Work to improve safety in the UK oil and gas industry requires collaboration. The collective input of contractors, operators, trade unions, regulators and the workforce plays a pivotal role in shaping best-practice guidelines. Step Change in Safety aims to make the UK the safest oil province in the world to work in, and helping us to achieve that is our leadership team.
Step Change in Safety’s leadership team is responsible for planning and monitoring the organisation’s activities, and listening to the opinions and concerns of the workforce. This process helps to shape the future direction of the organisation to ensure it is always well placed to lead the way in improving offshore safety.
Made up of senior personnel from member companies, industry-related trade associations, trade unions and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), the Step Change in Safety leadership team currently consists of:
- Bob Fennell
- Co-Chair, Step Change in Safety Leadership Team
- Harbour Energy
Bob joined Chrysaor in late 2016 as Operations Director. He is a Chartered Engineer with a MSc/DIC in Petroleum Engineering from Imperial College and a BSc (Hons) in Civil Engineering from Leeds University.
Bob spent the first twenty years of his career working in increasingly senior drilling and completion roles within BP, Elf, Transocean and finally Nexen. At Nexen he moved into Operations Management and over the next ten years served in a variety of senior positions initially as VP Operations, Yemen followed then by three years as Director, UK Operations; where from 2010 to 2013 he was responsible for over 200mboepd of gross production and $2 billion of annual expenditure.
From September 2013 to early 2015 he was VP, Global Deepwater supporting all Nexen’s and CNOOC’s international deepwater operations. He was then appointed VP, Oil Sands for Nexen in Canada where, as with the UK, he was responsible for over 1,000 direct employees and contractors.
Not only has Bob significant operational experience but he has also led or been closely involved in a number of successful transformational initiatives from the nationalisation of the Yemen operations, through the growth of Nexen UK from 20 people to being the largest UK oil producer and more recently with delivering fundamental changes to the Canadian Oil Sands operating model.
- Craig Wiggins
- Co-Chair Step Change in Safety Leadership Team
- Aker Solutions
Craig Wiggins has more than 30 years of experience in the energy industry. He has vast knowledge and experiences from front line operations to the board room. He is passionate about simplification and efficiency of processes due to strong experiences in lean manufacturing and is focused on making sure the people in the front line has the highest safety standards.
Craig has been at Aker Solutions since October 2015, holding different roles in maintenance, modification and operations as well as production asset services in the United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East and Africa. He took on his current role as the senior vice president of global health, safety, security and environment in August 2018.
He spent over 25 years in Shell early in his career and has also worked with companies such as Petrofac and BP in operations and lean deployment leadership roles.
Craig has an MBA and is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute in the United Kingdom.
- Sandy Bonner
- Managing Director
- Bilfinger Salamis
As Managing Director OF Bilfinger Salamis UK, Sandy has responsibility for the delivery of business improvement programmes, the implementation of strategic plans - focused on growth and service expansion - and the development of future business opportunities.
Previously Bilfinger Salamis’ Operations Director for the company’s Fabric Maintenance operations, Sandy joined the company in 1995 as trainee project engineer, with promotions to project engineer/manager, and operations manager, taking a place on the company’s executive management board in 2013.
In his role as MD, he is responsible for expanding Bilfinger Salamis UK’s current market share through the continued development of its core services as well as its wide range of specialist services, including inspection, decommissioning and environmental services, with senior operations management teams in these areas of the business reporting to him.
- Sarah Cridland
- Vice President Commercial & Subsea Projects UK, Med and Caspian - UK Country Manager
Originally from the Highlands of Scotland, Sarah graduated with a MEng in Manufacturing Sciences & Engineering from Strathclyde University before commencing her career with Stena Offshore in the early 1990s, where she spent over 10 years working in subsea projects in the UK, Brazil and West Africa. Sarah subsequently gained experience across all aspects of TechnipFMC’s Subsea business, in local and global roles. These included leading the Umbilical manufacturing division, a multi-geographical business with plants in the UK, US and Angola; VP Subsea Tendering with global responsibility for all Subsea commercial tendering activities; and Vice President of the company’s fleet division responsible for the (QHSES, financial and operational) performance of TechnipFMC’s global vessel fleet.
Sarah took up her current role, accountable for all Subsea Commercial and Project activities across the UK, Mediterranean and Caspian, as well as overall UK Country Manager, in November 2020 and is based at the company’s Westhill Campus near Aberdeen, UK. She lives in Aberdeen with her husband and two children
- Bob Egan
- Workforce Engagement Specialist
- Health and Safety Executive
Bob Egan – a former safety rep of the year – was appointed to the role of Workforce Engagement Specialist within the Health and Safety Executive’s Energy Division in 2019.
