Blog & News

December 2016 President's Page

Wed 30 November 2016

Category: President's Page

My Final Words

Colin Percival - invisibleLooking back at 2016, it has been an extremely difficult year for the industry, but things are finally starting to improve. The society has come through the downturn in good shape, with healthy finances, a tremendous office team headed up by Maria, a great council and a very supportive membership. As we move into 2017 we will have some excellent new representatives on Council, and with an improving oil price can look forward to a year with more flexibility in what the society can offer to its members. This year has been about refining the society strategy and starting its implementation. This is a result of work undertaken in 2015 to define a strategy for the society which includes the invaluable input from the membership questionnaire. Maria has produced a clear strategy document that summarises this work and provides guidance for the office team on the operational procedures required to support it. I look forward to the implementation continuing in 2017.

The society’s objective is to be the number one oil and gas focussed geoscience society in Europe and Africa. Key deliverables are:

  • Increasing the membership of the organisation – A target has been set to Increase membership to > 7000 by 2021.
  • Delivering our charitable purpose of educating the public in the scientific and technical aspects of petroleum exploration – A target has been set to engage >1500 individuals outside the society directly per annum.
  • Maintaining a robust organisation – Operate a balanced budget, maintain staff turnover at current levels and create a high performing Board.

Growth in our membership is clear recognition that we are providing what our members want. Growth will come if we can demonstrate the value that the society brings to members through our various offerings. It is important that these membership benefits are clear and valuable and that we can cater for people in diverse locations and assist those who are not currently in full time employment. Our strength is providing low cost networking and knowledge sharing opportunities. In order to develop these, we are looking at making some of the talks and courses available over the web and providing discounted rates for events to our unemployed and retired members. Our new website is currently under construction which will provide a more user friendly format with a much broader array of options. This should go live around Easter 2017 and we are looking for some members to road test it in advance of this. If you are interested in assisting us please contact Maria in the PESGB office.

Educating the public in the scientific and technical aspects of petroleum exploration is our charitable objective. Our Outreach programme targets the wider public and it is important that this reaches a sizeable audience. In addition we need to focus our message on the petroleum industry and the benefits it brings to people. The society now has a plan which will see it being proactive in what we fund and support, and we are developing links with like-minded societies and organisations in order to deliver this as cost effectively and as widely as possible.

This month sees PROSPEX being held at the Business Design Centre on the 14th and 15th December with the President’s Evening on the final night being held further along Upper Street at Islington Assembly Hall. This year we have introduced a one day rate for PROSPEX and discounted rates for unemployed or retired members. The cost of tickets to the President’s Evening are £35 and there will be the opportunity to bring a friend/partner for £45.

Turning to the UKCS, although the 2016 E&A well count is likely to be a record low at around 16, the results to date look very encouraging with a significant number of successes announced which help to confirm that there is still potential left in the basin. This is great news, as a positive track record is absolutely critical to securing further investment, and starts to dispel the myth that the UKCS is supermature or indeed all over. To all those involved in these successes, keep up the good work!

The next President’s page will come from Nick Terrell who takes up the reigns in January 2017. I wish Nick well and look forward to assisting him whenever required next year.

Have a great Christmas and New Year



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