Director: Gama Services Limited
Paul graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering with Management in 1981, and is currently the Director of Gama Services Limited.
I was offered a sponsorship to study at Loughborough by Shell, who suggested I study engineering. I was also interested in studying business, and Shell helped me in my application to study Chemical Engineering and Management, which offered an ideal combination.
The course at Loughborough gave me a good grounding in engineering (including initial work roles) as a basis for understanding and discussing technical aspects of oil exploration business. The business modules also provided a platform for commerical roles, which have progressed for most of my career.
Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities during your studies? If so, how did this impact upon your Loughborough experience?
I participated in Intra-Mural sports, including football, hockey and cross-country. I enjoyed the access to the world class sports facilities, and felt that sports enhanced my teamworking skills and health, alongside my regular student social life.
Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to current or prospective students looking to study the same course that you did?
I would recommend doing a combination of subjects like I did. I think Chemical Engineering and Management is a great combination, as it is recognised for the Chartered Engineer status, but also allows an important appreciation for what makes business tick.
I would also encourage prospective students to a sandwich degree with a year in industry, as this is important for the practical appreciation of academic skills.
I am a freelance consultant who advises small oil companies on commercial issues. My main role, since 2012, is with Discover Exploration, a private equity backed oil exploration company, who work alongside larger companies to explore for oil and gas offshore Holland, Germany, Comoros and New Zealand.
I worked as part of the small team (10 people based in 4 different countries) which had huge success in 2009-2012 as AIM listed Cove Energy, from £2m start-up to £1.2 billion in sales in 3 years through participating in the biggest gas discovery in the world for 20 years. I hope to repeat this in my current company.
I love the buzz of getting a complication deal over the line, often having found a way through difficult issues and hurdles. I also enjoy looking for ideas and opportunities through extensive network across the global industry.
I turned 60 earlier this year, and have started to wind-down towards retirement. I am now working part-time, and providing more experience and guidance rather than being at the day-to-day sharp end.
Leading the re-negotiation of a UK gas sales contract for BHP in the late 1990's, culminating in the company's receipt of over £500m in payment in return for adjusting gas sales prices to the new lower market norm.
Also the £1.2bn sale of Cove Energy to Thai national oil company PTTEP in competition with Shell in 2012.