PESGB February 2002
President’s Page- Chris Bulley
As I write this at the end of the old year it is a good time to reflect on the industry at large and where it may be going. The giant fields of the UKCS were discovered back in the 1970’s and whilst E&A activity continued at a high level through the 1980’s and into the early 1990’s aided by PRT relief, the number of significant discoveries has, not unsurprisingly, continued to decrease until the UKCS is now regarded as a mature province with opportunities restricted to moderate value low volume satellite prospects. So where does the recent PanCanadian-inspired Buzzard discovery
fit into this picture? What it demonstrates is that for those brave and imaginative enough to continue to undertake wildcat exploration there are still significant discoveries to be made. However for many companies the constant striving for even greater returns to shareholders by greater efficiencies through merger, cost cutting and risk reduction has reduced the individual’s desire and ability
to take risks and has placed the UKCS in a self-perpetuating cycle of low expectation/ low achievement. To break the cycle needs new blood with new ideas but this is not being achieved currently with many companies only recruiting “experienced” personnel for very specific constrained roles and the oil industry with its cyclic boomlbust being the last port of call for many graduates seeking a career. For many years the Geological Society has had a Careers Day when all aspects of a career in geoscience have been covered.
The PESGB has now initiated its own Career Days for graduates in London (at the Geological Society on 18th March) and Edinburgh (at the University on 24th April) to demonstrate to new graduates and 3rd year undergraduates the positive aspects of a career in the oil industry through a series of short talks and informal question and answer sessions. By undertaking these days, and continuing on an annual basis, it is hoped that the ageing profile of the industry’s workforce can be reversed as new young geoscientists are recruited and carve themselves a career in the oil industry.
These days are being provided free of charge to the graduates/undergraduates so any offers of sponsorship, however small, would be gratefully received. This concerns the future of the oil industry in the UK and is important to all of us.
On a lighter note I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on 6th February at the annual Presidents Evening, although in 2002 this evening is lain Bartholomew’s. Future Evenings will
either remain in this post-Xmas period or revert to December depending on member response. Also thanks are due to Amerada Hess for the use of its atrium, which should be an excellent venue for this event.