He was one of the most dynamic and positive people I have ever met in the upstream oil & gas industry.
Sadly, however, David Doig has gone having passed away last weekend following a massive heart attack on Hogmanay. He was just 57.
A Fifer and fiercely proud of it, Doig and I encountered one another well during early stages of the North Sea’s recovery following the oil price slump of late 1997 through early 1999.
At that time he was one of the backroom team working diligently to transform UK North Sea offshore training as a part of the grand strategy hatched by the crisis-driven Oil & Gas Industry Task Force.
Indeed, David joined OPITO, essentially at the point recovery from that downturn tentatively started.
He brought extensive offshore experience to bear in his initial role as head of the audit team and came to prominence as the organisation’s CEO in early 2005.
A conversation and understanding between us that eventually spanned more than a decade started very soon after David moved into the hot seat.
He was both engaging and trusting and was under no illusion about the huge task ahead including the need to proactively drive forward the OPITO agenda.
But I don’t think that even David knew just what an asset OPITO would become both domestically and internationally, or that it would quickly become recognised for the superb offshore apprenticeships programme that became an exemplar for Modern Apprenticeship programmes in other industries to follow.
He was hugely proud of that.
David was also a prime mover in getting the North Sea’s Oil & Gas Academy up and running in 2007. Its purpose was to enable the offshore industry to secure the skilled workforce it would need to sustain the long-term future of the North Sea.
It was branded OPITO – The Oil & Gas Academy. Not only was it about training people in the industry, the academy also built bridges with schools, colleges and universities on a shared agenda of encouraging greater uptake of mathematics, science and engineering subjects.
David was passionate about the need to engage with young people and on at least two occasions, I found myself alongside him, talking about careers in the energy industry to school-age students.
For him it wasn’t just about oil & gas or making OPITO a global standard in its own right, he keenly engaged with offshore renewables too, initially reasonably successfully.
However, we both got into trouble with the trade body RenewableUK a few years ago for being so forthright in our collective view that there was a need for Big Oil and offshore renewables to establish some common baseline safety standards offshore with training to match.
And there are more stories that could be recounted.
But I’m not the only one to have had the privilege of encountering and getting to know a little, this plain speaking yet engaging individual.
He was one of those special people that many of you got to know at least a little. We were lucky.
I for one miss him already.