The cream of the oil and gas industry was celebrated at an industry “Oscars” event in the north-east last night.
More than 600 people gathered at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre to celebrate the 2012 Oil and Gas UK Awards.
The annual showcase of the UK offshore industry honoured some of the sector’s top-performing people and companies.
But the event came with a word of caution from lifetime achievement award winner Sir Ian Wood, who recently stepped down as chairman of Wood Group, the north-east business he turned from a fishing firm into a global energy service giant.
Accepting his award, Sir Ian voiced his frustration at the UK’s “scant recognition for the huge contribution it (the North Sea) has made to our economy, employment and enterprise culture”.
He said: “The UK continental shelf has for many, many years been the largest investor and contributor to national gross value added in the UK industrial economy, and we continue to support 400,000 jobs.
“At best oil and gas is considered as part of the transition to the low-carbon economy but in truth it is integral to it, with diversity of energy providing security of energy.”
Among the other winners was Apache North Sea’s Craig Wood, an electrical technician who won young technician of the year.
Mr Wood was the youngest person to become an authorised electrical person in Apache’s Forties field when he progressed to the role within 15 months, rather than the expected four years, guests were told.
Oil and Gas UK chief executive Malcolm Webb said: “Once again the Oil and Gas UK Awards – the industry’s Oscars – have shone the spotlight on the people and companies which we are privileged to work alongside.
“I’m very pleased to say that, judging by the quality of entries, there is clearly an abundance of real talent, innovation and enthusiasm active within our industry.
“The evening was also a chance to give a very special thank-you to Sir Ian Wood, who has been one of this industry’s foremost figures for decades and is one of the greatest industrialists this country has ever produced.
“I congratulate all the finalists and not just the winners.
“They can all count themselves as being among the very best of the best.”