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Petroleum Group Committee

Petroleum Group At the forefront of petroleum geoscience...

Chair 

Lucy Williams 

A geoscientist with twenty-five years exploration and development experience working with large corporate and small independent companies across a variety of geologic regions. I am currently Geoscience Manager for Rockhopper Exploration, where I initially worked on the exciting exploration and appraisal campaign for the 1.0 billion bbl Sea Lion oil field in the North Falkland Basin (author and editor of Petroleum Geoscience, Thematic set, July 2015). I joined the Petroleum Group Committee in 2016, and was Vice Chair during 2017. This year I look forward to my role as Chair of the Group, as well as helping to convene the Collaboration Conference (in association with PETEX) in November.


Treasurer 

John Argent 

John is a geoscientist with over 20 years of domestic and international exploration and appraisal experience having worked many of the major conventional and unconventional basins across the globe.  He has diverse new venture experience working in technical, operational and leadership roles previously for BG Group, Amerada Hess and Paladin Resources after beginning his career as a technical assistant at Exxon. 

He holds a DPhil in Geology from Oxford University, was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society in 1990 and qualified as a Chartered Geologist in 2002. He has contributed to authoring numerous technical publications on a broad range of subjects and convened Petroleum Group conferences covering the South Atlantic, Saharan Africa, and East Africa.  At weekends John volunteers at Redingensians Rugby Club where his son plays.

Publications Officer 

Ian Saikia

Ian has BA and MSc degrees in Geology and Petroleum Geology from Keele University and University College Dublin respectively, with thirty years of industry experience. He spent two years working for the British Geological Survey’s Hydrocarbons Group, before joining Clyde Petroleum plc in 1990. Ian worked on a variety of projects, initially in international exploration (SE Asia & Middle East), followed by international production assignments. In 1998 he joined Mobil, now ExxonMobil and has worked mainly on North Sea and international development-production projects. Ian joined the PG Committee in 2015 and took up the post of Publications Officer in 2017.

 Communications Officer 

Maxim Kotenev 

Maxim is a senior reservoir geoscientist with Sasol in London. He previously worked with Rosneft and Robertson CGG. Maxim has co-authored 18 technical papers.Maxim earned BS degree in petroleum engineering and MSc and PhD in petroleum geoscience. Hobbies include foreign languages, sports and travel.Maxim is passionate about oil and gas industry and geosciences and he is really keen on developing the Petroleum Group.



Iain Brown

Iain has BSc and MSc degrees in Geology and Petroleum Geology from University College and Imperial College London respectively and over 25 years industry experience in geological interpretation, and business development in the upstream oil and gas business.  Iain started his career as a geologist in 1984, based in Lisbon working on West African projects and has since worked in technical, senior management, and commercial positions, for both Operators and Upstream Service Companies.  During 2013 he sat on PILOT’s North Sea Technology Strategy steering group reporting to the UK Government in Dec 2013.  He has also served on the executive council of the PESGB as Vice President. An interest in the training and development of young geoscientists has resulted in relationships with several universities, including Imperial College London where Iain sits on the Industry Panel. Iain will be convening the ‘East Mediterranean’ conference on behalf of the Petroleum Group in May 2018 and sits on the Local Advisory Committee for the 2019 EAGE conference in London.


Peter Burgess

Peter has a Bsc in geology from the University of Nottingham, an MSc in computing and geology from the University of Keele, and PhD in quantitative stratigraphic modelling from the University of Oxford. He worked in academia for several years before joining Shell in 2002 where he working in research and development and then in global exploration, on a wide range of projects from the Circum-Arctic plate reconstructions to identification of carbonate platforms in Southeast Asia. He moved back to academia in 2010 to join the Earth Science department in Royal Holloway University of London and then onto the School of Environmental Science in Liverpool University where he is currently professor of sedimentary geology and head of the Earth Sciences discipline in the school. Pete was the 2013 recipient of the Geological Society Aberconway medal in recognition of his research in petroleum geology. He joined the PG committee in 2016 and will be co-convenor for the Seismic Characterisation of Carbonate Platforms and Reservoirs to be held in October 2018.



