Going beyond traditional recruiting


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About Us

Building and managing workforces across the global energy and resources industry.

Competentia is more than a staffing company; we combine our long experience in the industry with a continuing commitment to innovation to provide a different level of customer service.

From the moment you begin planning your projects Competentia offers you real advantages in all areas related to staffing your teams and managing your manpower resources.

We offer strategic staffing solutions ranging from recruitment and onboarding to training, payrolling and mobilizing your human capital.

Above all we offer the expertise, experience and integrity to bring you genuine peace of mind as you manage one of the most challenging aspects of the modern technical market place.


Competentia at a glance

  • 20 years of proven delivery
  • Operations in 25 locations
  • Specialist recruiters in every major energy industry center
  • Blue chip clients at the top of the energy and resources industry
  • Stable, tenured teams
  • Strong financial position
  1. Jun 1998

    Competentia founded in Stavanger

  2. Dec 2005

    John Smith and Odd-Arne Kleveland acquire Competentia

  3. Jun 2010

    Perth office (APAC Hub) established

  4. Dec 2010

    Competentia wins Ernst & Young Entrepeneur of the Year Award

  5. Feb 2012

    Oslo based private equity firm Reiten & Co. acquire stake in Competentia

  6. Oct 2012

    Houston office (NSA Hub) established

  7. Jun 2014

    Competentia acquires Houston-based drilling and well consultancy Argonauta

  8. Feb 2016

    Competentia acquires Link Oil & Gas Professionals Inc., growing US footprint

  9. Apr 2016

    Dubai office (MEA Hub) established

  10. Jan 2018

    Competentia opens in Calgary, under the direction of Mike McKinnon.

  11. Feb 2019

    Competentia opens in Qatar, headed by Mike O'Kane

  12. Oct 2020

    Competentia acquires Dare, the specialist recruiting company based in Australia and Singapore.

Jayden WallisCEO

Jayden Wallis is the CEO of the Competentia Group where he is responsible for the overall company performance, implementing group strategies and providing support to Competentia’s operations in APAC, EURA, MEA, and NSA. Prior to commencing in the CEO role in May 2016, Jayden had managed Competentia’s operations in APAC, Europe, and the Middle East. He has had over 17 years experience in the international manpower sector and has helped clients deliver workforce solutions in all the major energy hubs with major IOCs, EPC organisations and service companies.

Prior to joining Competentia, Jayden held senior management positions with oil & gas manpower providers in Australia and the Middle East. He is a Commerce graduate from Curtin University in Western Australia.

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Knut MitterGroup Finance Manager

Knut is Competentia’s Global Finance Manager, based in Stavanger, He was promoted to this position in 2017 having worked for three years as Business Support Manager.

Before joining Competentia, he spent six years as a consultant and manager at the international consulting firm Ernst & Young.

Knut has a degree in civil engineering from The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim.

He is a citizen of Norway.




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Odd-Arne KlevelandChairman

Odd-Arne is one of Competentia’s two co-founders and has served as director since 2006 and chairman since July 2015. He holds a master’s degree in law from the University of Bergen.

A Norwegian lawyer with more than 30 years of experience from the petroleum and shipping industry, Odd-Arne also has extensive management and board experience from major companies in the global energy industry.

Odd-Arne is a partner of Norwegian law firm Selmer and also serves as Chairman of Ocean Installer AS and Solv AS.

Odd-Arne is a citizen of Norway.

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Ian HydePresident - APAC

Ian has been involved in the oil & gas recruitment industry since 2006. Speaking three languages (well, his Japanese is pretty rusty), and having lived and worked internationally, he has provided staffing and employment solutions to energy & resources companies throughout Asia-Pacific, Africa and Europe.

Ian is Competentia’s APAC President, taking responsibility for a 100% compliance driven operation in the region, including P&L, account directorship, business development, commercial negotiation, project tendering, staff management and more.

Fascinated by human movement and performance, Ian is constantly exploring new and unique ways to exercise whilst reducing injury and improving motion. He is also working towards a psychotherapy qualification with expected graduation in 2020.

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John Smith1956 – 2015

John Smith co-founded Competentia and was Chairman from 2006 until 2015.

John was a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and graduate of the University of Glasgow with over thirty years experience in the oil and gas industry. He was an example of everything Competentia still stands for today. The company was built on his expertise and experience and on the uncompromising integrity that made him and the businesses he contributed to successful. As the inaugural CEO of Subsea 7, John was instrumental in the development of one of the world’s leading offshore contractors. For five years John was CEO of Clough, the Australian engineering, construction and operations specialist. Both companies still list integrity as a core value today.

