PESGB November 2014
- PETEX 2014 is here… Oonagh Werngren, PESGB President 2014
- The Great South Basin – Only a matter of time?
- Arctic Offshore, Oil and Gas Outlook
Plus Much More Inside
PETEX 2014 is here…
Welcome to this PETEX Special Edition of the PESGB Newsletter
In the next few weeks the PESGB team will be buzzing with excitement in the run up to both PETEX and PROSPEX. With an excellent programme of speakers lined up for these two showcase events I hope that everyone will make time to participate. The office team are doing an exceptional job this year in maintaining what has been an extraordinary set of events to mark our 50th year as a Society.
PETEX is actually celebrating it’s 25th year; a fantastic milestone, and the newsletter is packed with information including details of the three streams of oral presentations, a Question Time-style forum debate and 3D visualisation theatre. The technical committee, led by Ricki Charles have really done a sterling job in bringing this programme together. So my thanks to all those involved. PETEX has always supported the PESGB’s charitable outlook, and we are now able to say that 100% of the income from PETEX is donated in charitable disbursements including sponsorship of our MSc students. So I have to ask- have you bought your ticket yet? I look forward to seeing you there.
November also sees the election of new Council members. Some roles are uncontested but we do have elections for two key posts; President Elect and Director Elect in Aberdeen. Details are on page 72 and voting opens on 3rd November closing on 5th December. So please take time to vote today.
As I write this newsletter the price of oil has fallen $30 to $85 per barrel in the last four months, with a $10 reduction in just the last three weeks; a decline which is causing more than a few ripples in board rooms. Coupled with instability in the Middle East all eyes are now on the next OPEC meeting to see what steps, if any, will be taken to regain stability. This latest challenge comes on top of rising costs and declining exploration and production in the UKCS. The need for the Oil and Gas Authority and a tripartite approach for Government, Treasury and the industry, have never been greater as both operators and broader supply chain all focus to ensure that the basin remains economic.
In practice the industry has been working closely with the Treasury to provide input for the Fiscal Review which closed on the 3rd October but we will have to wait for the Autumn Statement (expected in December) to find out if the lobbying has been successful. Certainly at a recent dinner in Aberdeen when Mathew Hancock MP, the newly appointed Energy Minister, met with industry leaders he appeared to be listening carefully to the concerns being raised. More disappointing though was Hancock’s subsequent speech at the Conservative Party conference where there was no mention of the oil and gas industry at all. So there is still more to do in government circles to get the balance right between the focus on the potential of shale versus the significant ongoing contribution that is being made by the long established offshore industry.
In the last few weeks I have had the pleasure of spending time on the North East Coast of England with a number of exploration managers under the expert tuition of Professor John Underhill, of Heriot-Watt University. Not only were we able to bask in some early autumn sunshine but we were able to discuss outcrops which provide outstanding analogues to the geology of the North Sea. The discussions in the field progressed over dinner to a late night conversation with Simon Toole, Head of Oil and Gas Licencing, Exploration and Development at DECC over the future of the North Sea and what it will take to get real investment back into exploration. The trip certainly helped galvanise the group in its support for the Palaeozoic study which is being launched to help stimulate exploration in the UKCS. John Underhill also led a very eminent team of speakers to deliver the PESGB’s fi Atlantic Margins course which was delivered to a group of geoscientists in Aberdeen last month. This stimulating course is another example of what the industry needs to help generate ideas for the develop- ment of new plays across the UKCS, and hopefully lead to a much needed boost in exploration