PESGB January 2003
President’s Page- Alan Booth
As this editorial is written prior to the results of Council elections, I do not know who will be elected for office in 2003, I do however thank them for volunteering their valuable time to the Society and look forward to working with them in the year ahead. It would be remiss of me not to mention the sterling efforts of retiring Council members, Chris Bulley, Tony Evans and Colin Percival in 2002. On behalf of the Society I would like to thank each of them and wish them well for the future. I look forward to thanking Chris personally at the Presidents Evening on the 30th of January, when I hope he will buying me a beer when my four tokens have been quaffed.
Of course nothing the Society does would be possible without the invaluable help and assistance of Gail and her team in the PESGB office. As some of you may know Gail will be taking a ‘sabbatical’ in the new year, we wish her well, and trust that she finds motherhood an easier task than organising the current Council.
PETEX looks like being a great success, as always. This is particularly pleasing as it brings in significant funds to your Society, which should enable us to continue to serve our membership into the future.
So what does the 2003 hold for our members and for exploration in general? As I write, we have seen significant changes in the UK industry; Enterprise and Lasmo are no more, Amerada Hess and Keith McGee, always seen as the bell weathers for UK exploration have also undergone significant changes in recent months. None of these events bode
well for exploration in the UKCS. The first 6 months of 2002 saw only 3 exploration wells drilled, and I suspect that we will struggle to reach double figures before the end of the year. I know that the DTI is concerned at the lack of exploration activity and is seeking, primarily through PILOT, new ways to make business easier, encourage new entrants and help promote exploration. I am
particularly pleased to see the issue of seismic data release is now being addressed and also that serious consideration is being given to the concept of a Promote Round. It is my hope that a Promote Round (see http://www.ofj.dti. gov.uk/consultations/consultationI80902.htm) will allow individuals and smaller companies to participate in, and be rewarded for, bringing forward new (or
even old!) exploration concepts. I also hope that the PESGB can play a part in helping its members to access data and information and to help in any way it can, those interested in participating in it. .. your comments and suggestions in this regards are most welcome.
As we all know, “oil is found in the minds of men” and I cannot help but believe that the industry is at risk of overlooking this simple truth , as it “rightsizes”, “downsizes”, “restructures” itself, and loses the ideas and knowledge of the last three decades in the process. Whilst modern technology has an invaluable part to play in increasing our efficiency in the search for new Oil and Gas accumulations, the era of “Nintendo Exploration” is in danger of overwhelming us unless we take care to ensure we tap the vast historical knowledge base and expertise of the UK industry, wherever it resides.