Blog & News

Job Alert: Senior Geophysicist

Wed 16 September 2020

Category: Job Adverts

Brief overview of role

The Oil and Gas Authority (“OGA”) was formally established by the Energy Act 2016 (the “Energy Act”) as the independent regulator of the UK’s upstream oil and gas sector with a three-fold purpose: to regulate, influence and promote the UK oil and gas industry to maximise the economic recovery of UK offshore oil and gas resources (“MER UK”).  The OGA works with industry, government and other relevant stakeholders (for example industry trade associations, business organisations, universities and trade unions) to focus collective efforts on the delivery of MER UK.  

This is an opportunity for an experienced Geophysicist to deliver changes that will have a significant, long-term impact on the future of the UK offshore oil and gas sector. This role is in the Exploration & New Ventures Team within the Operations Directorate You will have the opportunity to utilise your geoscience skills in addressing subsurface challenges and will support industry and government decision making and collaboration. 

The Operations Directorate team is responsible for stewardship of oil and gas resources across the UKCS; including licensing, exploration, development, decommissioning and technology application. The Exploration & New Ventures team is tasked with supporting all areas of ongoing and future offshore exploration activity within the UK, and is taking strides to enhance investment and improve exploration success through actions on licensing, data, prospect inventories, seismic acquisition and regional play evaluations. Recent OGA well-lookback analysis identified geophysical-related failures in trap, seal, reservoir characterisation and pore-fluid prediction to be key areas that must be addressed to improve exploration success rates and discovered volumes.  Improved access to, and use of, geophysical and other subsurface data is defined as a high priority in the OGA Corporate Plan and Exploration Strategy 

The successful applicant will be responsible for advancing the standard of geophysical analysis that is applied to the exploration and appraisal portfolio of the UKCS, through effective engagement with industry at regional, play and prospect level. 

Detailed job description and key responsibilities

We require a Geophysicist with broad experience of geophysical acquisition, processing and interpretation, ideally including a previous industry role as a technical peer-reviewer, which should ideally include experience on the UK Continental Shelf. You must have had direct responsibility for managing, licensing and contracting data purchases, new acquisitions, and reprocessing projects.  You will have a track-record of operational planning and execution of seismic acquisition and processing programmes, prospect generation, regional mapping and experience of quantitative seismic interpretation techniquesYou will have experience, within an Exploration & Production operating company, of exploration within the North Sea, across NW European borders, and beyond. In addition it is expected that any successful candidate will have an understanding of the regulatory regime on the UKCS, specifically related to the licence stewardship and the reporting and disclosure of key subsurface data. The position is in the OGA’s Exploration & New Ventures Team within the Operations Directorate.   

Responsibilities will include:  

  • Working with the Geophysical Contractors, the IAGC and Petroleum Licensees to improve geophysical data retention, reporting, and release through regulations and guidance; 
  • Ensuring that geophysical data is reported to the National Data Repository, or otherwise made widely available to drive and support exploration, production and carbon storage activities; 
  • Supporting geophysical survey planning, permitting and tracking processes, and ensuring that targeted new datasets are acquired to enable industry to deliver maximum value, reduce uncertainty, and polarise risk.  This activity should be linked to licensing rounds and work programme obligations for both petroleum licences and carbon storage licences. 
  • Delivering Asset Stewardship Expectation SE3 to ensure that industry uses the optimal subsurface datasets to generate new plays and prospects, to extend perspectivity, and to monitor reservoir performance and in-field drilling opportunities to enhance production. 
  • Leadership and collaboration with industry and academia on the application of new and advanced geophysical technologies to promote exploration, production and carbon storage activities (seismic, gravity/magnetics, etc); 
  • Through tiered stewardship reviews, including pre- and post-well evaluation (Stewardship Expectation SE2), work with the exploration portfolio and field teams to ensure subsurface work programmes are appropriate, robust and delivered; 
  • Technical assurance of operators’ E&A portfolios, consistent with OGA’s priorities, with a particular focus on geophysical data application and workflows; 
  • Support with the technical evaluation of Petroleum and Carbon Storage Licence applications, including recommendations for award and tracking of work programme delivery; 
  • Close collaboration with the supply chain (e.g. multiclient seismic contractors) to find new solutions to accelerate activity and improve/expand data acquisition programmes, including new technology applications and deployment; 
  • Supervise acquisition, processing and data delivery associated with seismic programmes; 
  • Provide advice and input to cross-industry data analytics and machine-learning programmes, involving the Oil and Gas Technology Centre, Technology Leadership Board, Exploration Task Force, and others; 
  • Address geophysical issues arising in relation to risk and resource assessment; 
  • Staying abreast of new geophysical technologies and promoting best practice to operators. 
  • Representing the OGA and the UK oil & gas industry at national and international events and conferences, including involvement with event planning and execution. 
  • Providing geophysical and geological input and hands-on support to OGA-led regional studies, including play analysis, yet-to-find evaluations and specialist studies. 

You will have an appropriate geology or geophysics degree and have recent professional experience with an oil and gas operator. This will be combined with a strong technical background and the ability to demonstrate a high level of competence in organizing and evaluating geotechnical information to support evidenced-based policy decisions. 

You will have strong all-round geotechnical, analytical and IT expertise. The successful candidate will also display excellent interpersonal and influencing skills in multi-disciplinary teams and be able to command the respect of colleagues and industry representatives. 

This post offers an exciting and challenging opportunity to deliver real change in a high profile area of the OGA’s activities. 

Person specification

  • Competence 1: Leading and Communicating – The successful candidate will have good leadership and communication skills to enable the team to meet their objectives and fulfil their potential.
  • Competence 2: Delivering at Pace – Aptitude for working on numerous projects simultaneously with effective time to ensure that customers’ needs are met within required timeframes.
  • Competence 3: Making Effective Decisions – Strong analytical skills and sound judgement to manage varied and sometimes complex issues and to make decisions with discretion within a broad policy framework. Creative and innovative thinking.
  • Competence 4: Collaborative Behaviours – Collaborative mindset both working with operators and facilitating collaboration between operators to deliver MER and identify and share best practices across the industry.
Closing date for applications: 04 Oct 2020
Anticipated shortlisting date: w/c 05th October 2020
Anticipated interview date: TBD


Please visit the Oil and Gas Authority website to apply.

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