PETEX Committee

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Meet the PETEX Organising Committee

The PESGB is delighted to welcome a mix of familiar and new faces on the PETEX 2016 Organising and Technical Committees. The PESGB would like to thank the committee members for volunteering their time to ensure the success of PETEX, and the companies who have released them to serve in this way.




Richard Fox, Dana Petroleum, PETEX Chair

PETEX Comittee

Acting as PETEX chairman for the first time is industry veteran Dr Richard Fox, the global Director of Exploration for Aberdeen-based Dana Petroleum, part of the Korea National Oil Corporation.

Dr Fox joined Dana in 2012 from BP where he worked for 23 years, starting his career at the company Research Centre after completing his PhD in Geoscience. He has a rich depth of international business, leadership and technical experience and has led and engaged in a large number of projects across the entire Exploration, Development and Production value chain.

In the course of his career, his work has focused on many of the world’s major oil and gas producing areas: the UK North Sea, Norway, WoS, GOM, Brazil, Alaska North-Slope, Onshore North America, Colombia, West Africa and the Middle East.

At the core of his professional philosophy is the role that people, technology and innovation play in delivering impactful results. Combining this with strong leadership, underpinned by deep technical expertise, is, he believes, the pathway to successfully finding and exploiting hydrocarbon resources.


MariaMaria Iredale, PESGB, PETEX Director

Maria Iredale is the new PESGB Executive Director and a new Director of PETEX.  This will be her first time sitting on the PETEX Organising Committee and so brings a fresh approach and a new viewpoint.  Maria also represents the PESGB Executive Council on the Committee, ensuring that PETEX remains a “by the members, for the members” show and continues to generate funds which will be used by the PESGB to support the charitable objectives of the Society.   The PESGB supports a wide range of projects and most significantly sponsors the next generation of geologists and geophysicists studying their MSc.  Thanks to the success of PETEX 2012, this academic year the PESGB have been able to sponsor 28 students making us the UK’s largest sponsor of MSc students.



Neil FrewinNeil Frewin, BG Group, Technical Co-chair – Exploration

Neil Frewin of BG Group returns to the PETEX Organising Committee this time in the capacity of Technical Co-chair focusing on Exploration. Having worked overseas for some years, he is looking forward to supporting the PESGB both as a member of the PETEX Organising and Technical Committees, and contributing in other ways to the work of the PESGB.  His experience in global exploration will bring a wealth of experience to the wider reach that PETEX now has.



Mike BranstonMike Branston, Schlumberger, Technical Co-chair – Technology

Mike Branston of Schlumberger returns to the PETEX Organising Committee this time in the capacity of Technical Co-chair focusing on Technology.  He comments that although he has been involved in many conferences around the world in his career, he always enjoys coming back to PETEX.  “It was an honour to be asked to contribute to the technical committee this year” he said, “and I am looking forward to building on what was achieved in 2014, whilst maintaining that unique PETEX atmosphere”.  The Committee is very grateful to be able to call on his fifteen years as a geophysicist, with both Schlumberger (WesternGeco) and NORSAR prior to 2010.  Mike holds a BSc and PhD in Geophysics and was awarded Chartered Geologist status by the Geological Society of London in 2006.



Maurice DicksMaurice Dicks, Zebra Geoscience

Current treasurer of the PESGB, Maurice Dicks of Zebra Geosciences joins the PETEX committee in a similar role. He recognises the pivotal role PETEX plays in allowing the PESGB to continue its low-cost program of field trips, courses and evening lectures as well as allowing the PESGB to offer MSc student sponsorship.  Each year the PESGB also supports several other projects which are felt to be in line with the brief “To promote, for the public benefit, education in the scientific and technical aspects of petroleum exploration” which would not be possible without a successful PETEX.  This will be Maurice’s first time on the committee and he is looking forward to being part of an event which, he believes, has a growing reputation for its technical content while retaining its unique and distinct character.



Simone SilcockSimone Silcock, Statoil

New to the committee for 2016 is Simone Silcock, a reservoir geophysicist for Statoil Production UK.  Having attended the last 5 PETEX conferences she is really looking forward to being part of the PETEX 2016 organising committee.  For the last two years Simone has been involved with several industry committees (PESGB YP, Petroleum Group and DEVEX) and will draw on experience gained from these.  She says that “PETEX has always been my favourite conference which always manages to balance a top class technical programme, together with lively exhibition hall making this a fantastic conference for learning and networking”.



RhydianRhydian Williams, Ikon Science

This is Rhydian’s third time on the PETEX Organising Committee as he looks to consolidate the Business Development of the show.  Following on from the growth of PETEX over the past few years, Rhydian is responsible for developing existing relationships with industry and securing new opportunities for companies with regards to the benefits and value in PETEX participation.





Nick CribbensNick Cribbens, Exprodat

Nick Cribbens returns to the PETEX Organising Committee for a second time.  His previous role as Treasurer of the PESGB gave him an insight into how vital PETEX is to the success of the PESGB in providing MSc sponsorship, as well as the other projects they are involved in.  Nick has attended PETEX since the early 90’s, watching it grow to be a “fantastically well-organised, well-attended event”.




Tracey DanceyTracey Dancy, Making Waves Marketing

Tracey Dancy serves on the Organising Committee for the sixth successive time in 2016.  Her focus this year will be on the International Pavilion and developing Data Management involvement, as well as continuing with marketing activities. Tracey comments that each event has been different, building on the previous event to make each one unique and enjoyable.




GrahamGraham Harman

Graham Harman has served the PESGB as Exhibition Manager for PETEX since its inception in 1989, and has seen the show grow from a handful of delegates and exhibitors to being the success it is today. He is perhaps the most familiar face on the PETEX floor, and has served the PESGB on Council as Treasurer in 1990 and 1991, and as PETEX Chairman in 1992. Graham continues to serve on the PETEX Organising Committee in an advisory capacity.