Richard Collier 

Richard is Senior Lecturer in Sedimentology and Tectonics, and Co-Director of the Institute of Applied Geoscience at the University of Leeds. Research interests focus on achieving an holistic understanding of sedimentary processes and architectures within active continental rifts and across the rift to continental margin transition. Current projects include research in the active Gulf of Corinth Rift and in the Red Sea Rift. Outcomes are applied to improving predictions of hydrocarbon reservoir presence and quality in equivalent subsurface settings, including through providing professional training and consultancy.



Caroline Gill 

Caroline is a Geologist currently working for Shell in Aberdeen. She has a first class degree in Geology from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from the University of Edinburgh where she undertook industry sponsored research on the structural evolution of the Northern North Sea.

In addition to her role on the Petroleum Group Committee, Caroline is very active in the wider Petroleum community. She is a past Aberdeen Director of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain (PESGB) and currently sits on the Science Committee of the Geological Society of London. She has presented at a range of major conferences and has published her work in a number of peer reviewed journals.  In addition, she received the Nigel Anstey Award from EAGE in 2013 for her paper in First Break.

Caroline has convened a number of PG meetings including events on Normal Faults and two Janet Watson meetings. She is currently lead convenor of the Maximising Economic Recovery conference and Chair of the Collaboration Showcase at PETEX 2018.
Caroline actively promotes the sciences to schools and the wider public, speaking on a range of topics including the oil and gas industry, her experiences in the industry and her passion: structural Geology.


James Hammerstein 

James, a researcher with the Fault Dynamics Research Group, completed his PhD at Royal Holloway University of London in 2011 investigating the 4D evolution of rift systems using low temperature thermochronometric techniques.   James’ current primary research interest is in structural geology and geomorphology, in particular the development of fault systems and their relationship with topography in extensional and contractional settings utilising analogue sandbox modelling and analysis of remotely sensed data.  Key study areas include the Gulf of Suez and Red Sea Rifts, the East African Rift System, the NW Shelf Australia, and the Sub-Andean fold and thrust belt.  James has been involved in convening a number of international conferences including the Passive Margins 2016 conference and the Petroleum Groups Fold and Thrust Belt conference.



John Howell

John has a degree from the University of Cardiff (1988) and a PhD at the University of Birmingham (1992). He spent 10 years at the University of Liverpool as a researcher and junior faculty member working with the Strat Group. He moved to Norway in 2002 and lived in Bergen until 2012. During that time he worked in the Department of Earth Sciences and UniCIPR where he founded the Virtual Outcrop Geology Group. He was also one of the founders of Rocksource ASA an independent Norwegian E&P Company, where he worked in senior management for 6 years. Since 2012 he has been a Professor at the University of Aberdeen.
His current  research focuses on improved use of analogues for understanding reservoirs. In the past 25 years he has worked on outcrops from all over the World with special focus on the western USA. He has supervised over 20 PhD students, published more than a hundred twenty papers and edited 5 books. He currently runs the SAFARI project, a collaboration between University of Aberdeen and Uni Bergen supported by 16 companies. Over the past 15 years he has pioneered the use of Virtual Outcrops, collected using lidar and more recently UAVs (drones), in the geosciences.  He is passionate about outreach in the geosciences. He was a co-host on "The Big Monster Dig", a TV series on geology and palaeontology for C4 and Discovery and more recently “Dangerous Job Interviews” for Discovery flying drones around an active volcano. He has numerous other TV and radio credits as a scientific expert.


