UK: Industry’s Highest Achievers Recognised in Offshore Achievement Awards

UK Industry’s Highest Achievers Recognised in Offshore Achievement Awards

The offshore industry’s highest achievers were recognised at last night’s 2013 Offshore Achievement Awards, with Malcolm Webb, chief executive of Oil & Gas UK, picking up the Significant Achievement accolade.

The 27th awards ceremony, which saw a record attendance of 530 guests, took place at the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre and was hosted by Scottish comedian Kevin Bridges. The industry’s top talent was celebrated in categories which included Great Large and Great Small Company, Safety Innovations and Emerging Technology.

The awards, which were supported by main sponsor TAQA Bratani for a second consecutive year, were successfully re-launched in 2011 by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Aberdeen section.

Ian Phillips, director of CO2DeepStore Ltd and the SPE board member who chaired the OAA organising committee, said: “The Offshore Achievement Awards is the pinnacle of the energy industry calendar and SPE Aberdeen is very proud to host this prestigious event.

“We made some changes to the awards this year, based on feedback from the 2012 process. We changed the titles of two categories to clarify the nature of the award and open up to a wider range of entrants. Companies operating in the offshore renewables sector were again eligible to enter, following last year’s decision to open up the awards to this increasingly important industry.

“The calibre of entries we received this year were exceptional and we would like to extend thanks to every company who applied. Our judging panel, which comprised senior representatives from sponsoring companies and SPE Board members, faced some difficult decisions, particularly in the Innovator category, where the excellence of the entries led to two companies being declared joint winners along with another being highly commended.

“From all of the entries we have seen, it is clear that there is much to be celebrated in the offshore industry, from small companies creating a step change in safety through to huge global organisations that are producing the next generation of industry leaders.”

Malcolm Webb, chief executive of Oil & Gas UK and winner of the Significant Achievement award, said: “I am very honoured to have been recognised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers in this way but in truth all that I have ever achieved in my career has been the result of teamwork and so I thank not only the SPE Aberdeen but also the excellent team at Oil & Gas UK for this award.”

Leo Koot, managing director of main sponsor TAQA Bratani, said: “The awards ceremony was yet again a fantastic event and enjoyed by all who attended on the evening. The awards are a great opportunity to recognise achievements in the offshore industry. This year’s finalists and winners have demonstrated some truly innovative thinking, dedication to industry safety and drive to succeed. TAQA Bratani has been delighted to again support the awards and share in these celebrations.”

The 2013 Offshore Achievement Award winners in each category are:

Significant Achievement

Malcolm Webb, Chief Executive, Oil & Gas UK

Great Large Company Award

Axis Well Technology

Great Small Company Award


Young Professional Award

Graham Skinner – KCA DEUTAG Drilling Ltd

Working Together Award

Maersk Oil/ Technip

Export Achievement Award

Online Electronics Limited

Safety Innovations Award


Innovator Award

Red Spider Technology – JOINT WINNER

Stork Technical Services – JOINT WINNER


Emerging Technology Award

Web Rigging Services

The winners in more detail:

Significant Achievement (sponsored by Aker Solutions) – Malcolm Webb, Chief Executive, Oil & Gas UK

Malcolm is a graduate of Liverpool University and a lawyer by profession; he has extensive senior management experience in both the upstream and downstream oil industry.

He began his oil industry career with Burmah Oil in 1974, and went on to work in a series of senior roles for the British National Oil Corporation, Charterhouse Petroleum Plc and PetroFina SA.

He spent three years as Director General of the UK Petroleum Industry Association, representing the UK oil refining and marketing sector and joined Oil & Gas UK in February 2004 where he has been closely involved in its major change process to make it the leading trade association open to all companies within the UK offshore oil and gas industry.

He is a member of both PILOT and the Fiscal Forum, the UK government/industry bodies which aim to secure the long-term future of the UK upstream oil and gas industry, and of the Scottish Government’s Energy Advisory Board. He is also a director of the industry skills body, OPITO and chairman of Common Data Access Limited (which facilitates access to UK geo-technical data).

