PESGB October 2007

Mon 01 October 2007

Category: Magazines

President’s Page- Stephen Pickering

As a teenager I enjoyed listening to the songs of Otis Redding; however on this occasion I was thinking he may have got the lyrics wrong. I was “Sittin’ on a rock in the bay, watchin’ the tide roll away”; I was looking out to sea, the music swirling in my subconscious. The rock I was sittin’ on was the Helsby Sandstone, and it wasn’t “Frisco” but Liverpool Bay where I was “watchin’ ships rolling in” to Liverpool Docks. It was the end of a fantastic PESGB Cheshire Basin field trip. Looking out across the bay from New Brighton on the Wirrall, I could see the Lennox Platform in block110/15, near Southport on the opposite coast. According to our field guide, Neil Meadows, it is one of the few places in the world where you could touch a reservoir whilst at the same time see it in production ….. pure magic.
I remember mapping block 110/15 for Hamilton Oil, prior to the UKCS 12th Licence Round. In the period since there have been incredible leaps forward in knowledge and technology, but in 1991 we only had a few non-proprietary speculative seismic lines, no 3D seismic then! Even more incredible I made the interpretation on paper, the most challenging technology decision I faced was whether to use a cyan or carmine coloured pencil for the top reservoir. It seems amazing that a few pieces of paper could hold the key to unlock a fortune. But the lack of technology may not be so strange when you think that in 1991 very few people had personal computers, most of those who did wrestled with the mysteries of MS-DOS, and Sir Tim Berners-Lee had only just invented the worldwide web! In the past twenty years our industry has truly made “a giant leap for mankind”.
The PESGB charter is to educate for the public benefit, so that is why this month we have distributed to you, the members, a DVD copy of Petroleum Geology: North-West Europe and Global Perspectives – Proceedings of the 6th Petroleum Geology Conference. When first published it too was a leap forward in knowledge, comprising 1650 pages in hardback. We hope you find the proceedings a rich source of knowledge and information to make your explorations for the public benefit more successful.
Talking of leaps forward, the PESGB is updating its website – the new website should be launched in the next few weeks. We certainly would like to have your feedback and comments on the new format, the DVD, the online Newsletter or anything else: email – this will help us in continually improving your Society, although we do not promise to act on all suggestions.
Unlike myself, Otis Redding never saw the fruits of his labours. He recorded “(Sittin’ on) the dock of the bay” in December 1967, and five days later he tragically died in a plane crash, just twenty-six years old. The record was released a few weeks later in January 1968, and instantly became a worldwide best seller. The Lennox Field discovery well 110/15-6 was drilled in July 1992, the well test was also a smash hit! It was a tradition in Hamilton Oil that the many discoveries were named after Scottish clans, the Lennox clan were allies of Robert the Bruce; but from now on I am going to call it the Redding Field.

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