Rune Woie, innovation ambassador

PHOTO: Rune Woie and Kristine Midtgarden inspect the Tor ll tubing orientation module being machined in Jorpeland, Norway in July 2018.

By Vilde Fagerland  

Manager Wells Projects and 2021 SPIRIT Award Innovation Champion Rune Woie takes pride in being versatile and committed.

Over the course of his career, he has shaped drilling and well plans and secured approval for 25 development and operation plans.

He has also been awarded some 10 patents for his innovative designs.  

Innovation, continuous improvement and safety

There is little that gets Rune going as much as innovation and a focus on continuous improvement. 

group of workers gathered in front of large yellow metal structure
Rune and colleagues inspect the Tor ll subsea template in Tanager in September 2019. Click here to read more about the Tor II project. 

He knows that one of the keys to achieving both is workplace diversity, including age, gender and culture, and he’s committed to including all team members with a particular focus on involving more women in roles that have traditionally been dominated by men.  

“Interactive teamwork makes all the difference.  As a leader, my job is to be there to guide people and cheer them on where and when needed,” he said. "I'm passionate about safety and continuous improvement."

As a leader, my job is to be there to guide people and cheer them on where and when needed.

Rune Woie

“I see the importance of good leadership, which is about developing, guiding and being there for my colleagues. They need to feel confident someone is there who will speak up before they go too far.”  

Rune asks colleagues lots of questions with the goal of helping people progress in their thought processes and project development.  

“You have to work safely to work efficiently," Rune said. "These things go hand in hand."

Self-renewal eliminates limitations

“Parts of any job deal with identifying and eliminating obstacles. To do that, it’s important to think self-renewal, and get rid of old limitations.”  

Before joining ConocoPhillips, Rune worked for 15 years as a consultant for various operating companies. While that work experience was an adventure, being a full-time employee at ConocoPhillips gives him a greater foundation for making a difference and for seeing the big picture of how the company and the industry work.

view of a bridge with several tall, narrow framework structures in background
Rune was instrumental in the selection of these artic-equipped rigs built in Singapore.

“You’re not just contracted in to do a specific job, you have to identify and analyze what’s needed, find the right measures and implement them in the best way possible,” he said. “There’s a big difference between fulltime and temporary employment, but a common denominator is you have to stay relevant and up-to-date. It’s a bit like grandchildren. If I want to motivate them to come along with me to my cabin, I have to stay up-to-date and relevant, otherwise I’ll be boring. Family is important for me; it’s something I think about a lot. I want to teach them basic skills with hammers, knives and saws. I also want to teach them how to row, fish and prepare food. Versatility always comes in handy later.”  

Alaska scouting expedition

In 2012, Rune was selected to take part in an exploration operation in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea as project drilling manager.

“It was a fantastic personal and professional experience. One of the most interesting parts was building trust among the indigenous population. Many were skeptical of the projects, and it was important to build networks. We gained trust by being completely honest. We showed them our plans, which they endorsed. We met them on their turf and participated in the annual Nalukataq whale festival.”

small group of people and spectators in a large room practicing a dance
Rune participates in a traditional dance during the Nalukataq whale festival.

Ever the outdoorsmen, Rune described his time in Alaska as a good "scouting expedition" with fishing, skiing, hiking, and even some prospecting for gold.

Passion motivates

Rune believes that you must have passion for what you do to motivate others.  

“That’s how you create innovation, and that’s when workdays are really rewarding. We’ve managed to achieve that with new technologies involving simplifications, and reduced costs for the Tor II subsea development have been great. We’re taking this culture of innovation with us into the next planned development projects, with further improved safety and costs.”

man on one knee and holding a large fish in outdoor area with tall grasses and mountains in background
An avid outdoorsman, Rune found Alaska to be a fisherman's paradise.

Innovation Champion nomination

Submitted by Rune's colleague Nan Dahl

Rune has for several years played a leading role in creating an environment conducive to innovation in Norway.

Graphic: Recipient ConocoPhillips 2021 SPIRIT Awards - Innovation Champion

His actions have directly and indirectly led to the deployment of technologies that have significantly improved business performance.

He has delivered these outcomes by advocating for innovative solutions, role-modeling openness to new ideas, and communicating how technologies can improve the overall return for the company.

a few people in industrial building with large cylindrical metal objects laying horizontally
Rune inspects HeliFuel tanks under construction.

Rune has also taken responsibility for achieving alignment with Global Wells and other functions in Norway, thereby ensuring benefits resulting from technology advancements are maximized and implementation goes smoothly.

Rune is an excellent leader, who has done much to nurture innovation within Norway and ConocoPhillips as a whole.  

Examples of Rune’s innovation-related contributions include:

  • Championing several technologies and innovations that have materially improved business results, including elimination of surface conductor casing strings, offline installation of vertical Christmas trees, use of Remote Workover Control Systems, design and operation of StimCap, delivery of a wireline free well concept, and the use of managed pressure drilling.
  • Playing a leading role in establishing a Norway Wells GHG emission strategy to support local and global emission reduction efforts.
  • Encouraging ConocoPhillips Norway employees to share knowledge about technologies they developed and adapt technologies developed elsewhere for use in Norway, thereby maximizing the overall benefit from innovative solutions.
  • Helping to build powerful teams that have delivered outstanding results for the Tommeliten A and Eldfisk N projects.