At the heart of progress

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Courtesy of Energy Institute (EI)

Looking back at 100 years of the Energy Institute (EI), EI President Ian Marchant FEI welcomed guests to the 2014 IP Week Dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

‘Ican’t pass up the opportunity to share with you that we have a very special birthday in the house – the Energy Institute (EI) is 100 years old, virtually to the day, and I would like to extend a very warm welcome to the former Presidents of the EI and its predecessors who join us here. Like Sir Isaac Newton, I do feel I am “standing on the shoulders of giants”. In the last 100 years, the human race has made huge steps forward. We have explored the heavens and the deep oceans, we have mapped the human genome and created machines that have revolutionised our lives – from the way we travel to the way we communicate. We have eradicated diseases and developed drugs to prolong life. All this has been made possible by our industry. Energy has been at the heart of human progress and I believe it always will be.

Throughout all 100 years, the EI has stood as a proud bastion of professionalismfor this vital and energetic industry. Sir Thomas Boverton Redwood addressed the inaugural meeting of the Institution of Petroleum Technologists as its first President in 1914. He declared the aim of the Institution was “to determine the hallmark of proficiency in connection with our profession”. He could not have predicted the major wars and the economic booms we have seen in those 100 years, but throughout that time the EI has endured and flourished.

The Institution was born in an era where the industry had already reached adolescence in many parts of the world, and was just being formed in others. Oil had been discovered in theMiddle East, Indonesia, Mexico and the US. And just a few months after the Institution was created, a huge gusher on the Turner Valley oil field heralded the birth of the industry in Alberta, Canada. As the century advanced so did our industry, powering the inventions and technologies that were transforming the world. During this period of enormous change the EI has stood for the delivery of knowledge, skills and good practice in our industry.

The highly valued technical programme, which started in the early 1920s, is now well established as the most authoritative source of technical guidance in the industry, promoting the highest standards of health and safety, and environmental responsibility as well as providing valuable efficiency savings. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our technical partners for their support of the programme.

The EI has also developed a comprehensive portfolio of Chartered titles to support energy professionals, be they engineers, scientists, environmentalists or energy managers, and we’re expanding our wide-ranging training provision to adapt to new methods of learning. We are in the process of developing an online framework for easy access to a vast bank of knowledge, called the Energy Matrix, which in time we hope will transform the sharing of energy expertise and experience among and beyond the energy community.

I spent 25 years in the energy industry and the ingenuity and professionalism of the industry’s people has always impressed me. We are always constantly involved with new challenges. As we continue to develop, how do we secure energy supplies to keep up with the world’s growing demand? Moreover, our future energy supplies must be clean if we are to meet the now clearly visible predicament of climate change. What price levels will assist in both economic development and sensible returns for our industry? These questions matter to all the countries and societies we represent and our industry has to find the answers the world needs.

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