Offshore and Upstream Engineering

The Offshore and Upstream Engineering Committee is a forum to bring attention to the needs of this Global Engineering Community, by means of education, training and awareness. The committee will sponsor events that prioritize these objectives at the highest level.

The Committee comprises professional engineers with many years specialist experience. They bring together knowledge that is second to none, with their finger on the pulse of current and future requirements. They liaise with Health and Safety Authorities, Governmental Departments and Operator Bodies to be the mouthpiece of the Industry.

Recent changes in their responsibilities now encompass Upstream Engineering, to include the current concerns surrounding the development of Shale Gas and Drilling Technology.

Managing the Institution prize for the Renewable Strategy Engineering Prize enhances their Renewable credentials.

Committee membership is open to Members and non-Members of the Institution, so please apply if you are interested. Committee meetings are generally at Institution headquarters, but occasionally at regional locations.

Events are typically in London, or Aberdeen, to be close to these engineering communities.


Committee Members

  • Simon Rees, Chairman
    Projects Director, Norton Straw Consultants
  • Zac Suresh Arackakudyil
    Technology - Completion Tool Manufacturing, Halliburton Energy Services
  • Hamid Bahai
    Head of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering Department, Brunel University
  • Lee Billingham
    Innovateer
  • Feargal Brennan
    Professor of Offshore Engineering, School of Engineering, Cranfield University
  • James Bridge
    Consultant - Rotating Equipment Specialist
  • Charles Briggs
    Works Manager, Cables Offshore Jan de Nul
  • Robert Broad
    Broadthinking
  • John Clegg
    RD&E Director, Weatherford
  • Elias Dencker
    Director, Renewable Strategy
  • Cris Fells
    Cris Fells Associates
  • Andrew Gillespie
    Lead Certification Engineer, Bifold
  • Andy Hollins
    Principal Consultant, ABB Consulting
  • Brian Hudson
    Principal Consultant, ABB Consulting
  • Klisthenis Dimitriadis
    Well Engineering Lead NOJVs & Special Projects, Tullow Oil plc
  • David Linkens
    Atkins Global
  • Edward Jackson
    Senior Training Manager, Oil and Gas, Siemens
  • Mark Jackson
    Manager, Middle East & Major Accounts, Caterpillar Oil
  • Padrig O'Hara
    Project Specialist, Amazon Filters
  • Sam Lisney
    Mechanical Engineer, Petrofac
  • Steven Mabey
    Finning
  • Stuart Paterson
    Proposals Manager Tendering, Saipem UK Ltd
  • Joydip Sanyal
    R&D Program Manager - Analytical Measurement, ABB Limited
  • Mahmood Shafiee
    Lecturer in Engineering Risk Analysis, Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy Engineering , Cranfield University
  • Alex Stacey
    Structural & Maritime Integrity Unit, Energy Division, Health & Safety Executive
  • John Strutt
    Chief Consultant, Astrimar Ltd
  • Rob Swindell
    R&D and Technical Authority, Wood Group

Offshore engineering encompasses all forms of oil & gas exploration and production found on land, but with the added difficulty of often being situated on an isolated structure, which has to be self-sufficient to a high degree for, labour and expertise. Furthermore, this structure is usually located in a very harsh environment and far away from external assistance and a safe escape location, should the need arise.

Offshore engineers have to live and work in this situation, despite these disadvantages and perform their jobs to a very high standard, knowing that that there are fewer margins for error in the unforgiving environment and safety and reliability are the key factors.

What is Upstream Engineering?

Upstream engineering covers all activities in the Oil & Gas Industries under the term Exploration & Production, but does not include Distribution. Typically this will mean seismic activities, drilling and testing to determine the viability of a hydrocarbon reservoir, or resource. This could be conventional crude oil or natural gas, or unconventional deposits such as shale oil or gas, coal bed methane, or developments in liquefied natural gas.  It also includes the fabrication, installation, safe and reliable operation and maintenance of the Production Facilities in accordance with local legislation. This ultimately will also include their decommissioning and safe disposal.

Where production is offshore, it also includes export pipelines and onshore receiving terminals.  Thus the Forties pipeline all the way to its Kinneil gas/ liquids plant, at Grangemouth, is regarded as upstream, as are all the onshore gas terminals at St. Fergus, Tees-side, Bacton etc.  Generally, the test is whether the oil is stable or not and the gas wet or not.

What is Offshore Renewable Energy?

Offshore renewable energy sites to date consist primarily of offshore wind farms. A number of tidal stream turbines and wave energy converters are in development, with many at some point of commercial or prototype development, but these forms of offshore renewable energy remain nascent.

The Offshore wind market originated in Denmark and now consists predominantly of Denmark, UK, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Sweden. China has a few sites, and sites are also in development elsewhere in Europe and North America. Sites have typically been built in 30m or less of water, but are now being built in waters of up to 45m. Post Fukushima, Japan is adding its impetus to the fast developing floating offshore wind market, enabling development in much deeper waters.

At the end of 2012 there was a total offshore wind generation portfolio, globally, in excess of 5GW, or approximately 10% of the total wind (onshore and offshore) market. Within Europe this was spread across more than 50 sites, and in the UK there were more than 20 sites, 1000 turbines and 3.5GW of capacity. Offshore wind farms are now typically built with 30 or more turbines, with the turbines being in the range of 3MW up to 7MW.

The UK has a number of companies, be they operators, consultancies, contractors or OEMs, involved in all aspects of offshore, upstream and offshore wind, from development through construction to operations and maintenance. It is likely that this job market will expand considerably rapidly given the right economic conditions and Governmental support.

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If you have a question or would like to get involved, contact us.

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