His appointment followed a four-year secondment from global oilfield services company, Petrofac, as the HSE’s Head of Workforce Engagement where Bob worked alongside HSE Inspectors to help improve the link between the HSE and the on and offshore workforce.
Within the newly-created Workforce Engagement Specialist position, Bob focusses on workforce involvement in the Safety Cases for assets. He is also developing a guide on good practise which will comply with the workforce involvement section of corporate major accident prevention policies (CMAPPs) and will be continuing to make sure safety reps have everything they need to carry out their roles effectively and in full compliance with the regulations.
Dundee-born Bob has worked in the offshore oil and gas industry since 1992. Prior to that, he worked in the petrochemical and construction industries. His offshore career began as a pipefitter and has worked for the majority of contracting companies in the UKCS. Latterly, he was Petrofac Trade foreman, shutdown co-ordinator and Elected Safety Rep (ESR) on Maersk Oil’s GP3 FPSO.
As an ESR for over seven years, Bob won the ‘Safety Representative of the Year’ title at the 2014 Offshore Safety Awards and was praised for being “a role model for safety leadership… who earned the unwavering respect of his peers, constituents and managers.”
- Sandy Fettes
- Global Wells Director
Sandy Fettes, BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering, joined EnQuest in 2015 and holds the position of Global Wells Director, having held previous positions of Wells Delivery Manager, Head of Wells & HSEA and Technical Services Director.
With a childhood in farming and early career in civil engineering, Sandy joined SantaFe’s Well Engineering Training programme in 1996, gaining Level 2 qualification in 2004, progressing from rig crew to Well Site Supervision and Turnkey Project Manager. Sandy then joined Fairfield Energy in 2008 becoming Drilling Manager, before joining EnQuest.
Sandy has worked extensively with the OGUK Wells Forum and has participated and chaired workgroups to help progress our industry.
- Chris Flint
- Director, Energy Division
- Health and Safety Executive
Chris Flint is the Health and Safety Executive’s Director Energy Division and is responsible for regulation of Offshore and Onshore Oil and Gas, Gas transmission and distribution, Marine and Wind renewables and Mines and Quarries. Chris works closely with the key Offshore Oil and Gas stakeholders including OGUK, IADC, BROA, OCA, CAA and the trade unions, and has regulatory experience in most sectors of industry including manufacturing, construction, services, entertainment and major hazards.
Chris spent a number of years in operational policy working with the paper, rubber, plastics and shipbuilding industries to improve their health and safety performance. He also spent time on secondment to both Employment Services and the Learning and Skills Council drawing up strategies to provide the necessary assurances about the health and safety of people on Government-funded work schemes and young people whilst on work experience.
Prior to his current position Chris was Head of Operations in the HSE’s Chemical, Explosives and Microbiological Hazards Division regulating the onshore chemicals sector across Scotland, the North East, Cumbria and Yorkshire. The sector includes chemical manufacture, refineries, oil and gas terminals, and fuel storage and Chris worked closely with key stakeholders including the Chemical Industries Association and UK Petroleum Industries Association. Chris was also chair of the Refinery and Terminal Operators Forum.
- Nicola Fry
- Assurance Director
Nicola Fry is the Assurance Director for UK, Norway, Central Asia and Eastern Europe for Worley. With a career spanning over 30 years, across a number of different sectors; renewables, major Infrastructure construction as well as oil and gas, both in the UK and Overseas, Nicola has a proven track record of implementing successful HSEQ and transformational change management strategies as well as being involved in the delivery of complex, high quality projects and strategies. Prior to joining Worley, she was HSEQ Director on Europe’s largest Infrastructure Project, HS2
- Graeme Gordon
- VP Operations, bp North Sea
- BP Exploration
As VP Operations, Graeme is accountable for ensuring safe, compliant, reliable, and efficient operations for bp’s North Sea business. During his many years with bp, Graeme has held a number of engineering and operational leadership roles. This includes most recently, Site Operations Director for Global Operations, Area Operations Manager for the Deepwater FPSOs in Angola for PSVM in Angola and for ETAP/Andrew/Harding in the North Sea.
- Gary Holman
- Operations Director
- Awilco Drilling Plc
Gary Holman is currently the Operations Director for Awilco Drilling UK.
Gary joined Awilco Drilling in 2012. Prior to his appointment at Awilco, Gary held the roles of Operations Manager and Country Manager at Archer.
Gary worked for almost 25 years with Western Oceanic then Noble Drilling, starting his offshore career as Electrician, and working through drilling offshore and drilling installation design projects in many regions of the world, to his onshore Operations Manager position.
