PESGB May 2004
President’s Page- Steve Boldy
Recently, on behalf of the PESGB, I attended the Barrel Award Presentation at Imperial College in London. The Barrel Award , which has been running for many years, is given to the team of students from the M.Sc course who give the best presentation on the exploration potential of an area that has been selected for them to evaluate. The teams consist of four or five students and they only have a few weeks to evaluate the area and prepare their presentations, just like those last minute Licensing Round applications for blocks you thought had been culled! It is very appropriate that the PESGB supports events such as this as one of the Society ‘s stated aims is to support education in Petroleum Geoscience. Several things struck me about the event:
• Firstly, Petroleum Geoscience teaching is alive and well at Imperial College (and also at several other of our UK Universities). The M .Sc course is flourishing, with high numbers of students registered both this year and next.
• The quality of the work and presentations was of a uni versally high standard . The entire panel were very impressed with the standard of the evaluation work , the ideas generated and the quality of the presentations.
• The course continues to attract a large number of high calibre overseas students, which minors the global nature of the Petroleum Industry and is good preparation for the students.
All of this is very good news, given the concerns expressed for a number of years regarding the Industry’s ability to continue to attract high calibre graduates. The universities are to be congratulated for doing a fine job under difficult circumstances in providing geoscientists for the Industry and the PESGB is very pleased to be able to play a part in supporting their work. Looking forward graduates from UK Universities entering the Industry today are facing a very different situation than has prevailed over the last 40 years or so of very active North Sea exploration and production. Yes , there is still a lot of oil and gas to produce from the North Sea and surrounding areas and there is still considerable exploration potential, particularly along the Atlantic Margin; but for a graduate starting work today it is likely that much of their future career will be spent working areas such as North Africa and the Middle East.
This will sound very familiar to some of our older (or perhaps in this pc world -‘ time enhanced’) members. There are also the deepwater plays that have emerged over the last twenty years or so and these will continue to be the focus of attention going forward.
From what I have seen the UK Universities are well abreast of the changes facing the Industry and are adapting accordingly. For those companies that are hiring graduates from UK M.Sc courses – be assured you are getting a quality product – look after it!