PESGB January & February 2018
- ANNOUNCEMENT: PETEX 2018 A New Optimism: Call for Papers now open
- ANNOUNCEMENT: Meet the Council 2018 Team
- EVENTS: GEOLiteracy 2018: Registration now open
- REVIEW: PROSPEX 2017
- REVIEW: President’s Evening
- REVIEW: Granite City Reception
- NEWS FEATURE: South Atlantic License Rounds 2018
- NEWS FEATURE: Re-developing abandoned fields in Continental Europe
- NEWS FEATURE: UK E&P – Long-term growth challenged by exploration
Plus much more inside
Change. Resilience. New beginnings. These are all words that we have become very familiar with over recent years as our industry has been swept along on a rollercoaster ride of low commodity prices, tumultuous geo-politics and shifting public perception. At the end of 2017, analyst Rystad Energy produced a sobering report on the current state of global exploration activity, with a stated industry reserves replacement ratio of only 11% for the previous year, the lowest seen for almost 80 years.
Although this ride has been scarier than most, the oil and gas industry has a long history of evolving through the challenges that are thrown in its path. It has trained and deployed the very best problem-solvers and game-changers to navigate a route to the most inaccessible resources that have powered generations of growth. Whilst hydrocarbons are likely to remain an important component of the energy mix in years to come, our roles in the business of finding, appraising and developing oil & gas (notably gas) will likely change irrevocably.
At the end of 2017, WTI and Brent oil prices were at their highest since 2015. Cautious optimism for a rebalance has been developing and was apparent during the successful PROSPEX meeting held in December. There, 832 attendees, 74 exhibitors and 6 pavilion poster presenters enjoyed two days of reconnection and business development. A new generation of deals and incentives in the UKCS has provided some much-needed buoyancy to the region.
The PESGB has also been evolving with industry conditions, the needs of the membership, and public outreach. Under the strong leadership of President Nick Terrell and Executive Director Maria Iredale, an excellent Council and a motivated office team, the Society has responded to challenging industry conditions, as well as positioning in readiness for any number of possible futures. It is during a downturn where the benefits of a strong community become most apparent. The Society made great efforts to ensure that the membership was supported, principally through low cost / high value conference, social and educational events. Even though some of our number have sadly left the upstream industry, we hope that this close community and the “explorer mindset” remains a strong draw to remain affiliated.
In addition to our membership benefits, we have been preparing some structural changes within the Society that make the charitable objectives much clearer. Our Outreach Programme plays a critical role in educating the public on the technical and societal benefits of ongoing responsible petroleum exploration activity. Possibly even more important is securing the educational requirements of the next generations of explorers, through schools, universities and early career support to our Young Professionals. It is perhaps in this aspect where we as a community should anticipate most change, and is an area where I would encourage your active engagement.
Over the coming months of my tenure as President, I would like to use this convenient mouthpiece to test the opinions of you, the membership, on our future. Some thoughts are controversial, some are challenging and some are exciting. The role and reach of the purported energy transition, digitalisation and “big data”, the relevance of geoscience, the anticipation of radical technological advance, the role of professional societies such as the PESGB, are all areas ripe for thought. To paraphrase a quote attributed to Roman Philosopher, Seneca, Opportunity is where Luck meets Preparation. It is always good to be prepared. Please contact me through the email address below and we will post a range of views through the blog online.
I very much look forward to working with the new Council in 2018 and continuing the good work entrusted to me. We will continue to work to ensure that the Society is of most benefit to you, our membership, and I look forward to speaking to many of you over the next year. It is an honour to serve as your President and I wish you a successful year ahead.