Valery Peters: A chapter must be closed without any doubts!

May 2014

Published in the Puls Yamburga (Yamburg Pulse) Newspaper, Issue 49

Many famous scientists of the oil and gas industry, prominent managers and qualified experts – the pride of Gazprom Dobycha Yamburg – graduated from Ufa Petroleum Institute (presently Ufa State Petroleum Technological University). One of them is Valery Peters, Head of gas production center No. 4 of the Gas Production Directorate, who retired this year.

Mr. Peters, what made you move to the North?

In 1976 I graduated from the Technological Faculty of Ufa Petroleum Institute. Later on, I was employed at the Ufa Refinery Plant – first, as an operator of process units of the 4th grade, then of the 5th and 6th grades, Head of the process unit, Deputy Head of the workshop… My friends suggested that I should to go to the North and give it a try – after all, I have no regrets about the decision I’ve made.

What qualities, in your opinion, should anyone have to be able to work on a shift basis in the North?

From 25 years of my Gazprom’s ‘Northern biography’, 15.5 years were dedicated to my favorite gas production center No. 1B. And later on – to gas production center No. 4. It was there that I was put in charge of a gas production center and I am leaving my post now – I think it’s symbolic. We were working hard, forgetting about the leisure time, and we were busy twenty hours a day if it was necessary. We were doing our job without expecting any rewards or titles.

As for the challenges… Youth and dedication to work did not let us be depressed or notice any inconveniences. You know, a lot of good guys came to this place, the best ones settled here. And in our business, when you work on a shift basis, not everyone was able to show the willingness to hard work, discipline and responsibility. I lived here all these years, and in my work I was always driven by the principle set out by Alexander Margulov: “We need such engineers and technicians, who show reasonable initiative and solve tasks.” I supervised the work of young professionals, shared my experience, learned from highly skilled specialists and workers, didn’t avoid responsibility and directly supervised complex operations at the center. At present, young employees are theoretically skilled, but they lack experience. And, unfortunately, not all of them are ready to start from labor positions in order to understand the industry from the inside, earn specific skills of their profession and learn to work in a team. My generation had a different attitude toward the professionalism of the old-timers. I was lucky to have Alexander Margulov, Alexander Ananenkov and Oleg Andreev as my teachers and chiefs. Their lives and work are really an example to follow. So, it’s fair to say that Yamburg is rich not only in gas reserves, but also in manpower.

Except for your job, what did the North strike you with?

The Northern nature is breathtaking, and it is necessary to treat her fairly. Of course, our society does a lot to protect this fragile northern beauty, but a lot depends on each of us. In our team we habituated employees to culture and aesthetics, environmental friendliness and careful handling of equipment in order to ultimately reduce the cost of their recovery, since funds for these purposes are allocated from the company's profits. We taught our subordinates to treat each other sensitively and respectfully, to be mutually helpful, because here, far from home, advertence and mutual support are of a special importance.

What is the happiest time in your opinion?

The happiest time is to be involved in the business you like and to be with your family in the spare time. I am lucky with both things. For a quarter of a century I was doing my favorite job, I was executing my work – I was pleased when my shift came and I was always happy to come back home – to my beloved wife, sons and grandchildren. I was interested in everything: to grow professionally, build a house, travel, go hunting…

What role do you allot to the trade unions? Whom will you never forget?

I am very grateful to the management of Gazprom Dobycha Yamburg and personally to Oleg Andreev, our trade union and its head Valery Nagoga for appreciation of my work. I was always surprised to hear the following question, ”What does the trade union serve for?” And when something happened, everybody hurried exactly to the trade union. It will take a lot of time to recall the number of people whom we have helped together with the trade union for 25 years. My personal credo is that one should first work hard and only then receive bonuses. It is especially important for the youth to understand it, because young people are not always objective in assessing the benefits of work in our company and, in fact, not everybody has an opportunity to become a part of it.

Valery Peters at work

Valery Peters at work

I would like to express my gratitude to my dearest Gas Production Directorate, Gas Production Center, engineering and technical staff as well as to my colleagues: Bayazetdin Akhmetshin, Alexander Dyakonov, Dmitry Golyakov, Mr. Samsonov and Mr. Baltabaev… It’s a team of like-minded people who can handle any work.

Gazprom Dobycha Yamburg employees

Gazprom Dobycha Yamburg employees

What titles and awards do you have?

A long time ago, while serving in the army, I was promoted to captain of the reserve. I was awarded the title of the Merited Worker of the Gas Industry. I am proud that I have Merit Certificates of the Russian Fuel and Energy Ministry and the Russian Gas Society. But, nevertheless, I consider the titles of a husband, father and grandfather to be the highest ones.

In your opinion, what is the most important thing in life?

I believe it is the faithful performance of duty. With regard to the society, yourself, your family. My opinion, as of an accomplished man, is the following: I have fulfilled my labor obligations by working in such a wonderful team like ours. One should always know how to make the right decision at the right time, even when it refers to the retirement. I have already built a house and planted more than one tree, brought up two sons. It’s inherent to me: I know how to distinguish what is important and what is not, what is primary and what is secondary. And now, having decided to retire, first of all, I think about my beloved ones. It’s time to give the rest of my human warmth to the family: to make it up to my wife for long separations over the years of work on a shift basis and to put myself right with my children through my grandchildren. I have three grandchildren: one grandson and two granddaughters – gray-eyed girls! We are waiting for one more to come into this world – soon there will be three tomboys. I am a believer and I think that a nation can’t be strong without spirituality. And it’s in our hands – the hands of the older generation. We have taught our children, married them and now it’s time to pay attention to our grandchildren. Communication with them is a great joy for me!

I have a dream to visit Baikal and Sakhalin. Thanks to the Company and the trade union we have visited a lot of countries, but we didn’t travel much around Russia. We must catch up. In any business it’s necessary to close the chapter on time without any doubts. And I do it confidently.

Your wishes to those who remain in the North...

To all those who remain here I wish robust health for making all their plans come true! I wish their labor to be creative! I wish gas never ends and new gas fields be discovered! Permanence and stability in their life!

By Tatyana Filenkova, photos by Evegeny Geroyan.

Background

Valery Peters moved up the career ladder from a 2nd grade engineer to the head of a gas production center at Gazprom Dobycha Yamburg. In 1988 he started at gas production center No. 6, in 1991 he became the head of gas production center No. 4, which was under construction at that time, in 1993 he headed gas production center 1B. Mr. Peters actively participated in the construction of Phase II of gas production center 1B, in building up gas and gas condensate production capacities within the commissioning of gas pre-treatment unit No. 3B and then the commissioning of gas pre-treatment unit No. 2B at gas production center 1B, as well as in the construction of a booster compressor station at gas production center 1B. In 2008 he headed gas production center No. 4 once again.