Working in the APACs Subsea Market: Survey Manager for Neptune

“When l was younger my holiday job was working at Berthon Marina Lymington as a Junior Dockmaster. As well as berthing yachts of the rich and famous, l used to see the odd yellow coastal survey boat. To me, this was far more interesting. I used to refuel these boats and look at the equipment on board. I guess that sparked my interest in the offshore industry and gave me guidance for my choice of University studies.”

Survey Manager James Hope has worked in the Subsea market in the Asia-Pacific region for over 10 years. After gaining the opportunity to work with Fugro-UDI Ltd as a Trainee Surveyor during his University studies, James began to develop his offshore career working with some of the industry’s leaders in the Subsea market.

Experiencing New Technologies

“I worked with Sonardyne for 11 years supporting projects using Mk3, Mk4, 5G and 6G technology; working with these products through their development cycles was interesting, like a microcosm for the last 20 years’ technology change in the offshore industry. One highlight included completing the first commercial use of Wideband LBL which was on the Dalia Project, West Africa in 2004. When the baseline data came in with such great repeatability, l pressed “ctrl-alt-del” as l thought it had hung-up. Another highlight was the completing the first commercial offshore project using 6G LBL which was on the Gumusut Project, Malaysia in 2010.

After setting up the survey department for Harkand, James then moved over to Neptune, one of Atlas’ key clients in the APAC region. ”Neptune came along with an exciting vision for expansion in Asia and beyond,” says James, “and having known the Neptune guys for a number of years, this was the right decision for me.

A Toolbox for our Clients

My role as Survey Manager at Neptune is actually very broad covering Business Development, Marketing, Tendering, Project Management, and Technical Support. One of the exciting aspects of Neptune is that with all the other services such as ROV, Stabilisation, Diving, Rope Access and Engineering under one roof, we have a toolbox to dig into to meet our clients’ needs no matter how obscure. So l like the fact l can receive a request from a client and that l can then piece together a bespoke solution of integrated services; a one-stop shop for the client which inherently brings technical and commercial benefits.

Atlas in Singapore and Perth

Over the years James has worked with multiple teams within Atlas. “I was even Mr February in Atlas’ 2015 calendar,” laughs James. “I’ve worked on some really interesting projects with Atlas. On the current project we’re collaborating on we are providing integrated Survey, ROV and stabilisation services in support of a pipelay construction in Argentina. It’s a very remote location and the environmental and weather conditions are very hostile; so the teams are doing the normal sort of work but with an added spirit of adventure.

It’s great that Atlas has a presence in Singapore, in the same time-zone and not too far away for a face-to-face. Work in Asia tends to have a shorter lead-time than in other regions, so reaction times are key for both tendering and project operations.”

With a new year ahead of us, James shares his thoughts on what 2017 will bring for Neptune in the APAC, “Being a relatively new set-up in Singapore the challenge has been building the relationships with clients that our competitors largely already have in place and advertising the fact that there is another option in town. The key emphasis is taking the excellent name and standards that Neptune’s Survey Team has established in Australia, and translating this to the market in SE Asia. Combining Survey with Neptune’s other services to provide turn-key solutions to clients is a key differentiator; in this market you need to stand-out from the crowd! It’s a slow process in a risk adverse and regulated industry, but hopefully 2017 will be a watershed year.”