Meet the PETEX Technical Committee


Neil Frewin, BG Group, Technical Co-chair – Exploration


Mike Branston, Schlumberger, Technical Co-chair – Technology


KnightRichard Knight, Shell

Dr Richard Knight has  worked in the Industry for over 26 years, mainly for Shell Exploration, and variously based in Australia, Oman, Malaysia, Scotland and The Netherlands.  For the last 15 years he has worked extensively on New Business Development in sub-Saharan Africa, Russia, the wider CIS, and more recently Europe.  By training, he is a Devonian palynologist/conodontologist, but has worked in a wide variety of established ventures, held assets and new Frontiers, the latter spanning the Arctic, complex Onshore fold trust belts, to Deepwater settings.



Tim Sears, BP

Returning to the committee for 2016 is Tim Sears of BP, where he works in the Advanced Seismic Imaging flagship based in Sunbury.  He is currently a Senior Seismic Analyst working on various projects in BP’s portfolio, and with technical expert roles within processing and analysis CoPs.  His interests include a broad range of geophysics with focus on more quantitative geophysics, including processing, modelling, inversion and FWI.  Tim’s interests come from varied current and past experiences working for WesternGeco, BG Group and BP, and through a PhD in FWI, and he brings these together with PETEX2014 experience to his role on the committee.



BuntingTim Bunting, Seabed Geosolutions

Tim Bunting has worked for Schlumberger for 25 years holding various technical roles involved in seismic acquisition and processing. He recently joined Seabed Geosolutions as the regional geophysicist for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Tim started working offshore as a field geophysicist and while having a broad technical experience he still has a strong interests in acquisition related topics.




LeppardChris Leppard, Statoil

Chris Leppard of Statoil UK is new to the Technical Committee for PETEX 2016. Chris joined the Norsk Hydro Research Centre in 2005 after completing his PhD in Tectonostratigraphic Evolution of Rift Systems. After four years of working on international projects while at the same time providing input into developing innovate 3D seismic volume interpretation software in collaboration with ffA Chris moved full time to exploration, working near field exploration in the Norwegian North Sea. Following a five year period based in Canada working on East Coast Canada exploration Chris returned to Statoil UK and has worked both the UK North Sea and NE Atlantic Margin.




VearAlwyn Vear, Woodside

Alwyn Vear is Manager Geoscience and Exploration for Woodside Energy (UK) Ltd. Woodside, based in Perth, Western Australia, recently established a new exploration office in London, where Alwyn manages a team of geoscientists looking after some of the company’s Northern Atlantic and Latin American assets as well as supporting Woodside’s global New Ventures growth plans. A geologist with over 30 years’ experience in petroleum exploration at both BP and Woodside, Alwyn has worked in many countries and basins throughout his career including the UK North Sea, Ireland, Egypt, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Peru, Mauritania and Australia. He is new to the Technical Committee and will be calling on his industry contacts to help build an exciting speaker programme for PETEX 2016.


Jamie_KnibbsJamie Knibbs, Premier Oil

Jamie Knibbs joins the 2016 technical committee from Premier Oil where he manages the company’s exploration activities in Mexico. Before Premier, he worked at Hess, Stratic Energy and Shell. With a history of roles in new ventures, Jamie provides the committee with good knowledge of exploration trends across Africa and the Americas. He comments, “I’m delighted to be part of the 2016 technical committee. PETEX’s strength is in fostering industry-wide collaboration and inspiring new ideas. If ever there is a time for that, it is now!”




IsabelleTholletIsabelle Thollet, ExxonMobil

Isabelle studied geology at Ecole Nationale Superieure de Geologie in Nancy, France and geophysics at Ecole et Observatoire des Sciences de la Terre in Strasbourg also in France and after that, she joined ExxonMobil (in 2009). She started working in Hanover, Germany in production and then spent two years in Houston, where she worked Brazil offshore (Exploration) and West Texas (Production), before moving to the UK in 2012. Isabelle currently works in exploration focusing on Europe new opportunities. She says ‘I am proud to be part of the technical committee of PETEX 2016 as I haven’t been involved in this conference before and I am hoping to learn from the professionals previously involved and bring in new ideas. It is exciting to get to meet and work with people from various companies to organize the largest E&P conference and exhibition in the UK’.


James-Churchill-ColourJames Churchill, BG Group

Since joining the oil and gas industry James Churchill has worked for a number of companies, following completion of his BSc in Geology at the University of Liverpool and an MSc in Petroleum Geology at the University of Aberdeen, including CGG Robertson, Ichron – part of the RPS Group, and currently BG Group.  These roles have taken James all over the globe, having worked on most of the world’s petroleum basins at some point.  At his core James is a sedimentologist and Subject Matter Expert for Clastic Reservoir Quality, although is he currently broadening his skills as a development geologist on a North Sea asset.  In recent years James has been closely involved in university-based research so joins the Technical Committee for the first time and is convening the Petroleum Geoscience Collaboration Showcase alongside PETEX, following presenting at the conference in 2014.  Although this year’s PETEX occurs at a challenging time for our industry James is confident PETEX 2016 will be as vibrant, engaging and informative as ever.



Collaboration showcase sponsorsPetroleum Geoscience Collaboration Showcase : Convenors





Nick Schofield, University of Aberdeen

James Churchill, BG Group

Jonathan Craig, ENI

Neil Grant, ConocoPhilips

Katie Ireland, BG Group

Jenny Omma, Rocktype

Douglas Paton, University of Leeds

Simone Silcock, Statoil

Ian Sharp, University of Bergen

Helen Smyth, Halliburton-Landmark

Tom Weight, Statoil