The opportunity to study online couldn’t have come at a better time. It introduced structure to my day that was missing due to both my personal circumstances and everything that was going on around me. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to study at my own pace. I had a routine: gym in the morning, followed by coursework and studying, breaking it down into two-to-three hours each day.
Learning from others
I don’t have a legal background, but I could have spoken with the course coordinator Professor John Paterson for days about the regulatory aspects of decommissioning. He was hugely engaging. I especially enjoyed being able to share my own stories and experiences with colleagues on the course, and in hearing theirs. That level of interaction was really important, allowing me to learn from others while I studied on my own.
Beyond my operational experience, I actually knew relatively little about the regulatory aspects of decommissioning prior to starting the course. I had worked with operators who had reached cessation of production and as a consequence were withdrawing from pipeline systems, but like a lot of companies, we were really finding our feet with decommissioning programmes and in engaging with the regulator. Today, operators are trying to combine the physical process of removing offshore installations with the law that dictates how it should be done – and in practice that is extremely challenging.