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YP Focus - London

Unconventional Approach (contd from front page)

During the evening, the political implications of unconventionals in the UK were discussed by panel members Sir Robert Smith MP, Professor Mike Stephenson (BGS Technical Director), and Hugh Mackay (CEO, Europa Oil and Gas). The dialogue highlighted the significance of communicating science and engineering to the public and the importance of working with local communities to explain where energy comes from.

The successful event rounded off with an opportunity for panellists and members to interact once again over drinks and canapés, in the House of Commons Churchill Room.

SPE London YP Committee would like to thank Centrica, Hess, BP and Statoil for sponsoring the evening.

For news of more SPE London events, visit:

Words and pictures by Nick Curum


“People look at the US and only see the plummeting energy prices. Our market is different and we should not oversell the potential of the resources in the ground.” Sir Robert Smith MP

“On one side of the coin, it was deemed the saviour of Britain; on the other side, people thought we would create underground volcanoes and that Blackpool might subside into the sea.” Professor Mike Stephenson, BGS

“I would argue that ‘fraccing’ is a well-proven technology, as it has been around for almost 60 years.” Hugh Mackay, Europa Oil and Gas

YP London hosts its first-ever Student Paper Contest final

SPE YP London hosted the finals of the first-ever UK Student Paper Contest on 10 October, at the Geological Society, Piccadilly.

The event was attended by professionals and students from Imperial College London and the Universities of Manchester, Leeds and Coventry.

The students presented their final projects to a panel of judges and an audience from a wide range of industry backgrounds.

Marianna Sinakova, SPE YP London committee member, says: “The new event was a great success. It gave professionals and students a chance to network with colleagues from across the UK, attend interesting presentations, and learn about the cutting-edge research carried out at universities around the country. We hope to build on the success of this event by encouraging more universities to take part next year.”

The London YP committee congratulates UK Student Paper Contest winner, Benjamin Pickles, of Leeds University, who won an automatic entry into the SPE European Student Paper Contest. Good luck, Benjamin!

No ordinary recruitment event! SPE YP London’s ‘Introduction to Management Consulting in Oil and Gas’, on 26 September, organised in association with BCG, turned out to be no ordinary recruitment event.

For a start, the meeting - at BCG’s London office, in Manchester Square - was held in the very room with the famous balcony that featured on several of The Beatles’ album covers. Even if extensive renovations make it unrecognisable, it still apparently attracts a lot of photo requests!

The audience was diverse, including young professionals, postgraduate students and post doctorates, all keen to learn more about management consulting.

BCG Associate Director Philip Whittaker launched the event by summarising his own career (he worked as a drilling engineering for a super-major prior to joining management consulting) and outlining the BCG structure. He stressed the growing trend in the consulting industry to employ technical professionals, as opposed to the previous practice of having mostly business-orientated staff.

Consultant Richard Norton’s presentation then gave a deeper insight into management consulting - with an interactive twist half-way through, when attendees were divided into teams to play the role of consultants.


The task was to tackle a recent BCG industry project: to measure ‘the client’ IOC against other Upstream research and development players.

This session took the form of two exercises: creating a list of companies to analyse, and structuring the criteria for mapping competitors. From being friendly advisers when helping the teams, the BCG consultants turned into exacting clients while listening to the young professionals’ presentations.

Afterwards the results were compared to the company’s actual solutions and some other analysis tools were shared.

The event was wrapped up with a Q&A session. Summarising what it takes to be a consultant, Principal Eric Oudenot succinctly stated: “Being smart!”

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