- Steve Hunt
- Regional Director, UK
- Stork Technical Services
With a career operating around the globe in the nuclear, thermal, petro-chemical, process, industrial and manufacturing industries spanning nearly 40 years, Steve has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience.
Steve started his career path on the tools by undergoing an ECITB Engineering Apprenticeship, with a global leader in advanced energy and environmental technologies. Steve progressed rapidly through increasingly senior management roles to senior executive level positions, with a number of major energy companies both within the UK and internationally.
Steve graduated from Dudley and Reid Kerr Technical Colleges, as well as The Welding Institute in Cambridge. Furthermore, he attended Cranfield University where he studied Project Management.
In his current role, Steve is responsible for overseeing Stork’s strategic business growth into new and existing markets, operational excellence and outstanding HSEQ performance in the UK.
- Girish Kabra
- Director Operated Assets (North Sea -UK & NL)
- Spirit Energy
Girish Kabra has over 20 years’ experience in upstream oil and gas, and LNG businesses, working for variety of operating companies including Spirit Energy, Centrica, BG Group and Shell. He has worked in multiple geographies including Australia, India, Malaysia, Middle East, The Netherlands and the UK, holding various management and leadership positions in operations and capital projects. He has experience in the full lifecycle oil & gas asset management, from opportunity through to decommissioning.
In his current role as the North Sea Operated Assets Director for Spirit Energy, Girish is responsible for all asset management activities for its UK and the Netherlands operated assets which includes a mix of fully manned platforms, NUIs, NPAIs, FPSO and subsea tie backs. From 2016 to 2018, Girish was the Decommissioning Director at Spirit Energy, during which time he successfully established their decommissioning business unit. Over years, he has managed complex operations and project programs and built various high performing teams.
Girish has a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Twente, The Netherlands and an MBA from QUT Brisbane, Australia. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineers and a Fellow of Association of Project Management. Girish received the Mentor of the year award from Oil & Gas UK in 2016 for his commitment to developing the future pipeline of talent for the industry.
- Ronnie Kelman
- Business Director – Offshore & Remote
Ronnie Kelman is the Business Director Offshore and Remote, ESS Support Services Worldwide. Ronnie has three decades of experience in the catering and support services sector of the energy industry. He has a Diploma in Hospitality and spent the first 10 years of his career working offshore as a steward, chef and then manager before moving into Operational roles both locally and across the globe. In 2013, Ronnie was appointed as Business Director for ESS and currently has responsibility for over 700 people that deliver Offshore and Onshore support services for ESS’ clients.
Ronnie is an ex-chairman and active member of COTA who have nominated him to be their appointed representative on the Step Change in Leadership Team.
- Laure Mandrou
- Europe General Manager for the Reservoir Performance division
With more than two decades of industry experience, Laure Mandrou began her career as a mechanical design engineer before moving on to hold several management and leadership positions in France, the USA and Russia. Her previous roles include Director of Operations Integrity and VP of Marketing and Technology.
In her current position as Europe General Manager for the Reservoir Performance division, based in Aberdeen, Laure is responsible for wirelines testing services, coil tubing and stimulations services operations.
- Rob Maxwell
- JV Asset Manager
- Shell UK Ltd
Rob is part of the Shell UK Leadership Team and is accountable for managing Shell UK’s Decommissioning Portfolio and regulatory obligations, including the flagship Brent field. Prior to this, Robert was based in Denmark as the JV Asset Manager accountable for representing Shell’s 36.8% majority interest in the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC) through to divestment of the business in July 2019.
An Operations professional by function, Robert was the Asset Operations Manager in Queensland Gas Co. from 2016-2018, a Shell Operated JV in Australia’s Integrated Gas business. In this role, Robert was accountable for the safety, reputation and business performance of the upstream operating asset which today constitutes delivery of >100 mmboe/yr gross volumes from ca. 3000 wells and more than 30 gas compression and processing facilities to service both domestic and LNG export contractual obligations.
Robert joined Shell through the Shell-BG merger in February 2016. Prior to joining QGC, Robert worked as Business Advisor to both the BG CEO and EVP Technical over a three-year period.
A Chemical engineer by degree, Robert’s early career focused on building core technical capability spanning numerous frontline engineering, production and project orientated roles in the UK and North Africa.
- Shaun Poll
- Vice President of Operations, UK
Shaun is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer with 28 years’ experience in the oil and gas sector. He also has a Masters Degree in Project Management from the University of Aberdeen.
Having spent the early stages of his career in Aberdeen working for AOCI and then AMEC in a variety of onshore and offshore rotational roles, Shaun moved to Perth, Australia, to join Worley in 2000.
