The Malaysian oil and gas engineering fraternity seems surprisingly small. I don’t know whether it’s because people job hop a lot, hence old colleagues turn up in unexpected places. Perhaps a Malaysian engineer’s goodwill (‘ihsan’ in my old Perdagangan subject) and reputation spreads more rapidly than you’d expect, thereby making it seems that I know a person, but it turns out that the one big break (or big foobar) of her career has been magnified, embellished and edited for an additional shock factor. Or it could be that the community is small, for a reason I will pursue in another entry.
What I would like to ask is, why would an engineering company provide assistance to another, especially one that might be considered a current or future competitor? Examples of such help would be seconding your engineers to work in a competing company. An example would be seconding people between MMC, Ranhill Worley Parsons, or Technip. They are all in the EPCC market, and I presume would like more work then they could cope with. It seems even stranger if you consider niche skills, examples of which are flow assurance, HAZOP and HAZID facilitation, custody measurement and dynamic simulation. Why help each other?
The secondee’s company might be considered as manpower supply company if it’s not careful, with the receiving company getting all the glory. Is this situation a reflection of the above small community, where friendships and the requirement to keep good relations outweighs the benefits of watching your competitor take a dive? Or do you hope that your goodwill is reciprocated such that you will be the favoured partner of choice? Or is the company in a do or die situation, a survival mode where it will do strange and terrible things so that it may live?