PESGB May 2019
- FEATURE: A Himalayan Adventure on a motorbike
- NEWS FEATURE: Brazil & Mexico – Opposite Political Systems in 2018 and the Outlook for the Respective Oil and Gas Industries
- NEWS FEATURE: Gas projects in China hold back decline in Asia’s production
Plus much more inside
The PESGB has enjoyed a long history dating back to the 1970s supporting Imperial College’s PESGB Barrel Award for its Petroleum Geoscience MSc programme. The competing students are grouped into teams of four or five and given the task of undertaking a subsurface evaluation akin to a new business opportunity review e.g. a licence round or asset acquisition; all to be completed within a three week time frame. The objectives are to introduce students to their future professional work environment through collaborative team work and to enable them to deliver their conclusions and recommendations for ‘management consideration’.
On 29th March (remember the date) I was invited to the Imperial Barrel Award to represent the PESGB on a panel of judges alongside Dr Jenny Morris (VP Exploration, Equinor) Stephen Sanderson (CEO, UK Oil and Gas plc) and Patrick Turpin (Principal Advisor, Total). Over the course of the day, we were treated to eleven presentations covering different investment opportunities from across the globe. This is an award particularly close to my heart as I competed as a young post-graduate in 1982 under the critical eyes of Prof. Bob Stoneley, Dr Dick Selley and Dr Mike Ala. This year, my fellow judges and I were left with a lasting impression of the high standard and excellent quality of the technical work that went into the presentations. If these are anything to go by, then the Imperial Barrel Award experience will add to the students’ exit velocity as they start their careers in the oil and gas industry and that we have the skills and talents of some inspiring young geoscientists to look forward to.
Professor Gary Hampson, Course Director for the MSc, is quietly optimistic for his students’ employment potential. Last academic year, some 70% of the student MSc cohort have found relevant employment or gone on to continue their academic studies. This year has seen an increase in the number of ‘milk round’ interviews with major oil companies arising from visits to Imperial College. I hope that this trend is reflected at other academic institutions across the UK where Petroleum Geoscience is taught; only time will tell. That said, it is encouraging that despite the extended downturn, our industry continues to attract students wishing to progress their academic qualifications through attendance at British universities. Without doubt, the quality of the MSc courses available throughout Britain’s universities has benefited from having a supportive industry providing research investments to projects extending from the North Sea to overseas.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish success to those students who are now preparing diligently for their final examinations and dissertations. The PESGB has a very proactive and supporting membership community of Young Professionals. The YPs provide an opportunity for new entrants to the E&P industry to network – both professionally and socially – with their peers in other companies. This is achieved through ad hoc meetings and events that take place throughout the year.
Returning to the Imperial Barrel Award; the endeavours, achievements and optimism on display by Imperial College’s Petroleum Geoscientists that sunny spring day on the 29th March threw into stark relief what was going on less than three miles away as the Brexit debate rumbled on and on and on…