Jonathan Hull


A geoscientist with twenty years exploration, development and production experience working in large and mid-size independent companies focussed on Africa and Australasia. I am currently Group Reservoir Manager for Ophir Energy, responsible for all subsurface aspects of Ophir’s Asian production base and 1bn boe net of discovered resource in Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania. I have spent most of my career based out of Australia but returned to the UK in late 2013 and joined the Petroleum Group Committee in 2017. This year I am co-convenor for a workshop titled ‘Interplay of heatflow, subsidence and continental break-up: a case study workshop’ and I am the convenor for the 2019 conference ‘The Petroleum Geology of Mexico and Central America’. I am a graduate of University of Glasgow (BSc), University of Aberdeen (MSc), University of Adelaide (PhD) and University of Western Australia (MBA)

Matthew Jameson

Matt is a Development & Exploration Geoscientist with 10-years experience within the Oil and Gas Sector working for independent oil companies in Central Asia, Africa and Global New Ventures. Matt is currently Project Operations and Development Geoscientist for Glencore, focussing on the development of Glencore’s Chadian oil fields within the Doba Basin, Chad and has previously worked in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Namibia in Exploration and Development. Matt joined the Petroleum Group Committee in 2017 and has previously held committee roles in the PESGB (former Education Officer and PETEX YP Rep) and AAPG Young Professionals groups.


Adrian Neal 

Adrian is currently a consultant sedimentologist and 'Regional Manager for the Western Hemisphere' at Badley Ashton in Lincolnshire.  His career has been split in roughly equal parts between industry and academia.  He has spent the last 10 years working as a clastic sedimentologist for Badley Ashton, specialising in deepwater sedimentary environments.  He has provided geological reservoir characterisation and integration services to the oil and gas industry across exploration, appraisal and development, primarily in the Gulf of Mexico, North Sea and Africa.  For 6 years he was Badley Ashton's Americas Regional Business Manager, based in their Houston office.  He recently returned to the Head Office in the UK to oversee the company's business development in the western hemisphere.  An area of particular focus at the current time is unconventional reservoir characterisation.  During his time in academia he taught, ran fieldtrips, performed consultancy, published widely on sedimentology and geophysics in peer-reviewed journals and books, and organised conferences.  His most cited academic paper is: 'Neal, A. 2004. Ground-penetrating radar and its use in sedimentology: principles, problems and progress.  Earth-Science Reviews 66, 261-330'.


Nicholas Pierpoint 

Nick is a Chartered Geologist and has 37 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry starting through a conventional route of mudlogging and wellsite geology, followed by 24 years as manager of geological operations at BG Group.
His role within the BG organisation provided opportunities to contribute to successful drilling campaigns in a wide variety of challenging environments, from HPHT in the North Sea to unconventional resources in Queensland, and deep-water frontier exploration in East Africa. Technical aspects which are of interest to him include gas and pore pressure evaluation, and the impact these have on HSSE and meeting technical objectives. More recently he was involved in setting up Integrated Collaborative Environments (Operations Centres) staffed with multi-disciplinary teams supporting drilling operations 24/7 across the globe. Presently he is serving a an SVP for the Geologists' Association.


Hannah Steaggles

Hannah is a chartered exploration geoscientist with 8 years industry experience. Having completed her studies at the University of St Andrews, she joined BP and rotated through various roles in exploration and production whilst on their graduate program. She has since worked in both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon exploration, in particular working Australia and the As-Pac Region. She joined the PG Committee in 2016, with a key aim to keep the group’s activities relevant to young professionals as well as encourage awareness and engagement in PG events and conferences. She recently reviewed the conference themes delivered by the group over the last decade to assist and inform future conference proposals. She will be a co-convenor for the “Hydrocarbons in Space & Time” Conference scheduled for 2019.


Owen Sutcliffe 

Owen obtained a BSc (Hons) in Earth Science from the University of Leeds (1993) and a PhD in clastic sedimentology and ichnology from the University of Bristol (1997). Between  1998-2000, he completed two years of post-doctoral research on the Late Ordovician glaciation of North Africa that was delivered in collaboration with LASMO and the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.  After the completion of this work, he was employed by Badley Ashton & Associates (2000-2003) as a clastic sedimentologists working in the Middle East and North African teams before joining the Neftex Petroleum Consultants as their second employee in 2003.  Since the acquisition of Neftex in 2014, he has worked for Halliburton and is currently the Manger for Exploration Insights.    Owen joined the PG Committee in 2017 and will be a co-convener for the “Hydrocarbons in Space and Time” conference scheduled for 2019.