In 2012, he received the honorary award of Doctor of Business Administration from Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University, in recognition of his service to the oil and gas industry.

Great Large Company (sponsored by Offshore Europe) – Axis Well Technology

Axis Well Technology is an independent provider of well technology and reservoir development consultancy services. The company has built up a global portfolio of over 100 clients with over 28% of sales in overseas markets.

Axis provide expertise in management, engineering and supervisory services, across the complete asset lifecycle. These services span the initial phases of field conceptual design to end of life abandonment operations.

Axis continues to expand its services having recently established two new divisions, sub surface and well integrity. Sales have almost trebled in recent years and operating profits increased around 50% in the past year to date.

Axis Well Technology was named as a finalist in the Great Large Company category at last year’s Offshore Achievement Awards. Paul Handsley of Axis was also named as a finalist in the Young Professional category at the 2012 awards.

Great Small Company (sponsored by Wood Group PSN) – ROVOP

Since formation in 2011, ROVOP has set new standards for reliability and service in ROV operations. ROVOP is currently providing support to jack ups, specialised lay vessels and IRM activities.

Recognising the critical nature of ROV operations to subsea projects, as well as major advances in technology, ROVOP invests in the most advanced and reliable ROVs. The company has committed to £18m of new vehicles, as well as a £250,000 simulator to enable onshore project preparation, scenario planning and training.

Having achieved repeat business from all customers, ROVOP has expanded rapidly, recruiting more than 40 personnel in one year. From sales of £3m in its first year, the company is on target to achieve £10m this year.

Young Professional (sponsored by Maersk Oil) – Graham Skinner – KCA DEUTAG Drilling Ltd

Graham Skinner graduated with a 1st Class Honours in Scot’s Law before joining KCA DEUTAG. He is a trainee rig manager on KCA DEUTAG Drilling’s graduate development programme.

His time with KCA DEUTAG has not only seen him work through drilling positions from roustabout to toolpusher, but he has also qualified as a risk manager and a project manager. His role has seen him manage risks on new build land rig projects, supervise rig move activities and deliver safety on two jack-up refurbishment projects.

Graham is currently working in South Africa as Safety Supervisor on a project to refurbish two of KCA DEUTAG’s jack-up fleet. He has had to work closely with the main contractor to develop documents which meet KCA DEUTAG’s safety standards as well as coordinate emergency response plans, site layout, confined space and working at height plans and rescue arrangements.

At peak times, project personnel reached over 450 people during 24 hours, with a cumulative man hour count of over 600,000 hours. Despite these figures, Graham has helped the project team remain on time and in budget with no lost time injuries and a Total Recordable Injury rate of <0.5 per 200,000 man hours.

As a result of lessons learned during this project, Graham has prepared a generic shipyard HSE plan which will form the basis of KCA DEUTAG’s future shipyard HSE plans.

As well as his work in South Africa, Graham has also worked in a number of other countries including Oman, Iraq and Germany. Following his current assignment, he will join the Ben Rinnes jack-up rig in Gabon as Assistant Rig Manager.

A respected all-rounder, Graham mentors graduates internally, where he took the lead in the development of a structured competencies system. These training milestones are now the core of the first year of KCA DEUTAG’s graduate programme.

In addition to his day-to-day activities, Graham is working towards his MSc in Drilling and Well Engineering. He was also selected as an SPE eMentor and is a trained STEM Ambassador, which involved delivering science, technology, engineer and maths support to schools.

Working Together (sponsored by EnQuest) – Maersk Oil/ Technip

The one-team approach by the Gryphon Area Recovery Project Subsea Team, comprising of Maersk Oil, Technip, Bibby, Fugro and Canyon, puts safety at the heart of a major project. Visible leadership and effective collaboration achieved over 500 days of subsea construction without a lost-time incident.

The multi-companies’ initial role in response to storm damage to Maersk Oil’s Gryphon FPSO, was to establish a clear vision and a common purpose of safe construction in reinstating subsea architecture.

