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New friends in the City

Lloyds Building

Society builds links with the insurance business in a pioneering new initiative.

Geoscientist 21.08 September 2011

Peter Dolan writes: On 6 July, the Society hosted an evening seminar entitled Between a Rock and a Hard Insurance Market. This seminar, organised by the Development and Funding Committee, was conceived to take advantage of informal links that had formed between some Fellows and Lloyds of London underwriters. The aim was to hold a series of short talks to help to build bridges between insurance underwriters, brokers and those in the energy sector sharing a common interest in assessing and mitigating subsurface and operational risk.

While the main focus was on the oil and gas E&P sector, it is obviously not a big step to think about links between geology and insurance in terms of mining, engineering challenges in the built environment, earthquake damage limitation, disruption to air transport from volcanic activity, and so on.

The audience, numbering about 100, heard from Prof. Richard Swarbrick (Ikon Science) about ‘Understanding the rocks, fluids and pressure’; Julia Ross (Tullow) on ‘Well drilling integrity in challenging environments’, Richard Higgins (Lloyd & Partners) on ‘The role of the broker in insuring drilling operations’, Richard Palengat (AEGIS) on ‘A guide to the energy underwriting process’ and to pull much of this together, Maurice Kenton (Barlow Lyde & Gilbert LLP) about ‘Legal and regulatory considerations’.

Reactions were remarkably enthusiastic and plans are emerging to develop stronger contacts with the London insurance industry, with a view to helping it better understand and utilise geological expertise relevant to its business. Council hopes this might be the first in a series of similar seminars reaching out to other professions to promote familiarity with the geosciences and the pivotal role that the Society can play in society as a whole. The Society’s thanks go to the speakers and to Ikon Science Limited and Tullow Oil plc for partial sponsorship.