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Oil & Gas UK 2017 award winners announced

3 November 2017

A safety-conscious apprentice who showed leadership in maintaining safe operations on an offshore platform, and an industry-leading project which championed collaboration were among those who secured accolades last night (Thursday 2 November) at the Oil & Gas UK Awards 2017.

More than 500 people from across the sector gathered to celebrate individual and company achievements at the Aberdeen ceremony hosted by BBC Radio 4 Today presenter Justin Webb and organised by Oil & Gas UK.

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said:

“Our awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the good news stories and positive developments that continue to happen despite the difficulties many in our industry still face.

“Our judges had a tough job sifting through really great nominations which also serve as another reminder of the dedication of those working in our sector and the faith they have in the future of the North Sea which still holds billions of barrels of oil and gas.”

The evening also included a speech from Shell U.K Limited Vice President of Upstream, Steve Phimister, who reflected on changing times for the industry as it moves to meet the demands of a fast changing world.

The winners across the eight categories are as follows:

Oil & Gas UK Young Professional Award 2017


Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by OPITO)

Samuel Ash, Nexen Petroleum U.K. Limited


Graduate of the Year (Sponsored by ECITB)




Joanna Reynolds, BP


Oil & Gas UK Mentor of the Year Award 2017


Alexandra Mary Fordham, Chevron North Sea Limited.
Oil and Gas Authority MER UK 2017 (Sponsored by Oil and Gas Authority)


Apache North Sea Limited

Total E&P UK & OGTC Asset Integrity

Ultimate Gold Award 2017 (Sponsored by the Press & Journal)


John Hunter, Tendeka


Oil & Gas UK Diversity and Inclusiveness Award 2017     



Oil & Gas UK Workforce Engagement Award 2017


Small and Medium Enterprise (SME)  – Fairfield Energy Limited


Large Enterprise  – Proserv


Oil & Gas UK Business Innovation Award 2017


SME – Operational Excellence (OPEX) Group


Large Enterprise – Brent Decommissioning Project, Shell U.K. Limited




Notes to Editors:

About the Awards and Award Winners


The Oil & Gas UK Award for Young Professional of the Year 2017 recognise the next generation of talent in the offshore oil and gas industry.


Apprentice of the Year 2017 (Sponsored by OPITO), Sam Ash, Apprentice Mechanical Technician, Nexen Petroleum U.K.Limited, earned recognition from his colleagues for his humility, passion and desire to learn. His safety-first approach to tasks, exceptional technical ability and can-do attitude secured his position as a vital team player and one of the Scott platform mechanical team leaders.


Jo Reynolds won Graduate of the Year 2017 (Sponsored by ECITB). Since joining BP as a geophysicist two years ago, Jo has made a huge impact on the business and its people. The judges heard how Jo took sole responsibility for the integrated well planning on two high-risk and complex wells on the Quad 204 project. Jo also leads BP’s new regional graduate network, organising over 25 events annually that have raised over £5 million for charity.


The Oil & Gas UK Award for Mentor of the Year Award 2017 recognises the vital role mentors play and the extraordinary commitment of these individuals to learning and improvement across the industry.


It was awarded to Alexandra Mary Fordham, geologist – Non-Operated Joint Ventures, Chevron North Sea Limited, whose acumen, accessibility and commitment to mentoring has provided Chevron with a strong pool of competent geoscientists. Her skills are not just confined to Chevron employees, having mentored, motivated and inspired more than 1000 school pupils through the ‘STEM in the Pipeline’ educational programme.


The Oil and Gas Authority MER UK Award 2017 award those companies whose cooperative approach and positive behaviours have helped to maximise the economic recovery of oil and gas from the UKCS.

The winners on the evening were; Apache North Sea Limited, for its highly economic development of the Callater project in a low oil price environment. The collaborative approach adopted by Apache and Shell U.K Limited saw first oil achieved on the 29th May 2017, five weeks ahead of a very aggressive Field Development Plan, and more than 10% under-budget. Most importantly, the project was delivered with a best in class safety record.


Total E&P UK & the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) Asset Integrity also received an award for its collaboration and innovation in delivering a series of field trials for new technologies on Total’s Elgin Franklin platform. After factoring in the cost of deployment, it is estimated that between now and 2015 these technologies could deliver an industry net economic benefit estimated in the region of £700 million and will ultimately significantly contribute positively to MER UK.


All of the 2017 Press and Journal Gold Award finalists were put forward for the Ultimate Gold Award 2017, recognising outstanding contributions to the UK’s oil and gas sector. The award was won by John Hunter, Advanced Completions Director at Tendeka. The judges praised his internal SPARK Club programme as an “incredible example of pivoting in the downturn towards a positive outcome.” John demonstrated an ability to focus on what was in his remit, champion innovation and empower those around him.


The recognition and promotion of the value of diverse teams and inclusive behaviours to drive improved business results within companies is celebrated with the Oil & Gas UK Diversity and Inclusiveness Award 2017.


Engineering consultancy Atkins scooped the title due its fresh look at how current and future employees within its Energy (UK & Europe) business could realise the potential of their contribution to Atkins and its clients. Its experiment with a strengths-based rather than a competency-only approach increased inclusiveness within its organisation and successfully attracted more diverse applicants to fill its vacancies.


The Oil & Gas UK Workforce Engagement Award 2017 recognises the outstanding steps taken by companies to involve their people, give them a voice in the organisation and develop an empowering culture.


Judges were impressed by SME winner Fairfield Energy, which prioritised workforce engagement during its transition from an exploration and production company to a decommissioning operator known as Decom Energy. Working with staff across onshore and offshore sites, Fairfield surveyed and incorporated feedback from the workforce to guide further improvements to the business. This ensured the workforce felt involved as contributors to the company’s future.


Technology service company Proserv won Large Enterprise category of this award in recognition of its virtual training and development organisation for its workforce. Proserv Academy encourages, supports and facilitates learning communities within the organisation through webinars and a dedicated online library for employees to share achievements and expertise.


The Oil & Gas UK Business Innovation Award 2017 recognises a company which has enabled improved performance through innovation and efficiency initiatives, while using sustainable methods to safely maximise recovery from the UK Continental Shelf.


As SME winner, Operational Excellence (OPEX) Group demonstrated its commitment to improving performance through innovation and efficiency as the first company to successfully combine predictive technologies with advanced data analysis techniques. Having pioneered a Predictive Analysis Service, known as X-PAS™, OPEX has helped operators increase production by 2-5% and reduce critical system outages by 50%.

Shell U.K Limited took the Large Enterprise Award for its Brent Decommissioning Project. A hugely complicated project, judges were impressed by the project team’s innovative approach, where their willingness to challenge accepted processes and introduce new engineering solutions delivered exceptional savings.


For further information, please contact Communications Adviser Natalie Coupar on 01224 577343 or [email protected]


Oil & Gas UK is the leading representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Its membership comprises oil and gas producers and contractor companies.




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