Case Studies & Publications


Supporting the Local Workforce

IOC – Supporting the development of the local NOC workforce (Suriname)

The training and development of local staff is a priority for National Oil and Gas Companies and their independent international industry partners. RPS partners with IOCs and NOC’s to meet local training commitments. During 2016 & 2017 RPS, assisted an international energy company in Suriname by training and supporting the development of subsurface NOC staff.

A range of subsurface technical training courses were delivered covering subject areas that included Basin Development and Petroleum Systems, Rock Physics, Petrophysics and Petroleum Risk and Decision Analysis.

Expert Tutors: The courses were delivered by subject area experts that included Mark Thompson, former Senior Exploration Advisor at BP and Pete Smith, founding director of the BP Institute at Cambridge University.

Selected Feedback: A very comprehensive and eye-opening course, real added value for corporate exploration strategy. Helped focus exploration vision in key areas of risks and uncertainty
(Exploration Geophysicist, 5 years’ experience - N995: Managing Uncertainty and Risk in Appraisal and Development)

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Core Competencies Development

NOC – Core Competencies Programme – Industry Awareness, Leadership and Commercial (SE Asia)

RPS designed, developed and provided a 3-year core competency development program on behalf of an NOC in order to develop individual, business and senior leadership skill within the company. The programme had the following impacts:

  • provided a platform for the leadership team to strengthen their understanding on the corporate core values.
  • taught individuals to stand up for the right principles and drive continuous improvement by promoting a creativity culture, trust, positive co-operations, optimising interpersonal skills to others, ability to motivate others, deliver and communicate effectively.
  • described effective methods of managing diverse teams or employees, it also equipped them with the ability in event of uncertainties to collaboratively manage change in order to achieve common objectives.
  • focus on inspiring and empowering the leaders to handle a wide range of situations including coaching and mentoring.
  • informed senior executives on the challenges of being effective leaders in dynamic business conditions, ensuring senior executives possess the right leadership qualities in order to be seen as respectable leaders as well as to become a successful change agent to transform the organisation.
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Providing Training Management

Large Independent Oil & Gas Company – Geoscience and Engineering Training Management (North America)

RPS has been working with a large independent oil & gas company based in North America, but with offices in several countries around the world, to create and manage a training program for literally hundreds of staff through more than 10 years. The NTA concept allows our client to access, and have input on the design of, a breadth and range of skill levels of training in the disciplines of subsurface geoscience and engineering that is of a similar standard that would be found in a Super-major but would be prohibitively expensive to create independently in-house.

As a full member of the Nautilus Training Alliance (the ‘NTA’), our client has priority access to seats, at a discounted rate, on an annual program that they know they can rely on running as much as a year out from the date of any particular class. This allows the training managers and human resources department within their organization to utilize our program to plan for a significant part of the career-development of their various staff seniority levels, as well as address short-term needs as they arise.

Several of our classes have been adapted to run internally in their offices on annual basis, providing a continuity of training and ability to plan. In addition, the company uses several of our signature field courses as capstone courses in the development and progression of their geoscientists and engineers as they advance in their careers. RPS provides the management of the entire process from identifying the training need, finding the right instructor and generating the course materials through to organizing the logistics of staff travel, lodgings and field safety equipment in the case of field-based training.

“N009 – Sedimentology, Stratigraphy and Reservoir Geology of Deepwater Clastic Systems (County Clare, Ireland)”; taught by Andy Pulham and Martin Evans, has become one of those capstone courses and, indeed, has become almost a ‘right of passage’ in the geoscience community at large.

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Publications – Learning and Development

Field-based Training: Luxury or Necessity?
Gary Nichols and Simon Baker, RPS.
GeoExpro, Vol. 12, No. 3 - 2015

Ground Truth - Gary Nichols makes the case for field-based training in the oil and gas industry, and why it is integral to achieving and maintaining Chartered status
Gary Nichols
Geoscientist, Vol 26, No 1 February 2016

Publications – Academic

Nichols, G.J. & Fisher, J.A. 2007. Processes, facies and architecture of fluvial distributary system deposits. Sedimentary Geology, 195, 75-90.

Nichols, G.J. 2009 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy. 2nd Edition. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford. 419p

Nichols, G.J. 2005. Sedimentary evolution of the Lower Clair Group, Devonian, west of Shetland: climate and sediment supply controls on fluvial, aeolian and lacustrine deposition. In: Doré, A.G. & Vining, B.A. (eds)

Petroleum Geology: North West Europe & Global Perspectives – Proceedings of the 6th Petroleum Geology Conference, 957-967.

Weissmann, G.S., Hartley, A.J., Nichols, G.J., Scuderi, L.A., Olson, M., Buehler, H. & Banteah, R. 2010. Fluvial form in modern continental sedimentary basins: Distributive Fluvial Systems (DFS). Geology, 38, 39–42.

Nichols, G.J. & Hirst, J.P.P. 1998. Alluvial fans and fluvial distributary systems, Oligo-Miocene, northern Spain: contrasting processes and products. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 68, 879-889

Suggate, S.M. et al. 2013. South China continental margin signature for sandstones and granites from Palawan, Philippines, Gondwana Research Gondwana Research 26 (2014) 699–718

Suggate, S.M. & Hall, R. 2013. A new garnet database: Tools to help determine to provenance of detrital garnets. From: Scott, R. A., Smyth, H. R., Morton, A. C. & Richardson, N. (eds) Sediment Provenance Studies in Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 386.