9th November 2017
How relevant is knowledge to exploration in the Oil & Gas sector?
With Guy Loftus
Exploring for oil and gas is fundamentally an evidence based science. Explorationists study the data and make observations about recognizable geological attributes which they connect with known associations as evidence for the existence or denial of working petroleum systems. Geo-technical explorationists then tend to place a skin of commercial viability over that to represent value drivers, rather than using the value drivers to condition their observations. When you apply for a job to do this, the emphasis is quite rightly about the skills you can apply to associate evidence and your raw talent in being able to make leaps of faith. So what place if any does knowledge have in the 21st century? in a world where we can crowd-source opinion is knowledge even relevant?
An exploration new ventures simulation has been developed in an attempt to answer these questions, which invites participants possessing a broad spectrum of technical and commercial background, to play the role of an exploration manager in evaluating a new ventures opportunity using a predefined set of metrics. The simulated data room invites everyone attending the PESGB lecture at Liverpool University, with or without prior knowledge, to review the petroleum system robustness (sub-surface quality) in parallel with commercial attractiveness (economics and feasibility). What participants will take away is a much more important (but unspoken) attribute of candidate selection for recruitment in the oil & gas sector, which is around behaviour and attitude.
The results of the experiment are as much a test of the granularity of metrics used as they are in collapsing cognitive bias from an unfiltered pool. At the very least, the simulation will capture the range of perceptions and at best, it will converge on a common understanding of reality. Whether participants as individuals turn out to be risk averse (cautious) or risk takers (opportunistic) is not important, because they will be shown that both attitudes are required by industry at different stages of opportunity maturation.
Guy Loftus has worked for thirty-five years in the oil industry, 31 of those years as an explorer for Shell International, with assignments that took me across the world from Oman, New Zealand, The Philippines, The Caribbean, Malaysia, Gabon, Indonesia, Texas, London, PNG, Canada and The Hague.
Currently Director at K2V Ltd., Guy will talk about his experiences and ideas arising from many years of exploration in the Shell International new ventures teams. Guy hopes many people in the audience will have access to a tablet or a smartphone during the talk so that they can complete some online tasks in real time during the talk.
Herdman Lecture Theatre, University of Liverpool