Our Operations Director, Richard Bell reflects on the past year and what lies ahead:
I think it’s safe to say that for that vast majority of the entire world, 2020 has been a year like no other witnessed previously. For our industry, when you add to that the oil price crash, the challenge has been immense. It is therefore with great pride that I can say Apollo has met the challenge head-on and 2020 has been an incredibly successful year.
We have continued to grow, exceed revenue targets and win some large oil and gas, renewable, marine and people contracts. Not only win them but deliver on these projects.
The first couple of months were incredibly positive. We had started the year the way we ended 2019, increasing our client base and increasing market share across oil and gas and the renewable sectors. There was a general feel in the air that we had finally shaken off 2015 and the industry was feeling like it was in a pretty good place.
As we got into spring, two things were clear. COVID-19 was going to have a major impact on our industry and our business, and the oil price was heading only one way. The moment that stands out for me was the 19th of April when oil prices turned negative for the first time, it was a moment of uncertainty for everyone in the industry.
We knew we had to react quickly. Apollo has adopted a flexible working approach for several years; however, our systems had never been tested on this scale. Our priorities remained the mental and physical wellbeing of our people and an uninterrupted service to our clients. Operating a flexible business strategy meant that we acted quickly to evaluate how our clients operated, how we could still reach them and make sure that we were able to still deliver when they needed.
The leadership team at Apollo believe that transparency is key to everything we do. We opted for weekly company updates where we would take named and anonymous questions where nothing was off-limits and this meant some uncomfortable conversations at times, particularly as we didn’t have all the answers in such uncertain times.
We knew living our core values would be vital to surviving and thriving and changing to a fully remote business overnight meant that for values that we were proud of, this would put them to the test.
I cannot commend our social committee and employees high enough for not only looking after each other but the enthusiasm to host virtual events based around enjoyment and physical and mental wellbeing. They were important to everyone, including the leadership team. The creativeness and enthusiasm (that was often unprompted) was incredible and I want to extend my personal thanks to everyone for letting me win the games every single week (at least that is how I remember it).
During the summer we were successful in winning our biggest marine EPC scope to date where we were awarded the changeout of a Thruster on an FPSO. Winning this competitive tender when up against most engineering companies in Aberdeen was further evidence that Apollo is trusted to deliver when it matters.
Another fantastic win was working with Wave Energy Scotland on our Quick Connector system, utilising our knowledge of the floating production environment to translate that knowledge to support the energy transition.
We began to offer a phased approach back to the office around September. Social distancing measures in place, a new one-way system and PPE kits given to every member of staff. This meant that for those that wanted to… the office was open to provide the human contact that is so important.
September was a time for celebrating, although in a different style to normal as we hit the big 10. This time also brought us the news of winning the Total consultancy and EnQuest Engineering Assurance contracts. I have said it already, but further proof of our growing reputation for delivering on quality and price.
Now we are approaching 2021, we are looking forward to the next 10 years. We plan to continue to put our employees and clients first. We will continue to look to grow our market share in the North Sea where we believe there are still may great successes. We will continue to grow internationally and we will continue to be a vocal champion of the energy transition.
But before that, the majority of the team get the chance to take some well-earned time off. Spend time with family and come back to a better looking 2021