PETEX - Spreads Its Wings

PETEX, the biennial London conference and exhibition organized by the Petroleum Society of Great Britain to celebrate the oil and gas industry, will be held between 20 and 22 November this year at Earls Court. We talk to Dr. Oliver Quinn, Conference Chair, about the conference and find out what special events are planned for this year.
This article appeared in Vol. 9, No. 4 - 2013


Oliver Quinn is Team Leader for West African New Ventures with Hess, based in London. He was previously Exploration Planning Advisor with Hess and before that worked for Fairfield Energy and Shell. He has a degree in Geology from the University of Manchester and a PhD in Petroleum Geoscience from the University of Edinburgh. Oliver is currently Chairman of PETEX 2012. What’s changing in PETEX this year and why?

Lots! PETEX 2012 sees an expanded technical program covering projects and technology from across the globe and reflecting the increased international outlook of European companies. The ever popular Plenary Session debate will include, for the first time, leading figures from non-governmental organizations as well as industry speakers, addressing the oil industry’s ‘social license to operate’. Broadening this debate recognizes our growing need to further industry engagement with the wider public.

Have you new themes and ideas?

The North Sea still represents a key theme, but as well as being increasingly international, the main technical program has a large component of unconventional hydrocarbon and seismic technology. Emerging global exploration provinces are also a major area, reflecting some of the recent big discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean and East Africa. For the popular social program, 2012 sees the addition of a final day ‘Sundowner’ event on our Exhibition floor to close out the show in style.

Why should people attend PETEX?

PETEX remains the largest geoscience-focused oil and gas meet in the UK, and the ideal place to catchup on the latest industry developments, as well as being a great networking opportunity. Along with the breadth of industry presentations, the Exhibition floor has companies from oil majors all the way through to university research departments.

Why did you get involved?

I first got involved as Technical Chair of PETEX 2010, which was a fantastic opportunity to influence the program to reflect a more international dimension, which continues into 2012. As part of the wider Organizing Committee it is a chance to give something back to our peers and the industry. One of the most pleasing aspects of involvement in PETEX is knowing that it is a key source of financial support to the PESGB and allows the funding of several MSc scholarships.

How does attending PETEX help young professionals?

PETEX 2012 sees a huge number of events for both young professionals who have already entered the industry and aspiring students who are looking at starting their careers, with dedicated exhibition areas for a University Forum, Graduate Careers Fair and Student-Industry Lunch. Following success in 2010 the Industry-Academia Collaboration Conference continues to be hosted by PETEX, where the latest petroleum geoscience research will be presented over two days.

What advice would you give to young geoscientists considering a career in the hydrocarbon industry?

It is key to focus on developing a really strong and broad geoscience skill base. Once you have that more and more opportunities will open up in front of you. We live in exciting and interesting times: rising global energy demand and the emergence of unconventional hydrocarbons for example, but balanced with considerable challenges for the industry in the form of environmental and social impact – our ‘social license to operate,’ which is the theme of the PETEX plenary discussion. So I would say that along with developing excellent geoscience skills, they need to understand the importance of our role in energy supply, but also be aware of our impact and take a personal responsibility for managing that as a geoscience professional.


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