At the top of his game

The catalyst

Although ONE went into business only a few years ago, it’s already the largest privately owned exploration and production operating company in The Netherlands – producing nearly 9,000 Barrel of Oil Equivalent (BOE) per day. Joan Horbeek’s role in the production is of importance. “When ONE approached me, I was working as a Drilling Superintendent for GDF Suez in Den Helder. What ONE wanted me to do, was to build a Drilling & Completion team from scratch. The challenge to do so and to manage the team’s operations with strong focus on cost and time efficiency, appealed to me.”

Just do it

In 1980, Joan Horbeek began his drilling career as a trainee and worked on several land rigs in The Netherlands. Nowadays he’s Drilling Manager – basically one of the highest positions you can hold within the industry. If we ask Joan whether he ever expected that, he says: “When I was in school, companies like Shell came by to ask who wanted a job. When I started working for them, I was told that one in five guys would become a Drilling Supervisor, so that is what I set my sights on. I didn’t expect to get the position I now have. What I did, during my entire career, was never say ‘no’. No matter what it was, whether it was a job in the Philippines or in Syria, I would just take it. This attitude has helped me to get to where I am now. Keep it simple. Deliver as promised within time and budget. No accidents.”

Challenging projects

In 2011 Joan’s team successfully completed the MSG-03 well, a challenging well drilled from an onshore location at the Maasvlakte (Rotterdam) into the Dutch offshore Q16 block. The gas reservoir is located just over one kilometre from shore and at a depth of about 2,5 kilometres below the sea bed. “Offshore drilling projects from land are a technical challenge, but the team did a great job, so it all worked out very well”, says Joan. At the end of 2012 the 5800 m long L11b-A08 well was drilled from the production platform L11b without any of the problems faced by previous teams with wells into the same reservoir. This well was hooked up within days for production. When we asked Joan if the MSG-03 well is the most interesting project he’s ever been involved in, he says this: “For sure this project was very fascinating. There’s also one other project which I will never forget; the Malampaya deep water Gas-to-Power project. Besides it being the first undertaking of its kind in the Philippines, we also used state-of-the-art deepwater technology to draw natural gas from deep beneath Philippino waters. Another thing that was really nice about the project, was the local crew. The people were very pleasant to work with. We worked hard, but we also made time to organise things like go-kart nights with the locals, which were a lot of fun. I find that typical for our business: basically it’s a no nonsense world, but we also know how to throw a good party.”

Atlas: a serious partner

“I find Atlas pleasant and beneficial to work with – they are a serious partner that I can talk openly to about anything that’s happening on the job”, states Joan. Together with Joan, Atlas Services Group has created the drilling teams of Oranje-Nassau Energie BV.