UK: Top Individuals and Companies at Offshore Achievement Awards

Top individuals and companies in the offshore industry were celebrated last night at the 2012 Offshore Achievement Awards, with AMEC winning the Best Large Company Award and Professor Alex Kemp being awarded the Lifetime Achievement accolade.

An audience of more than 370 guests attended the 26th OAA awards ceremony at Ardoe House Hotel, Aberdeen. They saw the best talent in the industry recognised in categories including Great Large and Great Small Company Performance, Export Achievement and Safety Innovation.

The awards were re-launched in October by the Society of Petroleum Engineers Aberdeen Section along with the support of main sponsor TAQA Bratani.

Ian Phillips, director of CO2DeepStore Ltd, who chaired the OAA organising committee as part of his role as a director of SPE Aberdeen Section, told the audience: “For 25 successful years the Scottish Offshore Achievement Awards thrived under the care and stewardship of Scottish Enterprise. In this, the 26th year, the Society of Petroleum Engineers Aberdeen Section is proud to become the new custodian of these prestigious awards.

“The SPE has made a few changes this year. Award entries were sought from all over the UK, and we have extended the awards to encompass the increasingly important offshore renewables sector, including a new Offshore Renewables Award as well as opening all categories to companies in that sector. Reflecting these changes, the awards have been renamed as The Offshore Achievement Awards. We have however kept some things exactly the same. A rigorous judging process, involving senior representatives from sponsoring companies and SPE Board members, sought to ensure that we maintain the highest standards of objectivity and technical relevance to the industry.

“As always, the awards recognise excellence and outstanding performance in a wide range of categories. Winners can be justifiably proud that their success has been judged by a knowledgeable group of their peers in the industry. The quantity and standard of the entries this year has been superb, and our thanks go to all the companies who took the trouble to apply. This of course created a huge problem for the judges who had to select a winner for each award. In some categories where things were especially close, we have selected an award winner and a second company to be “highly commended” in recognition of their excellence.’’

Masud Javaid, chairman of SPE Aberdeen and senior economist at Total E&P UK, said: “It has been a great pleasure for SPE Aberdeen to re-launch the awards and extremely encouraging to receive a record number of entries this year. Not only has the return of these prestigious awards highlighted the talent in the UK’s oil and gas industry, but they have also made a vast impact on the industry calendar. We received an exceptionally high standard of entries this year which gave the judges a real challenge. SPE Aberdeen and the sponsors would like to congratulate each of the winners who really impressed us with the clear ambition, innovation and expertise shown.”

Leo Koot, managing director of main sponsor TAQA Bratani, said: “The awards ceremony was a fantastic occasion and greatly enjoyed by those who attended. It presented the opportunity to celebrate excellence and achievement in the offshore industry, not only for established companies and individuals, but also those starting out and showing promise. I hope to see as much success at future ceremonies.”

Lifetime Achievement award winner Professor Kemp is one of the foremost experts on the economics of the North Sea oil & gas industry. He is currently Professor of Petroleum Economics and Director of Aberdeen Centre for Research in Energy Economics and Finance (ACREEF) at the University of Aberdeen. He previously worked for Shell, the University of Strathclyde and the University of Nairobi. For many years he has specialised in research in the field of petroleum economics with special reference to licensing and petroleum taxation issues. He has published over 200 books and papers in this field and was awarded the OBE for services to the oil and gas industry in 2006.

The Offshore Achievement Award Winners in each category are:

Great Large Company (sponsored by Offshore Europe)


Highly commended: Ace Winches

Great Small Company (sponsored by Wood Group PSN)

Alba Power

Young Professional (sponsored by Red Spider)

Emma Stephenson, Shell UK

Highly commended: Stuart Brand, 3Sun Group

Working Together (sponsored by Robert Gordon University)

Veolia Environmental Services UK

Offshore Renewables (sponsored by AREG and 3sun Group)


Export Achievement (sponsored by Maersk Oil)

Ace Winches

Safety Innovations (sponsored by Petrofac)

3sun Group

The Innovator (sponsored by BG Group)

Expro Group

New Idea (sponsored by Nexen)


Lifetime Achievement (sponsored by Aker Solutions)

Professor Alex Kemp

The winners in more detail:

Great Large Company Award


AMEC is a leading provider of consultancy, engineering, asset support and project management services. With over 27,000 employees across 40 countries, AMEC designs, delivers and maintains strategic and complex assets for its customers globally. Since 2006, its share price has increased almost threefold and the company entered the FTSE100. Here in the UK, AMEC now employs over 5,500 people across its oil and gas operations.

