REVIEW: PESGB Surrey Branch 20th Birthday Party
Article by Sarah-Jane Kelland, PESGB Surrey Branch co-organiser
With thanks to Daria Lazareva for the photos
It was billed on the PESGB website as an event on 17th-18th May from 6pm to 3am and the scene was like something out of a movie. Rain was lashing down outside- ‘good field trip weather’ someone said, but inside The White House Pub where a conglomerate of geoscientists was meeting, it was warm and dry. With a pint of beer in hand and the gentle murmur of voices, heads often turned in anticipation towards the door, announcing the arrival of another person for the PESGB Surrey Branch birthday party. Members from recent times and yesteryear were greeted with big smiles as friendships made up to two decades ago were re-established. It is not without reason that we soon took over the ground floor of the pub. This was a meeting of the PESGB Surrey Branch, the largest and longest running of the PESGB Regional groups, to celebrate 20 years since it was spudded by Chris Bulley (Ranger) and Tadeusz ‘Boz’ Brzozowski (Phillips). Set up in spring 1997, the meetings were a way of getting the Guildford/Woking oil companies to do more joint venturing together and also avoid the ever increasing travel from London to Aberdeen. This group has stood the test of time and thrived through two oil price crashes.
During the evening an antediluvian language was evoked in me, as we reminisced about which acreage we worked on and which company we represented when attending the first few meetings of the group. Words like ‘Core Labs’, ‘Arco’, ‘Scott Pickford’, ‘DTI’ ‘the J blocks’ and ‘Franklin Field’ conjured up happy memories of mature exploration in the UK North Sea. How different things are 20 years on. The geoscience knowledge of our members has expanded from being dominantly UK North Sea-related to now encompass Africa, Asia, Australia and even the Arctic. The nature of the group has also become more polymict, from being composed of people working for majors and medium-sized operators, to those not only from the majors, but also service companies and independent consultancies. However, throughout these years, the ethos has remained much the same; an opportunity to network and engage with colleagues about the industry we love.
The longevity of the branch is testament to the continued support of its members and the companies who are still able to offer us sponsorship in these difficult times. We are very grateful to Katalyst Data Management Ltd, SLR Consulting and Working Smart Ltd for their generous sponsorship of the food and drinks at this meeting. Also to the PESGB who provided the birthday cake. Sincere thanks also go to founder member Chris Bulley and Boz’s wife, Jen Brzozowska for cutting the cake. The length of time it took to get hush before Chris’s speech a reflection of the number of people who attended. We did our best PESGB, but we could not keep going to 3am. We’ll try again at our 25th anniversary party in 2022!