Esso Australia Pty Ltd employee Steve O’Brien is retiring from the company after an impressive 43 years of service.
Steve, who has worked on all 14 staffed platforms in Bass Strait throughout his career, commenced with Esso Australia in 1971 as a Trainee Production Operator on Kingfish A platform after studying electrical engineering at the University of Melbourne.
Over his career, Steve has completed assignments in Malaysia, Scotland, Norway, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria. Since 2003 he has worked in Bass Strait, the last few years on natural gas fields as a Field Superintendent.
Steve said it was exciting being involved in the early developmental years of Australia’s offshore oil and natural gas industry.
“I have loved the variety of day-to-day challenges – through to this day – and the opportunities that working for Esso has provided.
“The people I’ve worked with, both in the field and in the various offices have really become a second family,” he said.
Steve said he has seen many changes over his 43 years with the company.
“It is amazing to have seen the change where the belief in being able to operate in a hurt-free environment became a reality. This was no more than a far-away dream in the ‘70s where a full safety personal protective equipment kit consisted of an aluminium hardhat and a pair of Redwing boots!
“Also, the technological changes in terms of moving from typewriters through to word processors and into PC’s, laptops, and now tablets, and going from completely pneumatic instrumentation and controls to the sophisticated computer controlled process systems of today. I’ve definitely seen a great deal of change.
“What haven’t changed are the people! The faces sure look a bit younger, but their hearts and souls are the same,” he said.
Operations Superintendent Bryan Pickett said Steve has made an outstanding contribution to ExxonMobil’s operations both in Gippsland and abroad.
“We thank Steve for his many years of service. To work for the same organisation for 43 years is a remarkable achievement,” he said.
Steve, who has previously lived in Gippsland and now lives on Phillip Island, is looking forward to enjoying retirement and spending time with wife Margie and his children and grandchildren.
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