If planned attendance at the industry's foremost business development event is anything to go by, confidence is returning to the UK oil and gas sector in leaps and bounds.
It was with great interest that I read the article by Les Linklater in September's edition of Energy. While the organisation for which he works, Step Change in Safety, is primarily focused on making the UK the safest place in which to work in the worldwide oil and gas industry, the theme of the article - working towards a change in industry culture - resonated with me, and also my CEO, Andrew Kain.
There is huge and growing interest in unconventionals these days, particularly shale gas and oil. Moreover, there's an unconventional gas conference being staged in Aberdeen late this month.
I have spoken many times over the years about the importance of establishing one common set of industry standards for safety and competency in oil and gas around the world.
I was talking to the executive of a major energy company this week and he told me he had been in the job for 11 years.
Through interviews with senior Oilfield Services (OFS) executives and private equity practitioners conducted as part of our latest "Dynamic Dealmaking" survey, Ernst & Young has established that merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the segment is expected to increase.
A recent report published in the Lancet Medical Journal analysed 13 European studies and followed the working lives and health of nearly 200,000 people. The report concluded that "job strain" could be linked to an increased risk of coronary heart disease. It was noted that those who have demanding jobs but little control over how they manage their work were most at risk.
It is a sad irony that all too often, developing countries rich in natural resources, such as oil, gas and various minerals, seem to benefit little from the opportunities presented to them by this wealth.
Oh dear, yet another change in the taxation of the North Sea oil and gas market. Last month, George Osborne unveiled further tax breaks to promote more "brownfield" investment, just a year after launching a £2billion tax raid on producers in the UK.
Too many companies in the high-risk energy industries are still making assumptions in their contracts management process and are passing on the onus for health and safety, environment and quality (HSEQ) control to their contractors, without checking if these vital processes and procedures are being properly addressed.
Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the first Offshore Europe oil show . . . a perfect excuse if one were needed to celebrate the at times staggering achievements of oil and gas companies out there in the North Sea and beyond and the role that Aberdeen has played throughout.
The badly named "skills gap" is not a new problem. We've known about it for a long time.
Do Energy Ministers matter? Discuss! Unfortunately, the subject is once again relevant due to the unexpected and unwelcome removal of Charles Hendry from the post.
After the outcry over the UK Government's 2011 Budget £10billion tax grab, North Sea oil producers have been given a string of allowances to make their investments more viable. Aberdeen University's professor of petroleum economics, Alex Kemp, unpicks the latest tax changes and argues that the debate over future additional allowances will continue
Energy minister Charles Hendry... relegated to the back benches; renewables sceptic John Hayes is given the role.
If for some peculiar reason I had actually wanted to go to London to watch any of the Olympics my choices of how to get there would have been to fly, drive, catch a train or take one of those long distance buses.
OK, time to speak out; I've had enough of the moaning that's going on in and around Aberdeen regarding renewable energy. And I'm becoming increasingly irritated at the Ministry of Defence, which has so far attempted to block 30 or so wind projects in the north-east corner and many more UK-wide.
I have spent most of the last four months working in the South Pacific - in Fiji, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and a few other countries. Someone asked me if I would like to undertake a study on improving energy security in the region and after a few seconds hesitation I agreed. It has been a very enjoyable change from working in Scotland.
Coal is often treated as the embarrassing relation of the energy family. Everyone depends on it but would prefer not to say so. It neither courts headlines nor receives plaudits - but without it, the well-worn phrase about the lights going out would soon turn to reality.
Many of us have been making the most of what's left of our summer. Thoughts of winter and seasonal flu haven't been uppermost on our minds.
Supposing someone was to ask you "what is the safety culture like where you work?" How would you begin to answer that? Perhaps in your workplace, safety is so ingrained in every system and process; right down to everyone remembering to hold the handrails.
If you were to list some of the safer operating environments for the energy sector worldwide, the north of Iraq might not immediately spring to mind. However, the territories administered by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) are currently just that.
It must be many a small boy's dream to become an astronaut: to explore the unknown, to use fantastic technology and gadgets and to push the boundaries of man's capabilities.
In my article "Deal or No Deal" (Energy, November, 2011), I highlighted my expectation of increased bid activity from National Oil Companies (NOC's) given their significant sovereign wealth fire-power and the perception that in current volatile markets, there was value to be exploited.
Oil and gas sector interest in initiatives designed to improve the quality and efficiency of business services - finance, human resources, supply chain, etc - has intensified over the past few years, but the reasons will differ depending on the scale and maturity of a business.