Greater Mahogany: Women in action

The Mahogany Hub, comprising the Mahogany Alpha (A) and Bravo (B) platforms, handles 32% of bpTT’s daily production. The Hub is considered one of the flagship hubs for future reserves development at bpTT. True to form, over the next 3 years, it is expected that production from the Savonette 05, 06 and 07 wells; Mahogany A wells; and from the Juniper subsea manifold tie-in will all flow through the Hub. This means that the capacity of the Mahogany Hub must practically be doubled from 650mmscfd (million standard cubic feet a day) to 1 billion standard cubic feet a day (bscfd).

Working in support of increasing the capacity of the Hub are a band of six women who comprise the sum total of the female workforce supporting the Greater Mahogany Area (GMA). Here they give us a quick snapshot of what they are doing to ensure that the Mahogany Hub lives up to its claim to be a flagship asset within the bpTT portfolio.

“Increasing the capacity of the Mahogany Hub is a task that has called for a multidisciplinary approach across the Operations Area Engineering team and has required every man and in this case GMA woman on deck!” so says Cheeriche Eccles, the acting Engineering Team Lead for the GMA and leader of the erstwhile group of women. She continues, “Together, all of us women work to support the execution of the debottlenecking study that will help the Operations function understand what is restricting the current capacity of the Hub so the restriction can be removed and the capacity safely increased to 1bscfd.”

Cheeriche speaks passionately about the debottlenecking study and it is not hard to see why. As the mechanical engineer assigned to the project, she has a hand in practically every major area of the study. 

She says, “I am responsible for ensuring the completion of all the mechanical and structural assessments for the project and identifying any potential failure risks and remedial actions required to safely achieve increased production on the Hub.” It is unsurprising then that Cheeriche’s list of activities to be managed reads like a rap sheet of things to be planned, implemented, completed and monitored! Notwithstanding she also has the formidable task of managing and also mentoring the entire cohort of GMA women as well! 

Annia Phillips, a challenge mechanical engineer, having joined bpTT in 2012, is being mentored through the project by Cheeriche. In shadowing Cheeriche, Annia has also been involved in data collection, model design, supporting risk assessment close out actions and actually being on the Mahogany facility for offshore implementation activities. Cheeriche has definitely made a strong impression on Phillips. She says, “Cheeriche is very knowledgeable and has a lot of experience…she has been a great mentor and coach.”  

As a process engineer on the GMA Team, it comes as no surprise that Amanda Ramesar’s work centres on hydraulics analysis for the debottlenecking study. Hydraulics analysis can, among other things, help identify bottlenecks that are restricting the Mahogany Hub’s capacity. She is also the woman they call on to conduct process calculations, risk and hazard analysis and operations planning and procedures for implementation of equipment needed in the field.

Savi Sookdeo is another process engineer and challenger thrown into the mix. Savi supports Amanda in the field and also provides flow assurance work for the team.  She says “I am making sure that there is safe and efficient delivery of hydrocarbons through the facilities’ pipelines.” Since joining the company three years ago, she has rotated through several roles before ending up in the GMA team. She comments that, “the team spirit I have encountered among the GMA women is incredible and provides an environment that I can excel in.”

Complementing Amanda’s work is Vashti Goorahlal (seconded to bpTT from Worley Parsons) who is responsible for evaluating the equipment to be installed on the platform and mitigating any associated potential risks they may pose to the system. Between Savi, Amanda and Vashti, process engineers make up 50% of the women of GMA group. This significance is not lost on Vashti as she comments, “at bpTT approximately half of all process engineers are actually women.” 

Jo-Anne Jones is the team’s P2P (Purchase to Pay) coordinator and plays and important part in the procurement of materials to ensure that the suppliers for the project get paid on time so there is no interruption in the procuring of equipment for the study. 

Providing administrative support to the GMA women is Genya Lewis-Lowe, who in the opinion of many is like the glue that bands them together. Through her twenty years at bpTT, Genya has been a constant on the team and has made sure that the ladies want for nothing in the office environment – from securing new laptops to booking meeting rooms – Genya’s hard work behind the scenes goes a long way to ensuring their overall success. 

Although women form a small part of the GMA team working on the debottlenecking study, their work is having a big impact on the bpTT business creating both increased value and increased volumes for bpTT and Trinidad and Tobago. So far the debottlenecking study has increased the capacity of the Mahogany Hub from 650 to 750mmscfd. The women in action on GMA prove that women are leading the way in the technical fields within bpTT and in what is largely a male dominated oil and gas industry…but perhaps it is Annia, the newest member of the GMA women who sums it up best. She says “[since joining the company] I have never felt limited in what is possible for me to achieve here at bpTT, there is so much opportunity for growth and it isn’t biased.” These are definitely exciting times for women at bpTT!