As President of the International Marine Contractor’s Association [IMCA], the trade association representing organisations engaged in the delivery of offshore, marine and underwater solutions in the energy sector, John pursued his commitment to safety and helped set new standards in the industry.

John made a lasting contribution to the global energy industry during his career, mentored many of its current leaders and defined Competentia’s core values. John passed away in 2015. His son Alex continues to serve on the Competentia board.

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Aaron DowdsRegional President - NSA

Aaron Dowds serves as Regional President for the Americas region and has been with Competentia since 2014.

He has almost 20 years international Oil & Gas recruitment experience and has provided actual on-the-ground support to client projects in over 30 countries. The main focus of his career has been providing support to major Owner/Operators and Aaron can list ExxonMobil, Shell, Total and Chevron among his key account experience. He began his career as a technical draftsman, site engineer and construction manager before moving into recruitment.

Aaron is a graduate of Oxford Brookes University where he gained a degree in Civil Construction Management.

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Espen Hove

Espen has been with Competentia since 2015, growing the team and providing services to an expanding number of clients and contractors in Europe.
A graduate in business from the University of Stavanger, Espen has spent over fifteen years in HR, recruitment and human capital management.

He has worked for some of the largest staffing organizations in Europe, and brings a wealth of experience to our clients across the region.

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Bård Brath IngerøNon-Executive Director

Bård is Managing Partner of Oslo-based private equity firm Reiten & Co and has served as director of Competentia since 2012. He holds a degree in economics from the University of Oslo.

Since joining Reiten & Co in 1993 (becoming Managing Partner in May 2014), Bård has gained extensive experience in financial transactions and private equity deals from most of Reiten’s investments. He is co-author of a chapter in a leading Norwegian M&A textbook and has written articles on MBO topics as well as being a frequent lecturer for The Norwegian Association of Masters of Science in Business.

Bård also serves as director of Brubakken AS, Malthus AS and Scanship.

Bård is a citizen of Norway.

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Asbjørn LønningCFO

Asbjørn is Investment Manager at Oslo-based private equity firm Reiten & Co and has served as director of Competentia since 2016. He holds a master’s degree in financial economics from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH).

Prior to joining Reiten & Co in 2014, Asbjørn spent time with KPMG as an associate in the transactions and restructuring team. During his time at KPMG, Asbjørn worked on several financial due diligence projects within a broad range of sectors.

Asbjørn is a citizen of Norway.

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Mike McKinnon

Mike joined Competentia in Calgary as Regional Director of Technical Recruitment in October 2017. He has spent the last seventeen years managing recruitment teams in the Oil & Gas industry in Canada, South East Asia and Australia.

A key element of Mike’s experience is the provision of technical manpower and project management personnel to IOCs, EPCs and services companies to sites in Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea and Russia. He holds a Bachelor of Business Degree, from Deakin University, Australia.

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Peter Mellbye

Peter is retired Executive Vice President of Equinor ASA (ex. Statoil ASA) and has served as director of Competentia since 2014. He holds master’s degrees in politics, economics and law from the Universities of Oslo and Bergen.

Between 1977 and 1983, Peter worked in the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Commerce and then in the Norwegian Export Council. Peter subsequently joined Statoil ASA, where he remained until retiring in September 2012. A member of Statoil’s Executive Board from 1995 to 2012, Peter also headed Statoil’s natural gas business, retail and shipping business and the international E&P business during his career with the company. During Peter’s tenure as head of the international E&P business, Statoil’s international production grew from less than 100,000 bbld to approximately 650,000 bbld.

Peter serves as director of two public companies; TechnipFMC plc and Statkraft AS. He also serves as as non-executive chairman of Wellesley Petroleum AS and as director of Halfwave AS, Qinterra Technologies AS, Resoptima AS, Altus Intervention, Westgass and Global LNG Services.

Peter is a citizen of Norway.

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Alex SmithNon-Executive Director

Alex has served as non-executive director of Competentia since July 2015. He holds a law degree from the University of Glasgow and a master’s degree in maritime and petroleum law from the University of Oslo.

Alex is a Solicitor (England & Wales) currently employed as legal counsel with a publicly listed international maritime and offshore services company in Stavanger. Previous experience includes roles with Subsea 7, ConocoPhillips and as an associate with international law firm HFW in London. Alex also serves as Managing Director of Smith Holding AS.

Alex is a dual citizen of Norway and the United Kingdom.

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