PESGB is Golden in 2014

March 05, 2014 -- The Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain (PESGB), the organisation dedicated to improving the public’s understanding of the technical benefits of oil and gas exploration, is celebrating its 50th birthday in 2014.

1964 was a tumultuous year; the USA and the rest of the world was recovering from the assassination of John F Kennedy, Khrushchev was replaced by Brezhnev as the head of the USSR and the space probe Mariner IV completed the first successful fly-by of Mars – a planet that the 2014 PESGB Stoneley Lecture will return to in March (

In the world of oil and gas, things were changing too. Only four years had passed since the formation of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the crude barrel price stood at US$3.00 and following the enactment of the UK Continental Shelf Act (UKSA), the first well was drilled in the North Sea.

The original UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) described an area of the sea-bed and subsoil that stretched out into the North Sea and from the Shetland Isles down to Kent. Whilst the first wells were unsuccessful, it wasn’t long before the West Sole, Viking and Leman Bank fields had been discovered.

At the same time; the PESGB was founded to explain to the British public how the oil and gas industry was achieving these changes and to inform as many people as possible as to the advantages of having a world-leading oil and gas industry.

In the 50 years that the PESGB has been in existence, the volunteer Executive Council has achieved some notable milestones and the society has expanded its services to include: supporting MSc students to study geology-based university courses; providing regular monthly lectures in both London and Aberdeen; managing special interest and regional groups; printing and distributing a monthly newsletter to over 6,100 members and running PETEX, one the world’s largest oil and gas conferences.

Remarking about the 50th anniversary of the PESGB, President Oonagh Werngern commented: “Over the last 50 years the PESGB has grown both in size and stature to become a leading force in promoting education in the scientific and technical aspects of petroleum exploration.  2014 marks a significant milestone both for the success of North Sea exploration and the PESGB.  I am delighted to be President for the year and to support the society at this juncture.”   

To learn more about the PESGB, its activities and the plans for celebrating its 50th birthday, visit:

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