Meet Paul Finch, SMS' new Hydraulic Services Specialist

4 July 2022

We caught up with Paul Finch, SMS’ new Hydraulic Services Specialist. Although “new”, Paul previously worked for SMS a few years back and we’re extremely pleased to see him return, utilising his wealth of experience within the industry and existing knowledge of SMS products and services to support our aftermarket services.

1. Welcome back to SMS Paul, would you mind quickly introducing yourself and your background in the Energy industry?

I’m Paul Finch. I’ve worked in the Oil & Gas Industry for over 20 years During this time I’ve carried out many roles from Service Technician, Projects Engineer, Engineering Manager, Operations Manager and now Hydraulic Services Specialist.

2. What made you choose SMS as the next step in your career, and what are you looking forward to the most in your new role as Hydraulic Services Specialist?

Returning to SMS was an easy decision for me. The company has always been a market leader in its space as hydraulic and electrical experts.  Now it is moving into new areas of the energy industry such as hydrogen and CCUS and exploring how its solutions can positively impact other sectors outside of the energy industry.  Therefore,  when the opportunity of Hydraulic Services Specialist came up at SMS, I felt it was a fantastic opportunity to rejoin the company and deploy the operational experience I’ve gained throughout my career.

3. For our clients, the end destination is exploratory and uncertain – how will you best support them on their journey?

Recently, I’ve focused on leading projects where simplification is the main objective. There are so many benefits to this.  In short, reducing equipment results in less maintenance and therefore fewer interventions.

With wellhead gas pressures depleting during the field life and wells being plugged and abandoned, hydraulic system pressures are generally higher than they need to be. A key element of SMS’s work is offering assistance to modify the associated hydraulic systems to lower working pressures.  We also supply simplified controls systems to reduce maintenance activities and improve the reliability of various systems.

4. In your opinion, what does the energy industry need for a successful transition?

From an SMS perspective, we need the whole supply chain to work seamlessly with the major energy companies to seek lasting solutions that will impact the industry positively not just for the next five or ten years but longer-term.  We are effectively rewiring the global energy system through our solutions, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to be part of that.

5. You have been in the industry for over 20 years – looking back, how has it changed over this time?

While the energy sector has evolved over the past 20 years, hydraulic control systems have seen different designs although the essentials have remained the same.

The main issue now presenting itself is obsolete components due to company takeovers and the ending of the production of certain components. Significant investment will be required to specify replacement components and implement the change in the not-so-distant future.

6. What’s the most memorable moment within your career to date?

The most memorable moment in my career must be when I made the decision to return to the UK from working in Malta and join Petrofac in 2008.  This opportunity exposed me to the life working for an operator and since then numerous companies such as Petrofac, Talisman Sinopec, BP and more recently Perenco UK.

Working for these companies allowed me to travel, meet and learn from some great professionals as well as gain valuable experience.

7. How do you spend your free time?

I’m a keen golfer, so in my free time I like to play golf at Gorleston Golf Club where I’ve held a membership for numerous years.

For the last 3 years I have managed my sons’ junior football team ‘Gorleston FC Hurricanes’. It’s rewarding seeing the lads enjoy themselves and how they’ve developed over the years.

I also practice a form of self defence called RAID where I enjoy learning various techniques, edged weapons defence and undertaking numerous conflict management and first aid courses.

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