The first person to be inducted into the North Sea industry hall of fame said he was “delighted” with the honour.
Prominent petro-economist Professor Alex Kemp was recognised for a lifetime of achievements at the Press and Journal Gold Awards on Friday.
Prof Kemp has played a key role in policy-making in his field, having worked as a specialist adviser to the UK House of Commons select committee on energy for a total of about 17 years spread across three decades.
In a vast body of work, he has written more than 200 papers and books, including the Official History of North Sea Oil and Gas, which was published in 2011 in two volumes.
His many accolades include an OBE, conferred in 2006 for services to the oil and gas industry, and an Alick Buchanan-Smith Memorial Award seven years earlier.
And as the current director of Aberdeen University’s centre for research in energy economics and finance, he is the number one “go to guy” for anyone seeking insight and analysis on international petroleum markets.
Prof Kemp said: “I am obviously delighted that I have received this award – particularly because it’s emanating from the local industry which I think is in the best position to acknowledge the contribution I’ve made over the years.
“Aberdeen is the centre of operations for the North Sea, but economists still make a contribution to solving the various problems which arise and can make a contribution to getting the right balance between taxation and other incentives for the industry.”
Press and Journal Energy editor Jeremy Cresswell, who sat on the Gold Awards judging panel, lauded Prof Kemp as one of the granite city’s treasures and fully deserving of his lifetime achievement award.
Mr Cresswell said: “Professor Alex Kemp is a one-off. There simply isn’t another petroleum economist like him – anywhere.
“Schooled at Skene Primary and Robert Gordon’s College before going on to Aberdeen University, Prof Kemp has witnessed the entire North Sea oil saga so far.
“This extraordinary individual has played an important role in influencing the course of that great story as a linchpin adviser to a succession of governments and petroleum companies.
“Moreover, he has played a major role in influencing the shape of oil and gas fiscal regimes in many countries worldwide.
“As if that isn’t enough, Alex is also the UK’s official historian for the North Sea and he remains a pillar of his alma mater, Aberdeen University.”
Looking to the future, Prof Kemp said the outlook was good.
His recent studies on the new North Sea tax regime introduced in the Budget and the cost-cutting steps taken by companies have given him confidence that the sector will recover from its slump in the short to medium term.
“I am convinced that within a couple of years activity in new field developments will start increasing again quite substantially, even at the level of prices we have now,” he said.
“This increased activity will compensate for the reductions on existing fields which we’ve been experiencing now which have led to unemployment.”