The girls are taking part in Banff & Buchan’s “Skills for Work - Energy” - a two year programme designed to open young women’s eyes to the energy industry’s wealth of career opportunities. Before starting the programme many had thought that a job in the industry meant working on a platform in the middle of the North Sea, but now they have seen that there are a vast variety of careers available both offshore and onshore across the globe.

Glen Cayley, Technical Vice-President for Shell Upstream Europe, said “I am delighted this course is producing such successful students. It is particularly pleasing to see young females taking their first steps to a career in the oil and gas industry. The need to encourage and support the next generation of engineers is a key priority for Shell.”

The programme included a presentation from Shell Woman’s Network members who explained about personal development, building networks and of the travel opportunities, which a large company like Shell can offer. They boarded the Skandi Foula, an offshore supply vessel and a flying visit to CHC Helicopters in Dyce, where they experienced the preparation and procedures for travelling offshore. Finally, they visited St Fergus Gas Plant where they discussed HSE and Waste, they also talked to Mechanical, Process, Corrosion and Electrical Engineers about their roles in Shell.

They were invited to Oil & Gas UK - the voice of the offshore industry, where they delivered a presentation on how the course had helped develop them as individuals and also increased their knowledge of the energy industry. 

Dr Alix Thom, Employment and Skills Issues Manager at Oil & Gas UK, said: “The UK oil and gas industry needs to have access to skilled people to support its activities in the years to come and initiatives like the Girls’ Energy course aimed at encouraging more women into science, engineering and technology sectors deserve our support. With up to 24 billion barrels of oil and gas yet to be extracted from the UK continental shelf, this industry offers young people a diverse range of challenging, interesting and rewarding career opportunities now and for a very long time to come.”

At the end of the two week programme the girls prepared a press release and summary of their time with Shell. Below is a summary of each department they visited and quote from each of the girls.

The Programme

We spoke to different members of the Shell Women’s Network who told us about diversity and inclusiveness, how we should support each other and why it is important to build and keep a network of contacts.

Shell Real Estate (SRE) Department - we were told how they manage buildings and services all over the world. They then set us tasks to do such as interior design, space planning and reducing energy consumption.

Wells manage drilling contracts, Projects buy stuff and Production maintains the platforms. Amazingly they have 68,000 pieces of equipment in storage.

In Central Northern North Sea Asset (CNNS) we got to meet everyone from Geologists to Engineers, we also spent some time in The Sphere a 3D simulator room. We spoke to Petro Physicists, Production Engineers, Production Technologists and an FPSO Manager.

In HSE we found out about STOP – a Safety Initiative, attended the Emergency Response Room, and held a video conference with people from Norway and the Netherlands.

In Commercial we learnt about negotiation, problem solving and team work to understand how different companies work together on commercial deals.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) we learnt about how Shell are developing a project to store CO2 in old gas fields. The have recently entered a government competition for funding of £1 billion to make a project happen in Peterhead.

In Non Operated Ventures (NOV) we found out how Shell makes money from sharing assets with other companies.

Hydrocarbon Dispatching – this is where they control and distribute all Shell’s oil and gas.

We toured the Production Chemistry lab and found out about how they test samples of hydrocarbons and cement for quality.

Finally they were all asked to sum up their time in Shell:

"Before coming to Shell I have always wanted to be an Electrical Engineer and coming to Shell has just confirmed my decision."

Arianne Elmslie

"Before I came to Shell my thoughts towards my future career changed every week but now after hearing the different career opportunities I have decided that I would like to head towards a mechanical engineer career."

Susan Lumsden

"I have always been interested in chemistry but never thought of pursuing it as a career, but after being at Shell I would love to work in the production chemistry labs."

Louise McCouaig

"I never realised how much diversity and career options there is in one industry and it has made me reconsider what job I want to do in the future"

Rachel Massie

"After spending two weeks at Shell I am amazed at how many different careers, opportunities and learning experiences available at a multi-national company like Shell. Before coming to Shell I had considered careers from medicine to law, but now I have my eyes firmly set on reservoir engineering and the Oil & Gas industry."

Rachael Jappy

"This experience with Shell has influenced my decision to pursue a career in the energy industry. Meeting employees from the company has expanded my knowledge of the different careers and opportunities available in the future."

Grace Brown

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