PESGB April 2003
PESGB Membership Survey – Feb 2003
The 2002 survey gave an interesting insight into the makeup of the Society. We learnt most members are 35 to 55, over half had been members for 10 years etc. The problem? – the survey findings were based on only 223 responses – less than 5% of the membership! Another finding might be our members are busy people and form-filling is perhaps not a favoured pastime amongst this geoscience community. The Council wanted to understand the whereabouts of our membership. Accordingly, a snapshot of the membership was taken in early February 2003 and the results of an analysis are presented later in this issue. For lovers of statistics the detailed article will be like a train spotter’s outing to Crewe. The February 2003 Newsletter was sent to 4,988 members, of
which 4,062 are based in the UK and 962 are overseas. Perhaps the most significant finding is the split in membership between the South-East of England (“London”) and the North-East of Scotland (“Aberdeen” ).
We are all too aware of the exodus of companies from London to Aberdeen over the last decade. We all recall the almost wholesale relocations of Agip, Oryx, Conoco, Fina, Kerr-McGee to name but a few. Some BP personnel have spent much time in the last decade touring Britain via Eakring, Glasgow and the City of London until Aberdeen and Sunbury became the locations of choice. More recently the Home Counties have seen the likes of Arco, Amoco, Phillips, Paladin and CNR responding to the call to move north. We recall the fallout as many geoscientists were torn between accepting severance payments or uprooting family homes and lifestyles to move north to Aberdeen. The 15% of members in Aberdeen are overshadowed by the 49% of London members.
Despite this gulf it is noteworthy that monthly Aberdeen lecture attendance in the last six months is comparable to the numbers attending the London meetings. The survey cannot address the commuting workforce who are the regular red-eye warriors playing the Easy jet routes from Monday to Friday. Similarly, some mailing addresses may be UK-based but the recipients may have their mail forwarded to some exotic overseas outpost. These numbers may not be more than a few hundred and the analysis is probably a good indication of where members live and work.
So clearly London, Aberdeen, Houston and Calgary feature predominantly on the O&G geoscience world map with 68% of all members in these four locations alone.
This is clearly not the full story – with the newsletter being mailed out to some 52 countries, outside the United Kingdom. Another statistic of little surprise to many is that 86% of members reside or work in nations adjoining the North Sea – clearly still the major sector for employment. Perhaps the most interesting facts will emerge if a similar survey is repeated in a few years time. I make no predictions of how things may look then.