Working for a family company is totally different. Gibone: “In 1975 Hubert Perrodo founded Perenco - PERrodo ENergy COmpany. Nowadays, his son François is leading the company with about 8.000 people. I crossed him once in the corridor one day and only being in the company for a few months, he asked: ‘How are you doing Franck? How is your wife?’ I was amazed to see that he knows us all by our first names and who is where doing what.”
“THERE IS NO CREATIVITY WHEN A COMPANY IS ON RISK ADVERSE STOCK MARKET”
Perenco is a company where people feel free and encouraged to suggest new ideas, which drives innovation. This close relationship between the owners and their employees has a positive impact on a reduced employee turnover. “Employments of 10 years are not an exception; we put our logo on our hearts.” Family-owned businesses and corporate companies differ in multiple ways related to culture, creativity and career development.
Since inception, the company has diversified to become Europe’s largest independent oil and gas company. The company operates both onshore and offshore within 14 countries throughout the world from Northern Europe to Africa, South America and South-East Asia. Gibone tells: “Whereas we are a worldwide company, our roots remain in West Africa. Our business model is focused on acquiring mature fields from the oil majors, cut costs and re-boost the Oil and gas output of the said field.”
A dynamic that is always challenging for an E&P company are the fluctuations/cyclicality of the market. When the market get’s low, the activity goes down and the contractors struggle to survive (exposing an O&G producer to certain risks) and when the market goes back up, the contractors rule their conditions. To reduce this fluctuating exposure and in order to better control operational costs, Perenco has decided in certain specific cases, to buy assets or builds dedicated tools to their activity. It is in this state of mind that the company’s service branch first came in contact with Wagenborg. Gibone: “In terms of regulations and way of working the North Sea is quite different compared to other regions we are active in. That is why we wanted to have a shared asset to with a 3rd party North Sea operator. We spoke with various ship owners, including
After considering various offers – Wagenborg was still in the pile of offers. “We were looking for a blue chip owner ready to put ‘skin in the game’”, Gibone continues. “We looked at the Wagenborg offer again and they were willing to take more risks than others as well as share the ownership of the vessel; exactly what we were looking for. Wagenborg team, namely Paul and Edwin confirmed this positive feeling in the many conversations that followed. The walk-to-work vessel Keizersborg was the result after delivery by shipyard Niestern Sander with less than 1% deviation in budget and time.”
"We were looking for a blue chip owner ready to put ‘skin in the game’."
The family and independent structure of both Wagenborg and Perenco results in agility and has proven to be valuable. “After seven months we are happy with how the contract is handled”, Gibone continues. “The quality of the Wagenborg people is excellent. We have weekly operational meetings in which transparency is key. We both tell the truth and nothing but the truth. I’ll give you an example: recently I was informed by our ultimate client that we had an issue with the gangway. As Wagenborg was the operator, I wanted to reach out to my contacts to see what was going on and why they had not inform me yet. Before I could do that an email arrived in which Wagenborg were giving me a complete update on the situation. This was only within 30 minutes! It is easy to hide stuff, but efficient communication is a proof of professionalism."
"Efficient communication is a proof of professionalism."