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Man’s Attitude, Man’s Work

Date of publication: 21 February 2018 Printable version

Oil transportation is traditionally deemed a purely man’s occupation since the working conditions are too harsh and dangerous. Nonetheless, experience, common sense and resourcefulness attained in the navy and in the army help to cope with any situation, even the most difficult one, with grace, brilliance and ardour.

A brilliant example is career histories of employees from Volgograd Regional Oil Pipeline Directorate (Transneft Volga Region).

Sergey Pligin: “This is a year of jubilees for me”

Sergey, Head of Production Service Shop at Volgograd RPD, expects to celebrate four jubilees this year:

“The year of 2018 brings 40 years of total employment, 30 years of marital relationship, 20 years with the Company and 10 years of heading the production service shop. The business unit I’m heading is officially called the production service shop — we handle current repairs and restoration of equipment at oil pumping stations. However, the informal, behind-our-backs name of my territory is ‘the shop of Pligin’s eagles’. Frankly speaking, such popular recognition is pleasing,” Sergey smiles.

Sergey has nearly 200 subordinates – electricians, electrical engineers, mechanics, machine operators –all those professionals who are needed to ensure continuous and emergency-free pumping of oil from the production site to the site of refining, and the Volgograd section alone  runs more than 800 kilometres. The work is abundant, and it is performed by top-ranked professionals:

“Nowadays, we have the junction period when ‘elders’ retire after many years of good work, and young people replace them, adopting invaluable experience. As a result, in 2016 we won 1st place in the Best Occupational Safety Business Unit contest, and all my employees received a weighty salary rise throughout the year. You’ll agree that it’s a good incentive to do one’s best!”

Mikhail Smuzhevich, an operator of multiple machine types: “Both of my sons work with the Company”

Mikhail has been with the Company for 33 years:

“I joined the Company in 1985. I had moved to Volgograd Region from Ukraine and was looking for a job. As it turned our later, I found the job not only for myself. It took only 3 months for me to receive an apartment, and later on I was sent for refreshment. As a result, from a milling machine operator I grew into an operator of multiple machine types. At the time, nobody knew my profession would be unique and machine operators would become invaluable. It will be fair to note that young workers are now joining the Company, they are receive training, and if a person is able, they become a master in 2-3 years of practice,” Mikhail says.

One of his sons chose his father’s path. In fact, both of his sons work with Volgograd RPD, one as an engineer with the Volgograd RPD executive office, and the other is an electrician at the PSS along with his father. Isn’t it a sign of the Company’s reliability and stability? No father would bring his child to a place where conditions are poor, no money is paid and honest labour is disrespected. The Transneft system has created all the proper conditions. The main point is to do a good job.

Vyacheslav Shastun, an electrical engineer for automation and process equipment devices: “One cannot get by without higher education now.”

Vyacheslav has been with the Company for 23 years. He joined the team on a friend’s advice in the hard 1990s. As of now, Vyacheslav’s profession is akin to magic. He is an electrical engineer for automation and process equipment devices. Such a long and obscure name means the position of an electronics engineer who must maintain operability of telemetry tools installed throughout the oil pipeline route:

“There are a lot of instruments, and they monitor a lot of parameters, including the condition of the trunk pipeline, the pressure in it. Should any parameters be over or below the norm, the automatics will note that and issue an alarm signal. Our main task is to maintain the facilities in good order. Therefore, we are always ready to pack our bags and leave to eliminate a problem. This determines both emergency-free functioning of the pipeline and security of the neighbouring facilities.”

“This is a hard man’s work, but the team is everything here. The guys will always help, lend a hand or give a piece of advice. Modern telemetry equipment is not a box with transistors, it’s high-precision devices based on cutting-edge achievements in electronics. So you can’t do without higher education in the profession. Electronics does not favour the untrained,” Vyacheslav says.

Andrey Rybnikov: “An electrical equipment repair fitter is like a sapper clearing a minefield – makes only one mistake”

Andrey joined the Company 10 years ago, the very year when the production service shop was established. It was pretty much a coerced step. The man was working as an electrician at a kolkhoz which went bust, and the family was completely broke:

“Safety practices are the main point in our work. Just like a sapper clearing a minefield, an electrical equipment repair fitter makes only one mistake. Joking aside, I must work with extremely high voltages, because the Company operates the 6 kV and 10 kV grids. I routinely work with such grid voltages. Indeed, timely maintenance is key to successful and emergency-free operation,” Andrey says.

“The work is hard, responsible; I go on trips regularly, it’s the nature of my job. However, I’ve never regretted my choice. There’s no other place to find such a job now. It does require huge responsibility, but it is a real man’s job that requires a man’s attitude. Besides, it offers a decent salary, medical and social services, a friendly and cohesive team — what else would one need?” Andrey says.

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