Completion and well service Engineer

Thomas joined Perenco in 2017 after a 10-year experience in completion, mainly working for service companies. This mechanical engineer really appreciates being trusted by the company and loves the entrepreneurial freedom and the fluid decision-making process. All this allows him to apply his enthusiasm and know-how to the group drilling operations. A group he is keen to see achieve great things.

Can you describe your career pathway?

I graduated as an Engineer from the French “Ponts et Chaussées” (Civil Engineering), specialising in mechanical engineering. I chose to spend a year abroad, so I did my International Voluntary Service, at Total Gabon. I found that I liked the oil environment and this experience made me decide to do my 3rd year at the French Institute of Petroleum (IFP) School. I was sponsored by Halliburton, who was my first employer. I spent seven years working at this oil services company, as a drilling-completion engineer, mainly in West Africa. In 2014, I joined an operator, Shell, on mature wells in the Netherlands, as a completion engineer. I worked there for three years. My remit was the same except that before, I used to sell the very same services that I was now buying!

Why completion ?

At the end of my studies, I chose completion because it is a mechanical job, in perfect harmony with the way I work. When you put the material down in the well, you have little visibility. Yet, I visualise the well and because I have a good knowledge of my tools, I know the chronology to follow to put them down.
Completion is a pivotal step, the last stage of drilling before the production of a well. This step lasts anywhere between 36 hours to five days depending on the complexity of the operation.

Can you tell us about your professional journey with Perenco?

In 2017, I was contacted by Perenco. During the Oil industry crisis, the management had maintained a high level of investment. The company needed to strengthen the drilling team with completion expertise. In my eyes, my hiring demonstrates the Perenco state of mind; even in difficult times it is important to trust people and trust your company.
I already knew about the good reputation of Perenco, having worked in Africa. It is a small world. I accepted their offer immediately, especially since I knew that the career prospects were interesting.

How different is it, to work at Perenco?

At Perenco, I have a lot of flexibility, with room my own personal initiative and the ability to interact with operations. On the projects that I pilot, I can interact with contractors freely, unlike a larger company where things are more restricted and where there is less freedom and responsibility. 

In addition, the company offers the opportunity to follow different career paths. Here, I will have the opportunity to work in subsidiary and in drilling. Logically my next step will surely be a posting in Africa...

What do you think is your best contribution to Perenco?

My ability to structure different operations. My past experience allows me to challenge the proposals of service companies and to optimise projects.

Which one of your qualities is most appreciated at Perenco?

The ease of interaction with people, especially in the subsidiary, which has allowed me to properly play my supporting role.

How would you describe the company?

Perenco is an oil company which specialises in mature wells and operates at low cost to maintain the profitability of their projects. However low costs do not mean low quality. This involves thinking twice before committing budgets, being more innovative and using more efficient equipment.

Which corporate value(s) do you most admire at Perenco?

Trust. For two reasons.
The first is the confidence displayed by the management, who, at a time when the sector was going badly, continued to invest, even at the height of the crisis. The second is the trust they place in their employees, to operate in a different way, at a low cost and to encourage them to succeed.
It is bold and it works. Today, this model is copied.

What would you say to convince someone to join Perenco?

At Perenco, you do not get bored and you have considerable freedom with your work, to do your job in the way you best see fit. There are no unnecessary processes. In the company, at the end of the day, we talk about “making barrels”, it's healthy! We are all focused on production.

Staggered questions
  • Your favourite word and one that you hate ?

    None / Motionlessness 

  • A way to relieve stress ?

    I walk while on the phone.
    I am not stressed in my job. This has a lot to do with the working environment at Perenco and with the style of management.

  • In a football team, what position would you play?


  • What is your favourite acronym ?

    ESPN (A sports-focused television network) 

  • A character or person that you like to follow?

    The three Bretons from Lost in the swell and Roger Federer

  • What do you miss the most when you are far away?

    My social life in Paris

  • How do you stay connected to your loved ones?


  • Your favourite country ?


  • Your favourite holidays ?

    Hiking in the mountains.