David Finlayson of WBC Delivers Keynote at Brunel University

David Finlayson, Chairman of Warren Business Consulting recently gave a keynote address to the class of 2015 of the MSc in Oil and Gas Engineering at Brunel University London, where he is a member of the governing council.  Some 50 students and staff attended the talk entitled “Why the  oil and gas industry needs bright graduates from the class of 2015: A personal view from a graduate of the class of 1972 of the role of people, engineering and technology in the  cyclic  upstream oil and gas industry”

oil and gas engineering

In the lecture, David illustrated how the  oil and gas business is cyclical.  The industry has seen many upheavals in the last 50 years. The oil shock of 1974, defined the role of OPEC and it also stimulated the growth of exploration in new basins worldwide, with the North Sea and Alaska coming on stream. The price shock in 1986, put extreme pressure on the industry to reduce costs. The response was an extraordinary flowering of niche technologies which revolutionised how exploration and production was carried out. Deepwater then ultra-deepwater exploration became economic. Since 2005 we have seen the emergence of a whole new class of resources: shale oil and gas, driven by new paradigms of supply chain management, engineering and technology. This has had a profound effect in reversing the decline of  US oil and gas production. The current oil price collapse signals yet another shock.

David went on to show how technology can make a difference to the economics of oil projects.  Examples include:  better seismic imaging with improved 3D  resolution  that can reduce expensive dry holes; installation automation, platform demanning, better extreme environment hardware with better awareness of structural integrity that can  increase  production at lower cost;  and improvements to drilling technology such as advanced geo steering, fewer wells through multi-laterals and multiple completions that can reduce the surface footprint.

David concluded by suggesting that there are plenty of hydrocarbons to be exploited, with the right technology and control of costs.  Throughout the history of oil and gas exploration and production  each generation has risen to the challenges of the day, and he looked forward to seeing the contribution of the Class of 2015.

The lecture will be issued in the form of a white paper and if you would like a copy please email:  info@warrenbusinessconsulting.com.

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