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:
- Gillian Urquhart
- Co-Chair Step Change in Safety Leadership Team
- BP Exploration
As Regional HSE & Carbon Manager for bp North Sea Gillian is part of the Business Leadership Team accountable for the delivery of HSE& Carbon activities across the business, supporting safe, compliant and reliable operations. Prior to joining bp, Gillian was head of Safety and Sustainability for Equinor in the UK working to establish Equinor’s first UK operatorship and overseeing Equinor UK’s low carbon and renewable activities.
Gillian spent 11 years working for the UK regulator (HSE) in a variety of roles including front line inspector for a wide range of high hazard industries including construction, nuclear and oil and gas. Working across these industries Gillian gained extensive knowledge and insight of safety management practices and experienced first-hand the impact incidents can have on people and their families. This has created a real drive and passion to improve and sustain high standards of safety.
Gillian has a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and a Master of Science degree in medical and radiation physics from the University of Aberdeen. Gillian is a chartered member of the Society of Radiation Protection and Institute of Physics, a STEM ambassador and an advocate for women in physics.
- Derek Mitchell
- Co-Chair Step Change in Safety Leadership Team
- Global E & C
- Craig Wiggins
- HSE and Sustainability Director, NEO Energy
- NEO Energy
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.
- 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.”
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Mark Wilson
- HSE Director
Mark Wilson is the Health, Safety, Environment Director, including aviation, for Offshore Energies UK and supports HSE arrangements for the UK continental shelf offshore assets.
The first part of Mark’s career was in the British Army as a Mechanical Engineer. Upon leaving the military Mark moved into the energy industry in predominantly operational HSE roles with ConocoPhillips and EnQuest where he worked both on and offshore.
Mark’s current role also includes OEUK Resilience Support Group lead focussing on both COVID-19 and security of supply aspects in relation to the Ukraine crisis.
Mark holds an MBA and is a Chartered Engineer.
- Jake Molloy
- Regional Organiser
Jake began working offshore in 1980 providing accommodation maintenance services on the Chevron operated Ninian Field. Multi discipline roles developed taking him into fire and gas system testing, process maintenance and production assistant, before moving into lifting and helideck operations with a move to the Shell operated Brent Field in 1986.
February 1990 saw Jake elected as an Offshore Safety Representative, which was a new statutory role in the industry at the time, implemented by the UK government in the aftermath of the Occidental Piper Alpha disaster of 1988. He combined this role with that of Helicopter Landing Officer for almost 7 years. In 1997 he was elected as the General Secretary of the Offshore Industry Liaison Committee (OILC) a specialist trade union for offshore workers.
In May 2008 OILC merged with the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport workers (RMT) and Jake took on the role of Regional Organiser looking after the offshore energy sector of the industry for RMT. He participates in several UK industry health and safety forums including the Step Change Leadership Team, the Offshore Major Accident Hazards Advisory Committee, and the Offshore Helicopter Safety Leadership Group. Jake is also the Chairman of the Offshore Coordinating Group which includes the six trade unions organising in the UK North Sea.
- Steve Nowe
- VP UK & Europe
Steve has over 35yrs global experience, progressing on the operator side of the business from Drilling Engineer to VP Wells with the last 4yrs at Halliburton where he currently runs the UK/Europe business. During his career, Steve has worked in more than 30 countries with 11 different organizations.
- Mhairi Finnie
- HSE Director
- Total Energies
Mhairi is currently HSE Director at TotalEnergies E&P UK Limited and VP for HSE in the UK
Mhairi started her career in 1998 working for BPB Paperboard Davidson Mill in Aberdeen. She joined TotalEnergies in 2004 as an Environmental Advisor working on Laggan pre-project and MCP_01 decommissioning. In 2008 Mhairi took a bit of a career change and moved into operational safety where she’s held a number of roles spending time onshore and offshore before being appointed as HSE Director on 1st June 2022.
Mhairi Finnie is a graduate of Robert Gordons University (BSc in Environmental Science and Technology) and Derby University (MSc in Environmental Management)
- Scott Barr
- Senior Vice President of Operated Assets
- Harbour Energy
Scott Barr is the Senior Vice President of Operated Assets for Harbour Energy and is responsible for the Safe and Efficient Operations for Harbour’s UK Operated positions.
He has worked in the industry for over 25 years within the same entity, albeit with several M&A exercises, having held technician, supervisory and management positions with assignments in the UK, Norway, UAE, Indonesia and the US – both onshore and offshore. He was an Elected Safety Representative in the early part of his career and is an active member and Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology.
- Graeme Christie
- QHSE Manager – Europe Africa, Borr Drilling
- BORR Drilling
Graeme currently works as the QHSE Manager for Borr Drilling overseeing the Europe-Africa region and represents the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) North Sea Chapter on the SCIS Leadership Team.
Graeme joined the Army straight from school then spent 20 years in the Fire Service initially as a Firefighter then a Manager. A career change in 2014 took him into the Oil and Gas industry and he has worked in a variety of roles including a Safety Officer on an accommodation vessel in the UK and overseas as well as Operational HSE roles with Total and other contracting companies.
- Emmanuelle Marshall
- Group Head of HSSE and Ops. Integrity, KCA Deutag
- KCA Deutag Drilling Ltd
As Group Head of HSSE and Operational Integrity at KCA Deutag Emmanuelle works within the company’s executive leadership team to drive the delivery of safe, effective and trouble-free drilling operations.
With 30 years’ experience in the upstream oil and gas sector Emmanuelle has also worked for slb, bp and Enermech across a number of geographies, including Brunei, Indonesia, Japan, Angola, France, USA and the UK. She has held a wide variety of operational, management and leadership positions, ranging from wireline field engineer, operations management, training and development, organisational learning, well engineering and HSE since 2010.
Emmanuelle doesn’t think about safety as an add-on. She firmly believes safety should be part of any company’s DNA and be fully embedded in its operations. Her thoughts have recently evolved thanks to Clive Lloyd, Todd Conklin, Sydney Dekker, Dr Timothy R. Clark (the 4 Stages of Psychological Safety) and also Simon Sinek (Start with Why, Leaders eat last). She supports ‘safety decluttering’ (too many signs and processes in some operations), technology, embraces Human Performance and believes that learning from normal work and conversations are key to enabling a positive safety culture.
Emmanuelle graduated as a chemical engineer from the Université de Technologie de Compiegne (UTC - France) and has a master in Petroleum Engineering from the French Petroleum Institute (IFP – France).