Background: Jinda Nelson is Decommissioning Development Manager for Bilfinger Salamis UK. Her passion for the decom sector is reflected by her role as Chair of the Decom North Sea Board of Directors, in which she has been at the forefront of the membership organisation’s evolution since late 2019.
How did you get into the Energy sector and how long have you been working in it?
As an Architectural Technologist to trade, with a fascination for all things construction, my energy career started in 2013 when I joined Bilfinger Salamis UK as Technical Development Engineer. Following that, I moved into the role of Innovation and Technical Development Engineer, before taking up my current role as Decommissioning Development Manager in January 2020.
What does your job involve on an average day?
Sitting between operations and business development, I’m involved in securing and implementing decommissioning projects from pre-tender stage to post-project closeout. I identify potential decommissioning projects, look at collaborative working methods and - where necessary – identify new ways of working. That’s the really exciting part of decommissioning; no two jobs are ever the same, are never quite what you expect and provide great scope for problem solving and innovation.
What are main challenges for the decommissioning sector at present and how can they be addressed?
Having transitioned into the energy sector relatively recently, I’ve always had a clear view of the inevitable change wrought by an energy transition and the potential that holds for late life/decommissioning. However, it can be difficult for some supply chain organisations to see decommissioning as a significant part of their revenue stream, or one worth investing in, and that’s a real challenge to the sustainability of the supply chain and indeed the sector itself.
Decommissioning is a fundamental step in the energy transition and the critical word there is “step”. Decommissioning does not have an end date. Not only is there a sustainable growth chain for the decommissioning of existing oil and gas assets, but in due course the required decommissioning of renewable energy assets, as well as hybrid fields and assets will sustain the decommissioning sector of the future for many decades to come.
The potential is huge, but to help the supply chain optimise that potential, we need to clarify exactly what decommissioning means to the energy transition and this happens via industry bodies such as Decom North Sea. Learning events, networking and facilitating collaboration are all critical to the ongoing clarification and highlighting of opportunities.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I was delighted to be appointed as Chair of Decom North Sea’s Board of Directors in late 2019. Established over a decade ago, the organisation has evolved hugely over the past 18 months and it’s been a genuine honour to be involved in this transition. We have truly aligned with the energy landscape and needs of our members. It’s been an exponential learning curve for me and given me huge satisfaction and enjoyment.
Who has been the most influential person in your life professionally?
My Dad, whose ethos of hard work has proved invaluable to me throughout my career. When I was younger, I remember him giving me a piece of wood to saw, and when I found it “too hard”, his response was: “Just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean you give up”. I can genuinely say I’ve tried to embody that motto ever since and it’s proved so helpful in my career. Another gem from him came when I was feeling overwhelmed with school or university work, he would say: “How do you eat an elephant?” and the answer was, “One bite at a time!” In other words, take things canny and keep steadily working towards your goal, whatever that may be.
Given the experience you have now, what advice would you give a graduate just starting their career in the Energy sector?
The energy sector is evolving at a rate of knots, so today’s graduate must be ready to remain fleet of foot, open to change (change only increases the opportunities), ready to consider relocation and generally be open to the myriad opportunities that are coming their way. Trust your gut instinct and if you’re at least 60% sure an opportunity is a good one, then it’s worth pursuing.
Finding a good mentor is hard to beat; you’ll turn to them for advice again and again, and they’ll be happy to give it; don’t forget that.
And finally, do not ever impose a glass ceiling upon yourself – the world is your oyster. It doesn’t matter what your goal is, set yourself a strategy to achieve it and you’ll be well on your way to success.
Read the latest issue of the OGV Energy magazine HERE.
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