A Typical Day of A Pipeline Engineer
“Pipeline engineers are responsible for the design, construction, operation, quality control, and maintenance of pipelines and pipeline transportation systems.”. We met Hassan Abba Disa, a Construction Engineer (Pipeline/Facility), corporate member Nigerian Society of Engineers and registered Engineer with the council for the regulation of engineering in Nigeria, COREN, who was happy to tell us about his work.
Who is a Construction Engineer?
Let’s simply say a construction Engineer is someone who is professionally trained to design, plan, and monitor the execution of projects such as facilities, civil infrastructure, pipelines, e.t.c
Why did you pick interest in it?
Since childhood, I look at myself as a problem solver. I like challenges – particularly technical. That, not any other thing puts me on the path of engineering. So when the opportunity unveiled itself, I seized it, and I love the fact that I work hard to solve the technical issue arising during work in my organisation.
How did you get your job?
It all started with the signing up and uploading my data on the website of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board. This is an agency that is mandated to ensure capable Nigerians have a fair share of representation in the Oil and Gas workforce in the country. After few months I got a call and an invitation for aptitude test in Lagos by Saipem Contracting Nig. Limited. At that time it was not a full-time job but a kind of on the Job training. Based on individual performance, a participant can secure full-time employment. The program was sponsored by Chevron Nigeria Limited. That was how I got through the stages of the test, the interview and finally resumed as Trainee Engineer in Saipem’s Operational base in Port Harcourt. So I can say I am a beneficiary of the Local content law of the Nigerian government.
How does your day runs typically
This depends basically on my location that day. I may be in the office, on the Right of Way (ROW) or any other work site like the fabrication workshop, e. t. c. However, let say a typical day with work to do in both the office and the ROW. I wake up around 5 am to bath and clean myself. I proceed to the small prayer ground where we congregate for the dawn prayer (Subh), after which I will proceed for breakfast in the canteen. All these take roughly one and a half hour to do. By 6:45 am, I will be at the office which is some hundred meters from the canteen.
Every working day we gather in the morning for a safety meeting called ‘Tool-Box’ talk. In this meeting, which lasts for about 15 minutes, different hazards associated with the job are analyzed, and best ways to eliminate them are proffered. Life experiences are also shared in some instances. Once in my workstation, I quickly run through my emails for any late mail that requires my attention. My sets of pipeline alignment sheets, work procedures and other typical drawings are in my folder and ready to go out. Based on what I want to do in the ROW, I inform the journey manager of my intention to visit so and so KP (kilometer point). He will provide all the necessary logistics and inform me when it is ready. And off we go.
At the site, I interact with the supervisor/foreman on site, the surveyor and the workers. If there are things to measure with the survey I explain to him my needs and he will take them for me, or some quantity to record for a daily progress report. Sometimes I go to stay with the team for up to 5 hours before returning to the site office. Now lunch has passed. I will be doing some document writing such as work procedures, lifting plans and checking quantities. If any meeting is scheduled in the afternoon, I attend. The two-afternoon prayers are what I do not miss. I try my best to offer them at their appropriate times. Fast forward and is now 5:45 pm – time to close for the day. I will proceed to take my bath and pray maghrib prayer, and after which I take my dinner.
The best part of your Job
Seeing different communities and serene natural landscape.
The most challenging part of your job
Staying away from your family for weeks sometimes months.
Advise to students who have interest in the field
To student that have interest in becoming a Construction Engineer; you have a whole lot of adventure awaiting you. You need to study hard. You should be aware that you will become a problem-solver, and problems can only be solved if you know how to use your tools to get a result. Your tools are the very lectures you are receiving now in schools. You need them. They will be handy someday - when a whole site looks up to you for a solution. Imagine you are the only engineer on site of about 200 workers and two-thirds of them got stranded because of a problem. Here everyone, including your top management, will count on you for a solution. So take your lectures seriously and seize the opportunity to learn the necessary software used in the industry. This will give you an edge when you get started.