Alastair Haldane knows a thing or two about the importance of developing connections within the oil and gas sector, be it face-to-face at industry events such as the ones organised by the Petroleum Club of WA or digitally via the tech-startup Oncontractor.
“Two years ago I came on board as co-founder of Oncontractor. The platform may be described as an ‘Airtasker' for the engineering and the resource industries. It connects technical projects to pre-vetted professional contractors and enables them to be engaged across the platform while maintaining full statutory and insurance compliance,” said Mr Haldane.
The platform offers contractors the flexibility to work onsite or from home, with the administration side of onboarding, contracts and managing timesheets all automated.
“This elastic workforce model fits in well with the way industry is trending, with shorter project cycles, more market uncertainty, under-employment on the rise and more employees looking to supplement their regular income through the gig-economy,” continued Haldane.
The director’s 16-year career first began in geosciences in Adelaide before transitioning into Petroleum Engineering where he spent the majority of his technical career with BHP Petroleum in Perth, before leaving in 2008 to start a recruitment and consultancy business in oil and gas and adjacent industry sectors.
“While the move seemed unorthodox, I was keen to challenge myself in new areas and couple my engineering background with business. Nine years later, this first business, Rigforce is still operating and doing very well,” said Alastair.
The advocate for lifelong learning has been a Petroleum Club member for the last six years and first got involved because the clubs events offered a good balance of social and technical.
"The range of presentations and seminars provided by the Petroleum Club encourages people to come down out of their cubicles, and this is where the magic can happen. Connections are made, conversations are had, ideas and viewpoints are exchanged and you may just make a friend or two along the way.
"Perth tops the list for oil and gas expat assignments, so this drives up the calibre of technical professionals that arrive on our shores. Couple this with local expertise and some excellent petroleum schools and you have a real melting pot of ability.
"However, more is needed for the industry as a whole to excel. One of the key drivers of this is encouraging cross-pollination, and this is where the Petroleum Club adds significant value,” summarised Haldane.