In the final installment of our three part series, Total's departing UK managing director pens a final farewell.
The United Kingdom is home to some of the most renowned scientists in the world. Yet if you asked many people they might find it difficult to name anyone apart from Stephen Hawking. Ask them to name a female scientist and I think they would struggle but we have some exceptional scientists in Dame Athene Donald, Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Dame Carol Richardson amongst others. Encouragingly, more women than ever before are working in science, technology and engineering occupations, according to official data. The Labour Force Survey reveals that nearly 800,000 women work in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematic occupations, 104,000 more than in 2014.
Before the Energy Transitions Commission was even launched here in Houston a few weeks ago, environmentalists had already dismissed it as a public relations ploy by major oil companies and other peddlers of fossil fuels. They immediately questioned the climate change credentials of companies like Shell, which is one of the leaders of the initiative to help meet the energy needs of growing world population without damaging the environment beyond repair. Just a few weeks ago, activists from the environmental community took to their kayaks and posed for pictures in front of Shell’s Polar Pioneer rig moored in Seattle. Paddles raised in defiance, they decried the company’s plans to drill in the Arctic.
The Government has been relentlessly strangling the UK’s green energy sector, arguing that this is all part of their campaign to reduce energy bills for consumers. Now, not only are we risking inflating our energy bills in the future, but we are also at risk of handing control of our future energy security to China.
Mexico’s second oil and gas auction marked a turning point for the industry.
Are you in this to be liked? Have you asked yourself how well you managed the cost reduction exercises in your business this year? This recession has cut deeper and lasted longer than most of us ever expected, but that doesn’t mean we have to wait for it to be over to be liked. Most leaders in this market have been through recession and subsequent headcount reductions several times. Many will admit that managing redundancies is the toughest thing that they have had to do in their careers.
I posted this on Linked-In a few months back:
Sir Ian Wood’s analysis in 2012 that the North Sea industry was not viable when Brent crude was $114 a barrel and that drastic action had to be taken to save the industry is a sobering thought.
During the current difficult period faced by the UKCS oil and gas industry, collaboration between the various parties in the offshore industry has been identified as one of the key factors in ensuring that the oil and gas output from the UKCS is maximised. There has been recent discussion in Energy Voice about some of the ways in which this can be done – and some of the problems being encountered, including the publication of some very interesting survey results published by Deloitte. Looking at these things in terms of their legal and contractual dimensions, there might be lessons to take from the way that the (onshore) construction and engineering sector has dealt with these issues in the last decade or so. In that area, particular forms of standard form contracts and the use of “good faith” obligations have been at the centre of trying to ensure collaborative working – with some success.
I don’t know about other readers, but I am confused by the recent spate of reporting regarding helicopter “incidents” in outlets other than Energy Voice and the P&J.
At time of writing, 5% of the UK’s electricity consumption is coming from wind. Another few per cent is powered by other renewables, mainly long-established hydro; 39% from gas, 21 from nuclear and 22 from coal.
There has been a lot of talk recently about the ‘barriers to entry’ for girls studying science and mathematics at school. Whether it is not feeling smart enough, not knowing about the different career options or just not having the support and role models to encourage and inspire them to take that leap of faith to study science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, girls are not pursuing STEM careers in the same way boys are.
There’s something seriously wrong with the energy technology innovation process in this country.
It is years since I commented about nuclear power in the UK, though we have carried stories from time to time.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to control Nigeria’s oil industry emphasises the significance that the sector has for the country.
The North Sea has continued to make headlines over the summer; mostly for the wrong reasons. But amid the doom and gloom of media reports lamenting the terminal influence of a low oil price, there have been glimmers of good news.
The U.S. energy industry missed an opportunity to help shape the Obama Administration’s climate change policy. Big producers like Exxon Mobil and Chevron have largely shunned efforts by their European counterparts to develop a common stance on climate change that could influence policy.
Well it is official, summer is over, autumn is here and winter is coming.
The news that so many girls growing up in Scotland don’t think they are smart enough or too weak to pursue a STEM career is a wake-up call for everyone involved in helping these young women make choices about their future.
At St Margaret’s School for Girls we read the article which showed a quarter of girls in Scotland aged between 11 and 16 do not think they are clever enough to become a scientist with great interest. In girls’ schools across the country it has long been acknowledged that building confidence and self-esteem in girls is key to their success in the classroom, particularly with regard to the uptake of science and maths. The number of our girls pursuing STEM subjects at university continues to be high and is in stark contrast with the figures released by EDF Energy today.
The news of Shell’s departure from its Arctic offshore project has been greeted by a mixture of nodding heads, wrinkled brows, and, in some quarters, elated arm-waving.
Last week, I was in a small tent on the vast Greenland ice sheet with a leading British glaciologist investigating and documenting the alarming rate of ice flow and melt as a result of climate change.
An estimated 14.1 million people in Britain want flexibility in their working hours or location, equivalent to almost half the working population, the consultancy and jobs site Timewise says. As businesses continue to look to ways in which they can reduce their cost base other than simply by reducing headcount, one stone that is often left unturned is flexibility. It is commonly held that flexibility costs money, be it in management time for administering a complicated flexible working programme or by having to add more people to the mix to get the work done. In 1998, certain major oil and gas operators led the way by allowing employees to have every second Friday off of work (The 9 Day Fortnight or Alternative Working Week) – on the basis that they worked their contractual hours over 9 days. Competitors scrambled to put in place similar schemes in order to ensure that they retained their staff and to try and prevent them from being lured away by the competitors.
The latest research from the University of Aberdeen provides detailed independent financial confirmation of the constant refrain in industry – that without meaningful and sustained cost reduction the UKCS basin will not be economical in the short to medium term and maximising economic recovery will not be achieved. It is an important contribution in illustrating the impact of costs on returns in our industry.