He has held various roles within Worley, including Project Management, Contract Management, Business Development and Strategy and until recently Regional Integrated Solutions Director for Europe.
Shaun’s career recently took him back to Aberdeen where he is now Vice President of Operations in UK for the Upstream, Midstream and LNG Solutions business.
With approximately 3,000 employees UMLIS UK business is a leader in the UK Oil & Gas Operations & Maintenance and Engineering & Construction markets.
- Ellis Renforth
- Senior Vice President, Upstream
- Wood Plc
Ellis is part of Wood’s Europe & Africa leadership team managing their upstream business within the UKCS. He leads a team focused on delivering safe and sustainable solutions to support facilities and producing assets across multiple clients.
He joined Wood from CNOOC where he managed EPCM projects. He is a chartered engineer with over 20 years oil & gas experience working for both engineering and operator companies providing a comprehensive and varied knowledge of the industry.
Ellis acknowledges there are challenges facing the oil and gas industry into 2020 and beyond and is committed to strengthen the basis towards 2035.
- Matt Rhodes
- Director UK & Turkmenistan Oil and Gas
Matt Rhodes is responsible for all of Bristow’s UK-registered helicopter operations including engineering, both flight and ground operations, safety, compliance, and commercial activity.
After an RAF Sixth form and flying scholarship, Matt completed his PPL at the age of 17 and immediately joined Bristow Helicopters as a cadet. He then spent 8 years as a co-pilot operating out of Aberdeen, Scatsta, Den-Helder and occasionally offshore.
Matt has since risen through the ranks within the company and has held the role of Chief Pilot for Bristow’s Aberdeen operations; Area Manager for UK oil and gas operations; and focal point for European pilot recruitment as Offshore Flight Operations Manager/ Deputy Head of Flight Operations.
He was appointed Area Manager for UK Oil and Gas operations in 2014, before taking on the role of Director UK & Turkmenistan Oil and Gas in 2017.
- Gordon Rorrison
- General Manager, Scott Area
- CNOOC Limited
Gordon Rorrison is CNOOC’s General Manager for the Scott Area.
He has worked in the global upstream industry for over 30 years. Joining Chevron in 1989, he held a variety of Operations and Project roles for Assets in the UK, USA and Angola. In early 2010 he joined BG Group and worked in Leadership roles both in Norway and the UK. Gordon joined Nexen in 2015 as a Field Manager and then Performance & Controls Manager, before assuming his current role.
A graduate in Chemical Engineering from Strathclyde University, Gordon also holds a Masters in Process Safety & Loss Prevention from Sheffield University. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers.
- Steve Rose
- HSE Director
- Total E&P UK Ltd
Steve Rose began his career in 1984 as a trainee technician with Shell Expro prior to working offshore in Shell’s Brent field.
In 1991, he joined Elf Enterprise as part of the Piper Bravo redevelopment project and start up team. He spent four years as a systems engineer working on the control system design for the Elgin/Franklin project. Located in London during this time, Steve followed the project from design through to commissioning and start-up.
During his career with Elf Exploration and subsequently Total E&P UK Limited, Steve has held various positions in operations and maintenance working on a number of Total sites prior to becoming an Offshore Installation Manager (OIM) on Elgin/Franklin.
Steve moved onshore in 2009 as Shutdown Manager and then to Asset Manager for Northern North Sea (NNS) responsible for Alwyn North and Dunbar platforms.
He was appointed as HSE Director of Total E&P UK in 2017.
- Trevor Stapleton
- HSE Director
Trevor Stapleton has over 36 years of industry experience, spending most of that time with BP where he acquired a range of skills in the areas of HSE, supply chain, engineering and operations management in their Downstream and Upstream businesses.
He has held senior HSE and Offshore Installation Manager positions and is a graduate of BP’s MIT Operations Academy where senior managers were trained to lead a more systematic and rigorous approach to the management of operation.
His notable achievements include embedding BP’s Operating Management System (OMS) across its entire UK North Sea business, delivery of a comprehensive competence management process for the Upstream Safety and Crisis Management population and the design and launch of the Incident/Observation module of BP’s new Record/Report/Learn IT system.
Trevor was appointed OGUK’s Health Safety and Environment Director in 2020 and is helping lead the industry response to the hydrocarbon reduction challenge set by the HSE. Trevor is currently the co-chair of Step Change in Safety’s Alerts & Moments work-group.
Trevor holds an MSc in Construction Engineering from Leeds University and an MBA from Aberdeen Business School; he is also a Chartered Safety Professional (MIOSH) and a Practitioner member of IEMA.