Meet the team - Mark Sørheim

By Mark Sørheim - March 01, 2021

Hydrawell is built on a desire to re-think existing Well Integrity Operations.

But what we do, would not be possible without our people. Our people enable us to push boundaries and discover new ways of working.

We thought you should get to know the people behind HydraWell and are kicking off introductions with Mark, our CEO who has led our team for almost four years.

What’s your career background?

My roots in the energy industry go right back to my upbringing. My Norwegian father worked in Oil & Gas, so it was a natural step to join the sector on leaving Heriot-Watt University with a Civil Engineering degree to join Schlumberger back in 2000.
I was attracted to travel and gaining experience in remote locations. Most of my time with Schlumberger was spent in the Wireline division as field engineer in India, Colombia and UK. I also had rewarding roles in HR, Operations, Account Management and Integrated Drilling Services around the world.
As the CEO of a growing well technology company, I am involved in all disciplines of the business, therefore my breadth of varied experience is a huge benefit.

Why Well Integrity?

What is it that you enjoy about helping clients with their engineering challenges and needs?
The Oil & Gas industry has fuelled the economies that have enabled living standards to improve across the globe. It is now in a period of transition where new sources of energy are starting to grow in importance. This means we have a significant job ahead of us to verify and install, when necessary, barriers in the many wells that are at the end of their life. HydraWell is at the forefront delivering innovative barrier installation technology to enable reliable, low cost and sustainable operations. It is exciting to be part of a team that is researching and developing new solutions to help solve customer challenges and make a positive impact to our planet.

What is the most inspiring part of your job?

We are contributing to a sustainable future for everyone. The energy sector is taking responsibility for its role in ensuring that old wells do not harm future generations. I am hugely inspired to support major Operators across the globe to dramatically reduce cost and environmental impact.

How do you keep current on the industry and emerging trends?

Listening to our customers, learning what their challenges are and connecting this to the solutions that we develop is key to keeping us one invention ahead. Discussing and sharing our ideas at industry conferences and forums allows me to connect with other collaborators and partners such as universities for research, suppliers for new solutions and other service providers to explore alternative ideas. Although the last year has had restrictions on large gatherings we have continued to create new relationships through our social media channels and web pages.

Tell us about your team?

One of the motivating things about my role is that we have a team that has energy and enthusiasm to succeed. We have a wide variety of experience and competency, but we are all passionate about delivering the best results for our customers. As a growing company, every individual has faced challenges in changing and improving the way they work, and everyone has contributed to delivering in new geographies, new customers and new technologies.

What has been your biggest challenge over the years?

The pandemic over the last 12 months has tested the resilience of most businesses. Our business is no exception. However, our team has done an outstanding job in adapting to new practices including remote working and restricted travel. Our field crews have spent extended periods away when delivering projects due to quarantine rules, which I appreciate is not easy for them or their families.

When there is challenge, there is always opportunity. During these difficult times, our team has accelerated the ongoing development of digital solutions to allow us to work from independent locations whilst being involved in what is going on in the business. We have grown stronger during the pandemic meaning we are more prepared for any future uncertainties.

Your team solve problems. Are you handy at fixing things?

It is a question that you would best ask my wife! I’ll be fair and say, not always with perfect results...

I have an old property that requires a bit of attention, so I stayed busy last summer building covered decking for the garden to give us a space to enjoy with friends when the weather is not so great. We recently used it during the cold weather to socialise outside by the fire pit.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

Outside of work I focus on finding time to spend with the family. I also love running. We are lucky where we live to have less restrictions than other places which means we can take advantage of the outdoors. Running gives me the flexibility to find time to disconnect from day to day activities. In 2008, I ran the Edinburgh Marathon. Although, I followed a pretty disciplined training plan it was a battle at the end to get past the finish line. It was a pretty special feeling to finish the race close to the time I wanted.

Finally, what can we expect to see in the next 12 months from HydraWell?

There continues to be a growing need for P&A barriers which means we will be active in new geographies. We will support this by keeping up our momentum around technical expertise and digital solutions.

We are currently deepening our understanding around the barrier installation process to enable improvements in how we deliver our services enabling reliable barriers, lower costs and less environmental impact.

Our team has some big ideas on how to reduce costs and environmental footprint using digital solutions. It will be exciting to develop these further with our customers to deliver further savings.

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