Retired Chief Petrophysicist John Bains has died following a distinguished career which saw him discover one of the UK's largest gas fields.
Retired Chief Petrophysicist John Bains has died following a distinguished career which saw him discover one of the UK’s largest gas fields.
John first discovered gas reserves in Morecambe Bay in 1972. However, his work was initially dismissed by the company that owned the drilling rights to the area which had been focusing its search on finding oil rather than gas.
British Gas acquired the drilling rights for the region and, thanks to John’s tenacity and perseverance, an exploration well was drilled in 1974.
Eleven years later gas production started from one of the UK’s largest gas fields which, at its peak, met 12 per cent of the UK’s gas supply.
Today operations in Morecambe Bay, which are central to Centrica Energy exploration and production business, account for around eight per cent of UK Continental Shelf gas supply and produce 500m cubic feet of gas every day.
Earlier this year, the future of the East Irish Sea operations were extended further following the first new gas in a decade from the Rhyl gas field being brought on stream.
Three decades after John’s original discovery, his contribution to UK gas exploration and production was officially recognised when Centrica named its Bains gas field after him.
Mark Hanafin, Centrica Energy’s Managing Director, said:
“We would like to pay tribute to John Bains and celebrate his contribution to UK gas exploration and production.
“John’s determination and expertise uncovered one of the UK’s most important gas fields which has kept millions of homes warm ever since.
“John was hugely respected in his field and revered at Centrica Energy as the father of the Morecambe Bay development.
“At Centrica Energy we pride ourselves on our ‘pioneering’ spirit to extract and process gas from the East Irish Sea and North Sea - John’s vision and perseverance encapsulates this very ethos.”
In his published paper ‘Undiscovery of wells in the UK Continental Shelf’, industry expert Graham Dean said: “Without the work of John Bains and others the UK oil and gas industry would be very different and the UK would be poorer.”