O&G Members Banner


Bill Cambell

Bill Cambell joined Shell in Aberdeen in 1979 after 17 years working in the UK Coal Mining Industry (installation, commissioning, and maintenance of elect equipment in Hazardous Atmospheres).

His first activities related to the onshore commissioning of AC generation and Gas Compression facilities prior to those going offshore. In 1982, as a Chartered Engineer Cambell was employed as a Topside Facilities Design Engineer supervising numerous design changes required after the installations had gone offshore. In 1984 he was made Offshore Installation Manager for the installation Brent Alpha and thereafter moved to London to provide Operations input into the design of 2nd generation installations. By 1990 Cambell was an onshore Asset Manager for the Cormorant Oil Field in the East Shetlands Basin. During this period he assisted in the development and acceptance of the first Safety Case approved by the UK regulator for the large and complex Condeep installation Cormorant Alpha.

In 1993 I became the Head of Operations and Maintenance Strategy for Shell’s North Sea operations d gas onshore plants. I this role I was charged with the development and training of over 2000 Offshore operations staff and was the custodian or technical authority for Operation and Maintenance Codes of Practice. At that time we produced the first standard adopted in the North Sea for the Management Of Major Emergencies as a result of the post Piper Alpha recommendations. I was also at the time one of a small number of Company Emergency Co-ordinators.

In 1996 Cambell moved to the central offices of Shell Intentional EP in The Hague in a similar role.

In the Hague as its principal technical expert for maintenance and production Cambell had several roles, namely Global Consultant, Part of a team sponsoring and financing revolutionary research carried out at our Research and Technical Services Laboratory being involved in projects such as expanded tubular, floating LNG, Geothermal etc.

At that time Cambell also acted as a Group Auditor carrying out HSE and Business Control audits and reviews around the world, some 42 in 17 different countries.

Cambell retired from Shell in 2002 due to ill health but provided part time constancy to them till 2006. He has also provided advice to the UK oil Regulator the HSE during this period.

Many commentators around the world talk about the cause of the explosion on Deepwater Horizon when they actually mean the cause of the blowout and subsequent pollution. Blowouts are thankfully rare events; some blowouts in the past have not led to explosions, making recovery efforts more likely to succeed. The fatalities and the total destruction...Full Article »