PESGB October 2018
- EVENT: Buzzard Lecture
- NEWS FEATURE: The Early Shutdown of Groningen and its Impact on European Gas Markets
- NEWS FEATURE: U.S. shale on track to deliver 1.5 million bbl/d oil growth in 2018
Plus much more inside
How much do you earn?
This remains a difficult question for many of us to answer. Not because we don’t know the answer. More because it reaches deeply into our feelings of self-worth, value and professional identity. At the same time, most of us are curious about how much our peers earn as we question THEIR value and professional identity.
This awkward human curiosity can be assuaged this month with the publication of the PESGB 2018 Salary Survey, for the exclusive benefit of our membership. Stephen Pickering and Catherine Skilliter have analysed the results and provided a commentary to guide you through their analysis. This data was provided by 813 of you, 14% of our membership, which is a considerable increase on the 2010 and 2014 surveys. Nevertheless, representation remains important when considering the results, particularly with respect to the demographics of age and skills.
It will probably come as no surprise that most of our surveyed members are situated in the southeast of England and Aberdeen. But the global reach of the PESGB may be a revelation for some, with members as far afield as Australia, South America and Russia. It will also come as no surprise to hear that women are paid less than men with more than 30-years’ experience. But, perhaps reassuringly, the overall gender pay gap has diminished since the 2014 survey.
Overall, the salary survey serves three purposes:  It is a useful reference for the spectrum of our membership.  It serves as a representative documentation of the recent changes in our industry.  The survey provides insight and guidance to the society in targeting events and developing a future strategy for the PESGB that is inclusive across the breadth of our membership. In the report, the PESGB Council responds to challenges posed by the authors.
You may also have a strong opinion on the future direction of the society. We have entered the time of year when you will have the opportunity to join the PESGB Executive Council and participate directly in its future. The positions of President Elect, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Media & Communications and Aberdeen Director Elect are all available for election to work with Martin Durham and his team in 2019.
Representation on the PESGB comes at a critical time for oil and gas in the UK. I have emphasised a growing pace of change in the oil and gas industry over my recent monthly editorials (including gender balance, the impact of digitalisation and the probable energy transition). The publication of the Economic Report 2018 by Oil & Gas UK as I write this article in September suggests a local industry undergoing deep transformation with fresh challenges emerging, whether it be the changing face of investment in the UKCS, or the stored legacy of decommissioning. The report notes that exploration drilling remains at a stubborn low in 2018, with only five wells spudded in the first eight months of the year – Azinor’s Agar/Plantain and Nexen’s Glengorm now added to that list. Deal flow also remains sluggish, with the number of farm-ins completed remaining at about half the number and a fraction of the value of 2012-2013. The recent Spirit Energy farm-in to Hurricane Energy’s interesting fractured basement play in the Greater Warwick area of the West of Shetland provides some hope of a reappearance of deal flow into the third quarter and a lifeline of new investment.
Change is always guaranteed, but one question has remained constant throughout the history of our industry: Who are paid the most? Geologists or Geophysicists?
This question has now finally been answered by the 2018 Salary Survey and you can read the startling conclusion there. But geophysicists can be reassured. Whatever geologists are being paid, they probably can’t count that high.
The views are my own, but I welcome your feedback.