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Reinvigorated North Sea celebrated at Gold Awards

Press & Journal's Gold Awards 2018, at the Marcliffe Hotel.

Picture of (L-R) Hall of Fame winner and Wood CEO Robin Watson, Nicola Fraser from sponsor Aberdeen Standard Investments and Industry leader award winner Steve Phimister of Shell. 

Picture by KENNY ELRICK     07/09/2018
Press & Journal's Gold Awards 2018, at the Marcliffe Hotel. Picture of (L-R) Hall of Fame winner and Wood CEO Robin Watson, Nicola Fraser from sponsor Aberdeen Standard Investments and Industry leader award winner Steve Phimister of Shell. Picture by KENNY ELRICK 07/09/2018

The Press and Journal celebrated the reinvigoration of the North Sea oil and gas industry on Friday night at the fourth annual Gold Awards.

Hundreds of people attended the glittering bash at the Marcliffe at Pitfoldels to recognise 10 worthy winners, hosted by BBC One’s Final Score host Jason Mohammad.

Robin Watson, the chief executive of energy services giant Wood was inducted into the Gold Awards’ Hall of Fame by main event sponsors Aberdeen Standard Investments.

He joined the likes of industry veteran Sir Ian Wood, Professor Alex Kemp of Aberdeen University and Jim Milne of Balmoral Group who have previously received the accolade.

Mr Watson considered the honour as a reflection of the entire company’s work.

He said: “I’m really very honoured, very privileged and I really feel quite humbled by it. When I look at the previous winners, they’re people I have a huge amount of respect for.

“I’m pleased for all the people that work in the organisation. We’ve really done a lot in the last three years but we’ve done it together.

“The organisation has reacted very well to the changes we’ve made.

“We’ve asked a lot of a lot of people and I just get a chance to get some of the accolade but really it’s an accolade for the entire organisation. My own team and their managers and the hard work that they have all put in.

“There’s been a tough side of it which has been the downturn in oil and gas and there’s been actually some real strides we’ve made in the busness.

“It’s good to be growing again, we’ve remained in Aberdeen – that was something really important to us – we’ve remained in the north east.

“We’re now recruiting again and doing more oil and gas work than ever before but equally doing more work outwith oil and gas as well. It has been a good year so far.”

Meanwhile Shell’s UK upstream vice-president Steve Phimister received the Industry Leader gong, as the firm this year celebrates its 50th anniversary in the North Sea.

Accepting the award, Mr Phimister described his hopes for collaboration in the sector.

He said: “Everything that we’ve been trying to do to raise collaboration across the industry is recognised in this.

“There’ a lot of people trying to do their very best and pulling together is the difference. Helping one another through, and I’m very, very hopeful about the future.

“I’m very hopeful about investments that are going ahead now and that are coming in for us as an industry in the future.

“It isn’t straightforward, it is tough and some people are still finding it tough, but the fact that we can do things together for the good of the basin and pull investment back in, keeping employment up, is a great thing.

“I think there’s some really good times ahead of us.

“I’m hoping another 50 years – you never know – but I think we have a great opportunity, provided we continue to work together the way we are.”

The Renewables Award went to Sparrows Group and TAQA received the Health and Safety accolade sponsored by Kelvin TOP-SET.

Robert Mitchell of ICR Integrity received the Apprentice Award sponsored by Trojan Crates, with Stuart Hamilton of Fugro being highly commended.

The Above and Beyond accolade, a newly introduced category from Bristow Helicopters, went to Louise Duncan of Chevron.

Another new category was the Dr Mildred Dresselhaus Award to recognise women in the energy industry, which was picked up by Fiona McKie of Wood.

Ms McKie said it was crucial to highlight the energy sector as a viable route for more women.

She said: “I feel so passionate about it. I’ve had an absolutely blessed career where I’ve done things I thought I would never do and I just feel that not enough women know that is a route that is available to them, that they can go and live quite an extraordinary life, see the world and do things they never thought they can do.”

Entier was named Large Company of the Year, on the eve of its 10th birthday, and Siccar Point Energy received the Small Company of the Year recognition, sponsored by Wideroe.

Last but not least, the Innovation Award sponsored by Balmoral Group went to Tendeka.

Richard Neville, editor-in-chief of the Press and Journal welcomed guests, and praised the efforts of the sector to make the North Sea more competitive.

He said: “The energy industry is in a much better place now than it was in 2015 when the inaugural Gold Awards ceremony was held.

“Oil prices are much higher and new entrants backed by private equity have reinvigorated the North Sea and brought in fresh investment.

“This hasn’t happened by accident. The industry and its regulator have done a commendable job of making the basin more competitive and companies are taking on board the need to transition to a low carbon future and make better use of Scotland’s green energy potential.”

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