Bilfinger Tebodin develops the Oil&Gas market in Poland

During 40 year-career in industry, Waldemar Barsul observed changes in Oil & Gas sector, appearance of new types of projects and development of Polish market in general. On the position of Director Oil & Gas department, Waldemar shares the industry trends, his own experience and vision of the future.


1. How long have you been involved in Oil&Gas industry at Bilfinger Tebodin?


In 2020, it is already 40 years of my career in this field, working in a broadly defined industrial sector. 12 years ago, I have started at Bilfinger Tebodin as an associate and supervision inspector for Grupa LOTOS S.A. – big oil company based in Gdańsk, Poland.

Later on, I became a project manager for a large project with this client – a so-called 10+ Program, that is an increase in crude oil processing capacity from 5 to 10,5 million tons per year.  
I managed a group of 44 specialists and when completing this project, the client registered myself at the Polish Chamber of Civil Engineers, where in 2009 I was awarded with a Silver Medal of Honor for personal contribution and commitment to the success of the 10+ Program.


2. What is the client like on the Oil & Gas market today? What does the client particularly pay attention to?


The client on the Polish Oil & Gas market is aware of the choice. They pay attention to the quality of suppliers’ teams first. Repeatedly, we return to the client at their request. For me this is the best proof of the right approach we follow – being a part of our client’s team and following the interests of their business.

From the client perspective, I would say that in this industry, like nowhere else, it is crucial to have a reliable partner with competent team of professionals. There are not so many companies with established position in oil & gas services in Poland. I am proud to say that Bilfinger Tebodin has the competence, the experience and a professional team. Once we establish reliable relationships with a client, we go along together, and clients tend to prefer framework agreements. We are proud to work with Polish clients in such conditions, providing quality service all along their way to extend and maintain their business.

Today I see more and more interesting projects appearing, implementing new technologies or even crossing the industry borders. A good recent example from our portfolio is Clariant project in Romania – a 2-nd generation bio-ethanol plant. It is somewhere in between chemical and oil & gas markets, a totally new technology. And this experience with Clariant is bioethanol sphere is what Bilfinger Tebodin is proud of.


3. Comparison - when you have started years ago versus present time - what has changed on the Oil & Gas market in Poland?


Actually, a lot has changed and industry keeps developing fast. The energy policy and diversification of crude oil supplies changed even while we were supervising the construction of a new T1 terminal for Naftoport tankers.

As for the refining industry, we see clients strive to increase oil processing capacity.  In 2019, we started cooperation with PERN S.A. and we have been providing services during the construction of oil and fuel tanks in 7 locations across the country.

These examples show that Poland is becoming a strong partner for east-west relations. Oil supplies are made not only from the east, but also through Naftoport in Gdańsk through incoming tankers from such directions as Kuwait, Iran, and Iraq. The crude oil is not only transferred from Naftoport in Gdańsk to the refinery in Gdańsk, but also to the refinery in Germany. To secure and make critical reserves of oil and fuels in our country, PERN S.A. as a logistics operator has been building storage tanks for many years, also with our participation.

Such future projects as construction of gas transmission pipelines and gas transfer to Poland from Norway and the Baltic Sea are a challenge for the next 10 years. In this way, we can secure the supply of this raw material not only for ourselves but also to transfer to Germany and Ukraine.


4. Which project was the biggest challenge for you and why? How did you manage it?


The biggest challenge I see is proper organization of the group of our specialists. Doing things first-time right, especially when it comest to team set-up, helps us save a lot of time. For the client time means money.

Moreover, I am very sensitive while choosing partners. Prior to a project start, I have an average of 10 meetings a day for several days with our subcontractors, in order to select the best ones. In the end it turned out, that I chose well.


5. Unusual projects stories related to Oil & Gas?


Every project is unusual, no matter is it small or big, is it in Poland or Romania, or if the client is local or international. All of them are unique and precious to the client, and I understand it very well.

However, the project that most stuck in my memory (I cannot say for whom), is when we managed to persuade the client and the general contractor to prepare the contractual conditions by ourselves. Firstly, our team proposed the FIDIC contractual conditions, and then we created special conditions for this contract and developed a cooperation agreement. The difficulty in implementing these conditions was the specialized equipment produced only in one of the European countries. With our participation and audits during the prefabrication, we were able to meet the deadline and the quality of manufactured devices. It was a very successful project.

The team of Bilfinger Tebodin in Poland has top-class certified project managers, supervising inspectors, construction engineers and administrators. Together with experienced people in Oil & Gas industry, there are also young people who are currently gaining experience. Seems like this team can take on any challenge! For more information, please contact Waldemar Barsul or George Cursaru.

Аuthor: Waldemar Barsul

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