During his studies Andy joined bp as a summer intern and was offered a place on the Wells Challenger programme based in the North Sea. Today, Andy is a wellsite drilling engineer off the coast of Shetland, Scotland on the flagship Clair Ridge asset.
Andy’s interest in engineering sparked as a teen when he participated in bp’s ‘STEM in the Pipeline’: an engineering competition between secondary schools.
“I went to school just outside Aberdeen and it was very common for engineers, many of whom worked for bp, to talk to us about the possibilities of a career in engineering”, he recalls. “As part of the competitions, we had to pitch and present innovative engineering solutions to real-world issues”.
Funnelling his competitive streak into his academic pursuits, Andy graduated from Heriot-Watt University with a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering in 2020. During his studies Andy joined bp as a summer intern and was offered a place on the Wells Challenger programme based in the North Sea. Today, Andy is a wellsite drilling engineer off the coast of Shetland, Scotland on the flagship Clair Ridge asset.
“My role is to support the offshore well execution phases, to deliver best in class value, and review wells operations to ensure they are in line with industry best practice. My duties and responsibilities include operational reporting, performance analysis, casing tallies and well engineering calculations”, he explains.
Reimagining engineering for reimagining energy
Andy is enthusiastic about how his career has magnified his initial attraction to the discipline.
What drew me to engineering was the sense of scale. In my role, I have an amazing opportunity to channel the fundamentals of engineering into complex, technical solutions for low-carbon energy. At bp, we are now looking at how we use our drilling and wells technology to complete carbon capture or geothermal wells.
As co-lead for the Clair Ridge Green Team, Andy supports the team in finding offshore solutions to support bp’s net-zero ambition. “At present, we are piloting ideas for waste reduction and green energy”, he shares proudly.
Facilitating resilient communities
For Andy, the opportunity to use his role as a drilling engineer to support low-carbon energy production is about more than just the excitement of pushing technical boundaries. He argues that the energy transition isn’t just important for the long-term future of bp, it’s important for safeguarding the future of “communities who have been traditionally reliant on oil”.
Growing up in Aberdeen I’ve been able to see how the oil industry shapes the dynamics of the city; its highs and its lows. If we can help diversify and strengthen the business, we can diversify and strengthen the communities that rely on us and our industry.
Andy’s goal to foster resilient communities starts with empowering people. As a first-generation university graduate, Andy is passionate about social mobility.
“I come from a family of fishing folk and lighthouse keepers. It’s an unusual background, but we’ve always looked for challenges and opportunity. Many people are hesitant to apply to bp due to insecurities about their degrees or backgrounds. But I always advise to focus on showing your strengths—personal and academic. bp cares more about who you are than who you seem to be on paper”.
Andy actively exercises his passion for social mobility via his involvement in mentorship schemes and as an Offshore Champion for bp’s Women’s International Network (bpWIN). “I deeply value developing others, while also receiving coaching”, he says.
As the youngest sibling of three, all of whom studied chemical engineering, Andy isn’t afraid to admit how his family drives his ambitions. “While I certainly felt pressure to follow in the footsteps of my siblings, the main influence on my career choice was my family. My Granny takes a great deal of pride in all her grandchildren and making her proud has always been a big driver for me”.
For Andy, the impact of his work is effectively about legacy. Building on a family tradition of stepping up to challenges, helping communities to foster their resilience in energy and ensuring a low-carbon future for the planet.