The finalists for the 2017 Press and Journal Gold Awards are revealed for the first time today.
A 29-strong shortlist has been drawn up for the prestigious energy industry accolades following a particularly difficult round of judging.
The standard of entries for this year’s awards – held in association with investment giant Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM) – was better than ever, and it was an almost impossible task deciding who should go forward to the final at the Marcliffe Hotel and Spa, Aberdeen, on Friday, September 8.
An inaugural apprentice prize will be decided following interviews to sort out the best from the rest, while the latest inductee to the Gold Awards hall of fame will be announced on the night of the awards ceremony.
This year’s awards, once again featuring BBC Breakfast presenter Steph McGovern as host, are the third of an annual series launched in 2015 to celebrate 50 years of North Sea oil and gas.
Aberdeen Journals editor-in-chief Damian Bates, chairman of an eight-strong panel of judges, said: “The judging process was incredibly robust and challenging, with some fabulous debate about all the candidates and categories.
“The level and quality of candidates was just superb, with some really outstanding entries, and the independent judges had significant discussions in a bid to agree the winners.
“I know it’s a bit of a cliche, but it’s fair to say that anyone who has made it onto the shortlist should be really proud of what they’ve achieved because they are in very good company.”
Fellow judge Kevin Milne, group treasurer, AAM, said: “With such a high standard to choose from, it is clear the energy industry is still attracting the very best of talent. These awards provide a welcome opportunity to recognise that and celebrate the significant contribution the industry continues to make to our economy.”
Mick Borwell, health, safety and environment policy director of Oil and Gas UK, described the judging session as a “robust discussion over different choices in well-contested categories”.
The other judges were Simmons & Company International industry and technology vice-president Alan Dick, Oil and Gas Authority northern North Sea and west of Shetland area manager Brenda Wyllie, Burness Paull partner Jamie Stark, Balmoral Group chief executive Jim Milne and Step Change in Safety executive director Les Linklater.
AAM chief executive Martin Gilbert said: “Aberdeen Asset Management is pleased to support the Press & Journal Gold Awards for a third year, recognising the remarkable contributions to the UK offshore oil and gas industry, and we would like to congratulate all the finalists.
“The industry has built a reputation on being a global leader, innovative and resilient in the face of adversity. We are proud to support a night to recognise, celebrate and reinforce that spirit of never giving up.”
All of this year’s finalists will be put forward for an “ultimate” gold award, judged by an independent panel, which will be announced at the Oil and Gas UK Awards on November 2.
To find out more about the event and to book tickets, click here.