Scott Thackrey

I started my geological fascination as a child growing up in the Highlands of Scotland which ultimately took me to the University of Aberdeen in 2001 where I studied for a BSc (Hons) in geology. My fascination of large to small scale geological processes enticed into the realm of planetary geology where I was fortunate enough to start a PhD with the University of Aberdeen and NASA/CSA in 2005 focusing on understanding impact ejecta products of meteorite and comet impact structures on the Earth, Moon, and Mars. My obsession of understanding and solving large to small scale geological problems led me to join the petroleum industry in 2009 following my PhD where I joined Shell in the NL. Shell opened my eyes to the diversity of aspects (from business to world-class science), data, behaviors, and people that make our industry tick. It is here where I began developing my expertise and passion for exploration particularly on the plays of the Central North Sea and onshore NL. Exploration has since formed a focus for me where I subsequently joined Maersk Oil in 2012 continuing to work on the CNS and later joining a team working on the East African Rift System.

Catherine Tonge 


Catherine is a Geology Workflow Advisor currently working for Shell in Aberdeen. She has a degree in Geology from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from the University of Cardiff where she undertook research on Middle Eocene Paleoclimate using a variety of techniques including micropaleontology, palynology and isotope geochemistry.
Catherine joined Shell in Aberdeen in 2008 as a Stratigrapher, in 2013 she moved to Miri, Malaysia to work first as a Stratigrapher and then a Production Geologist before returning to Aberdeen in 2015 to take up her current role. This role straddles the interface of Geology and IT and Catherine has a strong interest in integrated reservoir modelling and digitalisation.

Alongside her role in Shell Catherine is passionate about Science Outreach and regularly participates in events such as TechFest and Girls in Energy.


Alun Williams 

Alun Williams has a BSc from the University of Manchester (1995) and a PhD in carbonate sedimentology from the University of Aberdeen (1999). He spent five years working for Oolithica Geoscience Ltd, a small consultancy based in Aberdeen and Cheltenham, before joining Norsk Hydro in 2006. In Norsk Hydro and following the merger with Statoil in 2007 Alun worked on a variety of projects as a carbonate specialist, largely within international exploration or business development, including five years as Leading Advisor for Carbonate Geology. In 2016 he moved to London as manager of Statoil’s UK Exploration Licences team, responsible for drilling wells that included the Verbier discovery in 2017. Alun joined the PG Committee in 2016, and will be a co-convenor for the ‘Geology of Fractured Reservoirs’ conference to be held in October 2018.


Kirstie Wright 

Kirstie is a geoscientist with a Master’s degree in geology from the University of Leicester and a PhD from Durham University. She has over 5 years’ industry experience, largely working in development and near-field, infrastructure-led exploration for DONG Energy UK Ltd. She joined the Petroleum Geology Committee in 2017 after presenting at the 2016 Janet Watson Conference, with an aim to encourage young professional engagement. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate within the Shell Centre for Exploration Geoscience at Heriot-Watt University. She is working on convening a one day conference on communication geological science to the public.


Student Representative

David Redpath


David id currently a PhD studnet at Imperial College London. His research topic investigates the growth and propagation of extensional fault arrays, with specific interest in relay zone kinematics and their influence on rift physiography and sediment supply.

Join the Committee

The Petroleum Group Committee is made up of 20 elected and 3 co-opted members based in the UK and overseas. 

Committee members are expected to actively participate in the Group's activities through the convening of conferences, participation in regular bi-monthly meetings and through other ad hoc activities related to the Group's broad agenda. 

Nominations are requested for membership of the Petroleum Group Committee.

Nominees should be Fellows of the Geological Society, or in the process of application to become a Fellow.

Nominations for 2019 are now open. Please fill out the nomination form below and return to Sarah Woodcock.

Deadline is 30th August 2018.