Lise Holmen works as a process operator apprentice on the Goliat platform in the Barents Sea. She was inspired to work in the oil and gas industry by the infinite opportunities. 

 “There were so many new and exciting things to learn,” Lise says. She takes a positive view of the future and thinks that sustainability and green technology will infuse the industry with even more exciting opportunities. 

Lise is from Hammerfest, where she studied chemical processing and laboratory subjects at Hammerfest Upper Secondary School. She is an active and sociable young woman who likes to travel and discover new places, working out, and spending time with friends and family. Since August 2023, she has worked as an apprentice in Vår Energi, where she enjoys shift work and the offshore life. 

“We work 12-hour shifts, both day and night, so we start work either at 06:45 or 18:45,” she says. The workday starts with a shift change and handover, before they walk a log round through the facility to check that everything is in order. 

“There’s a lot of variation in what we do after the log round, since my workdays are generally very varied, but we’re often preparing for the jobs we’ll be doing. Then I walk with the operators and approve work permits. In-between the job out in the field, I work on the tasks I’m assigned by my mentor on each rotation, as well as reading up on things I have questions on,” she tells us.  

Close follow-up from the mentor

As an apprentice in Vår Energi, you are assigned your own mentor, which is one of our experienced employees within the discipline. The mentor will follow the apprentice closely throughout the apprenticeship period. So far, Lise feels that her mentor has contributed to both personal and professional development. 

“I have a mentor who brings me along for pretty much everything, and I can ask any questions I might have. I also work with plenty of bright people who teach me a lot, and include me in whatever’s going on, while at the same time challenging me so that I need to think for myself and gain a better understanding of the discipline,” she says. 

Safety in focus 

Safety is a crucial part of every workday.

“Safety is our primary focus, and something that always needs to be on our mind when we’re at work. We all have a responsibility when it comes to personal protective equipment, and you never go out in the field without a helmet, gloves, workwear and safety glasses,” Lise points out, and adds that she always takes the time to read procedures or double-check if she has any doubts. 

Important to contribute to the broader community 

When asked what you need to succeed in the oil and gas industry, Lise emphasises traits such as curiosity and an ability to contribute to the broader community. 

“Since we have so many different positions and opportunities in the industry, we need all types of people, but I think it’s important to be curious, critical, positive and willing to do the work for the broader community. When you work on a platform, you’re part of a small society, and a good working environment is something that’s highly valued,” she emphasises. 

Once she completes her apprenticeship, Lise hopes to secure a full-time job as an operator. Then she’s pretty much open for anything. 

“My hope is to work a few years as an operator before I potentially continue my education to become an engineer, but I’m kind of taking things as they come. I might decide that I don’t want to continue my education and that I prefer to work as an operator, so my plan is to keep all my options open, and then we’ll see what happens,” she says. 

Encourages other young people to take a chance 

In any event, she has a positive view of the future in the industry, particularly when it comes to sustainability and green technology. 

“I think sustainability and green technology will open up even more opportunities, and stimulate us to explore more efficient methods for operating plants and installations. It’s incredibly inspiring to be part of the energy transition, especially in an industry that often faces criticism. This drives us to always seek out new solutions and ideas, and I’m looking forward to contributing in this crucial change process.” 

“What’s your best advice for young people who are considering an apprenticeship in the oil and gas industry?” 

“Just apply, you won’t regret it. There are so many opportunities in the industry and the future will bring even more, particularly when it comes to the energy transition and new technology. Even if you’re in doubt, it won’t hurt to apply. Before you know it, you might be embarking on a new adventure and a new world; at least I did,” Lise Holmen says with a smile.