Heriot-Watt University joins world-leading exhibitors in Oil and Gas Exploration, and Production at PETEX 2014

On November 18 2014, representatives Gordon Winton, Rachel Jamieson and Anastasia Polymeni from Heriot-Watt University's Institute of Petroleum Engineering (IPE), a component part of the School of Earth, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS) attended the PETEX 2014 exhibition and conference based at the ExCeL in London.

The Heriot-Watt University stand was based in the University Forum, a recent addition to the event but one which proved highly successful in its previous year at promoting further education opportunities to the next generation of geoscientists and engineers in the UK.

This year the University had a number of exciting new projects to promote as well as its renowned MSc programs including the impending move of the British Geological Survey (BGS) to the newly designed Lyell Centre funded to the tune of £20M by the National Environmental Research Council (NERC), the BGS, HWU and Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and £9M NERC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Oil and Gas, the Training Academy which is sponsored by industry.

PETEX 2014

PETEX is an acronym of Petroleum Exploration Technology Exhibition. It is a biennial event featuring a technical program highlighting the latest developments in exploration, development, production and subsurface technology.

Now in its 25th year, it attracted around 150 exhibitors and over 3200 delegates, made up of both industry professionals and students, making it one of the largest and most prestigious exhibitions in the oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) sector.

In addition to the exhibitor stands, the event included a sophisticated 3D visualization theatre in which software demonstrations were held, poster sessions, a number of special workshops and a series of conference presentations which ran simultaneously in three separate auditoriums.

The conference presenters, including world- renowned keynote speakers Sir Ian Wood, Richard Herbert, Alastair Milne, Jon Erik Reinhardsen and Oonagh Werngren MBE, spoke on a variety of topics covering all aspects of E&P and new technologies designed to enhance these workflows.  The talks were truly global in scope covering areas such as offshore Namibia, Tanzania, Newfoundland and the UK.

University engagement

In addition to being a successful 3-day technical event, PETEX also featured a Universities Forum and Graduate Fair which encouraged student and graduate attendance and allowed them to interact with the Universities and industry alike.

Heriot-Watt's position as a leader in both geoscience and petroleum engineering teaching and its engagement in industry-sponsored research meant that its presence at the event had a dual purpose. Contacts with industry could be made to further collaboration while students could enquire about the MSc and PhD opportunities. One of our representatives, Anastasia Polymeni, is a recent graduate of the Reservoir Evaluation and Management MSc and could therefore provide invaluable first-hand experience of life as an MSc student at Heriot-Watt.

Student engagement was high, particularly on the final day of the event when a special lunch was provided to encourage networking and student participation in PETEX as a whole. Particular interest (from both students and industry professionals) was shown in the Heriot-Watt led NERC CDT program, especially as many of the Universities involved in the initiative were present and could work together to promote the opportunities to the interested students.

Overall Heriot-Watt's presence at PETEX allowed the University to promote its training and research capacity to industry on a large scale. It also allowed us to reach out to students on a more personal level and provide information and first-hand experiences on the MSc and PhD programs offered.