The team has empowered the workforce’s success, with strong leadership unlocking its potential and inspiring personal ownership of safety.

Export Achievement (sponsored by Champion Technologies) – Online Electronics Limited

Online Electronics is a world-leading, innovative company, specialising in design and manufacture of pipeline pig monitoring equipment and pipeline data communications systems. With over 15 years’ experience, Online Electronics has developed a range of over 40 products and systems that are internationally recognised and have become industry standard.

Building on its North Sea experience, global exports have increased 40% in the last four years. Online Electronics has exported to more than 70 countries, with foreign markets accounting for over half of sales annually.

The company’s continuing export growth is supported by its own research and development and by hub operations in Dubai, Singapore, Australia, Houston and Brazil. With increased international demand for products and services, Online Electronics now employs nearly 50 people across its global offices.

Safety Innovations (sponsored by Petrofac) – Houlder

Risks in transferring personnel between workboats and turbine towers on offshore wind farms are a major concern for operators.

Houlder’s innovative and entrepreneurial solution, developed with BMT Nigel Gee, is the Turbine Access System. The Turbine Access System is a hydraulically motion-compensated, lightweight gangway providing a stable point on the workboat foredeck.

Designed to be retrofitted and used in up to two metre waves, it increases typical operability by half a metre. With improved safety and meeting operators’ stringent cost requirements, it means more work days are possible than with traditional access.

The first system was successfully deployed on the Rhyl Flats wind farm where sea trials were a success.

The Innovator (sponsored by BG Group)

Red Spider Technology – JOINT WINNER

Red Spider’s innovative and unique full-bore ball valve is changing the way wells are completed. During subsea completions the e-Red-FB is permanently deployed as part of the tubing string. The e-Red-FB is a computer-controlled valve that can be repeatedly opened and closed by remote command.

The field-proven, intervention-less technology uses a closed-loop hydraulic circuit, powered and controlled by integrated electronics, with no connections to the surface.

Operators can install well completions faster in increased safety, eliminating the need for repetitive and costly interventions.

The result is a saving of around 36 hours per completion, the equivalent of about $1.5 million per job. There is also reduction of risk of weather delays and the benefit of bringing wells on stream sooner.

Stork Technical Services – JOINT WINNER

Corroded stud bolts seriously impact on an asset’s integrity and unscheduled pressure releases can have a devastating impact offshore.

This led to Stork Technical Services developing a more sophisticated method of removing and replacing corroded bolts.

The requirement was to mitigate risk, improve safety, reduce operating costs and optimise production.

Stork introduced the industry’s first Hot Bolt Clamp technology in 2012, with thousands of connections reworked in the North Sea, without shutdown and with 100% success.

Growing global demand for the patented technology means Stork has introduced training of client personnel at its international locations.


Wireless technology has proven to be a much more flexible alternative to traditional cabled systems in addressing downhole monitoring requirements.

Tendeka’s wireless gauge allows real time flow and shut-in data to be efficiently transmitted to surface. The gauge has been successfully trialled in the North Sea and is now appealing to a wider global market.

Through a unique tool design, a series of short pressure pulses are created using the energy of the well. These pulses are then decoded on surface to provide pressure, temperature, and well status.

The gauge can retrofit to any existing well, can optimise asset performance, reduce costs and is fully retrievable. It is equally effective in oil and gas wells, as well as water injectors.

Emerging Technology (sponsored by Nexen) – Web Rigging Services

Web Rigging Services’ have developed a system for temporary underdeck access for fabric maintenance on offshore structures.

The patented Web Deck combines modern, strong, lightweight materials and innovative design to provide significant advantages over suspended scaffolding.

In comparison to traditional scaffolding, the system has 87% less contact points and 75% less volume. The Web Deck is significantly lighter and is proven to reduce installation time by up to 80%.

Projects in the North Sea and internationally have demonstrated reductions in cost, time, personnel and workboat requirements, whilst improving safety and quality of work.

Web Rigging Services’ are actively developing new applications for the system through a series of pilot projects.

Press Release, March 22, 2013