Oil & Gas Division (formerly Petroleum & Drilling Engineering Division) annual reports


Annual report for 2015

1.      Board membership

During the year Weronika Sweich and Sehban Hussein left the Board and were replaced by Andrew Sturgeon and Melissa Walker who were both based in London. At the end of 2015 the Division Board members were: Steve Bedford, Craig Durham, Margaret Copland, Babs Oyeneyin, Martin Cox, Ian Merchant, Andrew Duncan, Muhammad Ejaz, Andrew Sturgeon and Melissa Walker. All Board members are members of the Institute

2.      Board meetings

Aberdeen 19th March, attendees: Steve Bedford, Craig Durham, Ian Merchant, Babs Oyeneyin, and Muhammad Ejaz.
Aberdeen 11th June, attendees: Steve Bedford, Craig Durham, Ian Merchant, Babs Oyeneyin, Muhammad Ejaz and Margaret Copland.
London and Aberdeen 18th November, attendees: Steve Bedford, Craig Durham, Andrew Sturgeon, Babs Oyeneyin, Muhammad Ejaz and Margaret Copland.

Minutes of Board meetings were posted on the Division microsite.

3.      Activities during  2015

3.1.   Technical programme

The Division was active throughout 2015 delivering technical presentations and student seminars as detailed in the Appendix. At each event there was a recruitment stand, with recruitment particularly successful at the student seminars. In total 326 students and professionals attended events organised by the Division across 7 different sites.

3.2.   Website developments

The Division web master (Margaret Copland) took the lead, on behalf of the Division, for input to the refresh of the Institute website and Margaret provided significant input. The Division microsite was continually updated with fresh relevant news articles, presentation material, events information, links and Board papers. The Division Mission Statement was updated to align with the updated Board Structure and Modus Operandi.

A significant development was the publication of the first two educational packs developed by the Division, namely: “An introduction to oil and gas drilling and well operations” and “Introduction to oil and gas well servicing”. The objective of these slide packs was to provide the public with information on the production of oil and gas. The intent was to add further packs over time to build a useful resource.

The Division micro site remained in the “top ten” most popular Institute sites and received recognition from the Institute for the quality and frequency of refresh.

3.3.   Engagement with technical community and/or local societies

The Division continued to maintain a close working relationship with the Mining Institute of Scotland due to the large number of Division members based in Scotland. The Division also worked closely with the Aberdeen based local societies of the: Energy Institute, Institute of Corrosion Engineers (ICorr), Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and the International Coiled Tubing Association (ICoTA). The Division significantly increased it’s visibility within ICorr through Muhammad Ejaz, Ian Merchant and Andrew Duncan who are all active in ICorr.

The Division continued to maintain working relationships with MinSouth and the Midlands Institute of Mining Engineers to engage with Division members based in England. The Oil and Gas Division is a member of the International Minerals and Mining Association and continued to hold the Chair of this body throughout 2015.

The Division was approached by the IMechE to contribute to a paper on shale gas well integrity. The Division accepted this offer and formed a joint working group with the IMechE to produce a joint paper. The first draft of the paper was produced and reviewed at a workshop held with representatives from Industry, Academia and the Regulators on the 16th November at the IMechE London offices. Building on the working relationship with the IMechE a joint technical presentation was organised at the BP drilling simulator in the Sunbury office, this event was significantly over subscribed with the capacity limited to 27 attendees. The attendees were evenly split between IOM3 and IMechE members.

3.4.   Contributions to IoM3 house journals

The Division provided three letters addressing misrepresentations of shale oil and gas activities in Materials World along with a Division focus article that was published in the June 2015 edition of Materials World.

Babs Oyeneyin formed an editorial Board to work with Taylor and Francis to progress dedicated Oil and Gas articles in existing Journals

3.5.   Other

In line with the Institute strategy to increase technician membership the Division Board continued to work closely with the Institute membership department and the Mining Institute of Scotland to support the student forum at Fife College. The Forum held meetings throughout the year, undertook Industrial visits, attended trade events and technical presentations. A campus visit was undertaken by the Institute on the 13th May.

As detailed in the Appendix the Division delivered technical presentations at key UK Universities. The Division also recognised the importance of encouraging school pupils to consider careers in earth sciences and providing teachers with the motivation and skills to support their pupils. The Division secured funding from the Institute to sponsor the “Scotland Rocks” event for Scottish high school pupils and teachers that was held over the weekend of the 6th 8th March in Perth. Forty three pupils and fourteen teachers from fourteen schools attended the event and provided very positive feedback.

Recruitment was a key priority for the Division. Concurrent with the Institute move to the new London office the Division brochure was refreshed and re-issued in August. At each Division event brochures and recruitment material were issued.

The Division Board re-issued the Board Structure and Modus Operandi, including a sustainability statement.

4.      Strategy and Objectives for 2015 and beyond

4.1.   Opportunities and constraints

The Division had achieved sustained year on year growth from 436 members in 2007 to 2356 members at the end of 2015. The Division Board believed that the recent large increase in membership was due to a combination of factors including the following:-

• Professionals wanting to gain professional Qualifications to enhance their CV during the current Industry downturn.
• Members leaving the Industry who found they had more time available.
• Increased media coverage of oil and gas with numerous articles on the impact of the drop in oil prices along with shale oil and gas development.
• Increased visibility of the Institute through Division activities and engagement with students.

