still would not sail with­out a good crew,” he says.

The com­pany has put in bids against the strong­est in­ter­na­tional com­peti­tors and won the con­tract for a deep-wa­ter well test­ing project of a ma­jor Cana­dian en­ergy com­pany in 2008, mark­ing the first suc­cess­ful step for Chi­nese oil­field ser­vices com­pa­nies to go in­ter­na­tional.

Since then the com­pany has pro­vided oil test­ing ser­vices to more than 10 lead­ing in­ter­na­tional oil com­pa­nies.

Quiatkowski’s team pro­vided the ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy and highly trained Chi­nese crew that car­ried out well test­ing ser­vices on the six­th­gen­er­a­tion semi-sub­mersible oil rig CNOOC HY 981, which went into Peter Quiatkowski ser­vice in 2012.

It was the first in­de­pen­dent deep­wa­ter oil drilling op­er­a­tion by a Chi­nese com­pany, mak­ing China one of the few coun­tries that can ex­plore for deep-wa­ter oil and gas.

The team also in­tro­duced in­no­va­tive meth­ods to sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the time re­quired for sim­i­lar tasks.

This ex­em­pli­fied theChi­ne­seteam com­ing a long­way to­ward be­com­ing top-level play­ers in the field, he says.

“They are stretch­ing the bound­aries.”

Quiatkowski’sworkhas­been­rec­og­nized by the Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties. In 2014 he re­ceived the Friend­ship Award, the high­est honor given by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment to for­eign­ers who have made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to the coun­try’s so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

“It­means­so­muchto me. I feel like I should give back more.”

Apart from meet­ing China’s top lead­ers dur­ing the awards cer­e­mony, he was in­vited as a high-level for­eign ex­pert to join the pa­rade cel­e­brat­ing the 70th an­niver­sary of China’s vic­tory in the War against Ja­panese Ag­gres­sion (1937-45) in Bei­jing in Oc­to­ber last year.

Quiatkowski first vis­ited China in 1985, when he spent about a week in Peter Quiatkowski, Shen­zhen, an ex­per­i­men­tal area for the coun­try’s eco­nomic re­forms. He re­calls the city be­ing packed with bi­cy­cles and that it had no proper roads.

“It’s un­be­liev­able it could have changed so much in just 20 years,” says Quiatkowski, who re­vis­ited the city 10 years ago.

Over the years he has had the chance to travel ex­ten­sively in China for his work thanks to the com­pany’s many branches. Quiatkowski, who has also trav­eled pri­vately in the coun­try, says trav­el­ing has helped him to un­der­stand more about the coun­try.

“China was very much a closed book for a long time. When I came here I was sur­prised by­how­won­der­ful China’s his­tory is and how far back it goes,” he says.

While in China, Quiatkowski is keenly in­ter­ested not only in his work, but also in lo­cal life and cur­rent is­sues, such as pol­lu­tion.

China is go­ing through the same chal­lenges he ex­pe­ri­enced in Bri­tain when he was young, he says.

“I think it has to be ac­knowl­edged and changed. But I get a bit an­gry some­times when peo­ple (out­side China) are over­crit­i­cal of Chi­nese pol­lu­tion.

“We are not so spe­cial our­selves. We changed, and I also think China can change. It’s great that the gov­ern­ment has ac­knowl­edged the prob­lem and is tak­ing steps quickly to do some­thing about it.”

Quiatkowski is also en­gaged in char­i­ta­ble ef­forts. He made do­na­tions af­ter an earth­quake hit Sichuan prov­ince in 2008, and has also spon­sored more than 10 col­lege stu­dents from poor fam­i­lies.

He has re­cently be­come se­nior coun­try man­ager in China for Ex­pro Group, his fo­cus now be­ing to sup­port the joint ven­ture through its next stage of de­vel­op­ment.

“The Chi­nese side has been very open and en­thu­si­as­tic. They are al­ways hun­gry for more tech­nol­ogy and knowl­edge, while my com­pany fully rec­og­nizes that and wants to feed them.”

(sec­ond from right) with his col­leagues at Cosl-Ex­pro Test­ing Ser­vices, a Sino-UK joint ven­ture. No mat­ter how good the cap­tain is, the ship still would not sail with­out a good crew.” oil ex­pert

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