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Philip John Goldsmith, 1957-2003

On 24 January 2003 the family, friends and colleagues of Philip John Goldsmith met at St John’s Crematorium to celebrate his life and say their respective farewells. Phil was born on 5 May 1957 in St Albans and passed away on 16 January 2003 in Woking, aged only 47. In this time, however, Phil achieved a tremendous amount in his family, personal and professional circles.

Phil was educated at St Alban’s School for boys before gaining his BSc in Geology at Luton College of Technology. His first venture into the oil industry was as a mud logger with Exlog in the North Sea and this was followed by a stint as a field geologist with the NCB, based in Ayrshire, where he developed a passion for hill walking and a love of Scotland

In 1981 he moved to the oil industry with the position as petroleum geologist with the DTI (then Department of Energy) where he was responsible for monitoring exploration and appraisal drilling in both the Southern and Central parts of the North Sea.

In 1985 Phil joined Phillips Petroleum UK Ltd and it was here that his expertise in the North Sea blossomed and in particular his interest in Triassic stratigraphy. In 1993 Phil and his family were transferred to Norway. His five-year posting in Norway was divided between development and exploration projects. He began work in the PL018 Ekofisk producing license followed by an assignment in the exploration group working on the evaluation and drilling of the "East of Troll" licence 205. Throughout his stay in Norway Phil enjoyed the great Norwegian outdoors hiking and participating in Hash runs. In 1998 Phil and his family returned to Woking where he resumed work on the Judy and Joanne Fields. His interest and expertise in the Triassic continued to grow to the point that he became regarded as an expert. It was no surprise that he took the lead role on the Triassic chapter of the Millennium Atlas - and it is this excellent piece of technical work that he will leave as his professional legacy.

Following the ConocoPhillips merger in 2002, Phil was offered a position in Aberdeen, which he accepted but his illness prevented him making this a permanent move and he returned to Surrey where, shortly after, he passed away. Phil’s death was a sad blow to his colleagues within ConocoPhillips, and to his professional contacts who respected his technical expertise, but none more so than to his wife Julia and his children Lucy and William.

Fred Inch