The Division Board continued to focus on both identifying and responding to the requirements of the existing members, while also identifying and actioning opportunities to recruit new members. The Division Board intended to review the Board plans against the results of the planned Institute member survey.

The Division Board first priority was to sustain and continuously enhance existing successful offerings. The second priority was to develop new offerings, as detailed below in section 4.2.

The Division membership in the UK was split fairly evenly between the North East of Scotland, South East of England and the rest of the UK. The Division had an active programme in the North East of Scotland and the Board was actively working to increase Board membership and Division activities in the London area. Significant progress was made in the second half of the year with two new London based Board members, joint working with the IMechE and the technical presentation in Sunbury. The Division Board viewed the purchase of the Warren Street office as a significant opportunity.

The primary constraint to further growth was the time that members and the Institute staff can commit. The Division Board recognised the benefits of the Institute Governance changes and reorganisation. The Institute membership and communications departments continued to provide excellent support. The Division Board saw an opportunity to engage members, who were leaving the Industry due to the downturn, to support the delivery of Institute activities.

The downturn in the Oil and Gas Industry had already been significant with Oil and Gas UK estimating the loss of 65,000 jobs in the UK associated with the sector. At the time of writing another round of layoffs was in progress with the expectation that cuts would be deeper than previous. The negative impact for the Institute had been less financial support for Institute activities and members still in employment having less time available. These factors came to the fore in the autumn when a planned event in Baku had to be deferred. However the downturn also presented opportunities as people looked to strengthen their CVs and access continuing professional development opportunities when their employers were cutting back on training.

In addition to these general constraints the Board viewed the following as constraints to continued growth:-

• Engineers in the Oil and Gas Industry were very busy, working long hours and found it difficult to make the time to participate in the Institute activities.
• There were multiple Institutes working in the Oil and Gas sector and decision makers tended to support their own “heritage” professional body.
• There was limited career enhancement through gaining the professional qualifications offered by the Institute and participation in the continuing professional development activities. Unlike the United States the European Union and Regulators had not made the professional qualifications and continuing professional development offered by the Institute mandatory in the Oil and Gas sector.
• The American Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) globally dominated the Oil and Gas sector. The SPE had linked up with the Energy Institute and was offering an increased level of service to Oil and Gas Engineers, including: a route to professional UK registration as a Chartered Engineer and model codes of safe practice/guidelines.

4.2.   Specific targets for 2016

After reviewing progress during 2015, the Institute focus areas for 2016 and the outlook for the Oil and Gas Industry the Division Board agreed to continue to focus on membership retention and growth through sustaining current successful activities and undertaking development activities as detailed below, in particular building London based activities. Individual Board members took accountability for the delivery of each activity and recruitment material would be made available at each event.

Sustaining Activities

• Technical seminars at the Robert Gordon University.
• Seminar at St. Andrews University.
• Oilfield integrity and UK legislation seminar at Aberdeen University.
• Technical seminar (masterclass) on shale gas and oil development and well integrity.
• Support the Oil and Gas student forum at Fife College.
• Maintain the Division microsite.
• Produce an eNews letter for Division members.
• Seminar at Heriot Watt University.
• Awareness of the benefits of IOM3 membership to ICorr members through joint activities, ICorr website and the ICorr conference.
• Educational pack on corrosion management in oil and gas operations.
• Institute support for “Scotland Rocks” 2016 event for Scottish High Schools.

Development Activities

• Increase the University technical seminar programme targeting Universities with relevant courses e.g. Manchester Metropolitan and Leeds.
• Progress the Division Journal articles.
• Develop a mentoring programme to support female and/or younger members.
• Progress collaborative activities with the IMechE, support the IMechE shale gas conference and deliver a paper on shale gas well integrity.
• Nominate more than five new Fellows.
• Identify an event to run in the “Mine” at the Warren Street office.

4.3 Specific targets for the 3 years beyond 2016

The Division Board reviewed and refreshed the Division 5 year plan in the first half of 2014 to align with the Institute 2020 plan. The Division Board reviewed the plan at the November Board meeting and decided not to make any changes. The targets for the three years beyond 2016 were as follows:-

• Maintain Division membership above 2000.
• Increase the monthly website hits from 225 to 500.

To achieve these targets the following activities were identified in the 5 year plan for action beyond 2016:-

• Sustain and build on successful events/offerings.
• Increase the visibility and value of professional qualifications: encourage and support applicants.
• Maintain communication with members.
• Undertake two yearly member surveys.
• Publish transactions.
• Support Industrial and Academic accreditations.
• Increase the Geographic reach of the Technical programme.
• Academic course input outwith Aberdeen.
• Develop a CPD programme for young professionals.
• Develop a younger members workgroup.

5.      Other matters

The current Division Chair will complete a second four year term of office in September 2016. In line with Institute practice a new Chair would be put forward to the Institute. Martin Cox was standing down from IMMa as he took up the role of Institute President in 2017. A new Division representative on IMMa would be nominated. Concurrent with these changes the Division Board would review and revise the Board Structure and Modus Operandi as required.

Following a nomination from the Division Oil and Gas UK were awarded the Institute Medal of Excellence in 2015.


 30 December 2015