Great Small Company Award

Alba Power

Established in 1997, Alba Power is an international gas turbine and controls specialist. It has over 140 gas turbine customers in 16 countries worldwide. Alba Power has the world’s largest stock of replacement spare parts for Avon and Olympus gas turbines. This enables it to effectively service turbines which have been manufactured over a broad timeframe. Investing in skilled IT personnel means it can undertake all aspects of work in house, rather than outsourcing. As a result, pre-tax profits have grown to £2.1m, an increase of 25% over the previous year.

Young Professional Award

Emma Stephenson, Shell U.K. Ltd

Emma Stephenson performs a challenging role as process shift supervisor on the Anasuria FPSO. She is, accountable for process and personnel safety for the team of 55 on board. A large part of her work involves identifying the root cause of any process upset or trip to prevent a reoccurrence of the same problem. Her supervision has had a marked impact on safety, with a reduction from four incidents in the six months prior to implementation, to zero during the subsequent six month period.

Working Together Award

Veolia Environmental Services UK

Veolia Environmental Services UK was appointed as principal contractor for the decommissioning of the Inde gas field in the Southern North Sea. The contract required the onshore dismantling and disposal of eight platforms weighing around 10,500 tonnes.

As the lead contractor, Veolia Environmental Services UK was responsible for commissioning and managing all other contractors who worked on the project. Veolia’s leading role ensured that all operations met the highest standards of safety, occupational health and environmental protection.

Offshore Renewables Award


The Thanet Offshore Wind Farm is the largest operational offshore windfarm in the world. Covering an area of 35 square kilometres, the farm can generate enough electricity to power more than 200,000 British households per year. When Vattenfall acquired the project, its immediate challenge was to consolidate the procurement routes and complete and approve designs. Despite significant challenges, and with approximately three million man-hours of work, the farm was delivered on time and within budget.

Export Achievement Award

ACE Winches

ACE Winches, the deck machinery specialists, provide high quality rental winches locally in the UK and overseas. Their products are designed and manufactured to be versatile to suit an extensive range of applications, within various climates. The company has invested heavily in the manufacture of equipment for its international hire fleet division, totalling £4.3million in the last 12 months and £19 million over the last 5 years. Exports now account for 74% of its turnover, an increase from the 61% achieved in 2010.

Safety Innovations Award

3Sun Group

3sun Inspection Services has developed an electronic inspection system for managing safety and compliance on wind turbines. All inspection procedures are accessed via a hand held unit, whilst an RFID tagging system ensures accuracy of reporting. A web based platform allows clients to view asset condition remotely from any location. This bespoke system has contributed to safety by reducing offshore visits. It ensures that when technicians mobilise to site, it is in the knowledge that the turbine they are visiting is in a safe condition to be accessed.

Innovator Award

Expro Group

Expro’s AX-S™ system provides a safe, riser-less and remotely-operated subsea well intervention solution. It has the potential to transform the economics of subsea well production. With more than seven years of development and about 200 million dollars of investment, the AX-S subsea equipment is safe and cost-effective. Tool change-outs take minutes, not hours, there is minimal weather interruption and it has no environmental impact. It is designed to extend the operating envelope for subsea well intervention to 10,000ft of water – far beyond the current limit.

New Idea Award


Coretrax’s Inflation Support Tool is distinctive from other current cement placement products. It is the only tool being introduced to the market that can be deployed from surface down the work string and inflated to provide 100% seal in cased and open hole. It will also be the first tool that can carry a cement accelerator to a pre-determined depth. It not only significantly reduces rig time but will further reduce environmental waste by decreasing the amount of chemicals that are needed down hole.

Subsea World News Staff , March 16, 2012;  Image: SPE