New technical director at Cuadrilla

180412 RW inq Mark Lappin1

Mark Lappin giving evidence at the public inquiry into traffic plans for Cuadrilla’s proposed fracking site at Roseacre Wood, near Blackpool, 12 April 2018. Photo: From Cuadrilla webcast

The shale gas company, Cuadrilla, has confirmed that its technical director, Mark Lappin, is retiring from his full-time post next week.

Dr Sau-Wai Wong will take over on 11 March 2019, the company said in a statement .

Members of the community liaison group for Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road fracking site near Blackpool had reported that 57-year-old Mr Lappin announced at the meeting held on 4 February 2019 that he was moving on.

In response to questions from DrillOrDrop that week, Cuadrilla said: “Mark Lappin remains Technical Director at Cuadrilla and there are no changes to the current management team”.

But in the statement dated a fortnight later, Cuadrilla said:

“Technical director Mark Lappin will retire from his full time post with Lancashire-based shale gas exploration company Cuadrilla at the end of this month”.

Mr Lappin has worked for Cuadrilla since 2017. The company’s statement described him as “an outstanding technical lead for the company”.  He would continue to be involved on a part-time basis, the statement said.

Cuadrilla chief executive, Francis Egan, said:

 “I would like to thank Mark for his huge contribution to both Cuadrilla and UK shale exploration.  He will continue to remain involved with the company on a part time basis as an advisor.”

Mark Lappin is registered with Companies House as a director of 13 companies in the Cuadrilla group. His Linkedin profile gives details of previous posts with ExxonMobil, Dart Energy and Centrica. Since 2016, he has been a director of Complete Exploration & Development in Aberdeenshire.

Sau-Wai Wong

Sau-Wai Wong, new technical director for Cuadrilla. Photo: Sau-Wai Wong

Sau-Wai Wong has worked in the oil and gas industry for 30 years. He had posts with Shell from 1989-2016, in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the US. These included Shell’s senior advisor on unconventional resources technology. Since 2016, he has run rybkarock, a production engineering and geomechanics consultancy based in Houston.

He has a BSc in civil engineering (1981-4) and PhD in engineering (1984-7), both from Manchester University.

Francis Egan said Sau-Wai Wong’s expertise and experience in shale gas “will be significant benefit to both Cuadrilla and the UK shale industry as a whole.”

37 replies »

  1. I’ve known Mark for many years and he’s both a thoroughly nice guy and an excellent geologist; I hope he will still be on hand to give Cuadrilla good advice. His replacement, Sau-Wai Wong, seems to have a perfect background for the job. Well done Francis for managing to attract someone with such expertise over the Lancashire.

    • According to reports from the CLG, Mr Lappin came across as a decent guy.

      Still it’s good to see that as Mr L moves on Cuadrilla will be providing yet more employment for people who live in Lancashire. (Dr Wong will be moving here won’t he?)

      Did you know that of the 39 Cuadrilla employees on Linked In just 10 say they actually live in Lancashire.

      • So, we will not see any more posts from reaction on any site outside of Lancashire then (including USA)??!! What a great thought-but, I suspect different “rules” apply.

          • I know when I make sense reaction by those who state they can not see the sense!

            However, I am sure there are many who read DoD and live in one place but work in another. Often find that with specialists-they are in wide demand. Not experienced that yourself? Have a chat with the Prof. He might help you out.

            • But Mortin – we all said AGES ago that Cuadrilla would bring in staff and not use local people. If you can’t see that that was what was being referred to here then you are slower than you appear.

            • Ahh, but reaction, those poorly educated people never realised that initial exploration/testing would use (Gold Standard) experts, sourced from far and wide?! No, they were not, and yes they did.

              But, never fear, when pads are multiplying across the Fylde there will be plenty of opportunity for locals to get in on the act. Polish up the CV, you never know!

              By the way, who are the “we”?? Would that include the high numbers of antis who migrate to PNR from all parts of the country?

              Now, if you put the 3 litre diesel in reverse, use the reversing sensors fully, you will be able to extract yourself from this blind alley you built.

              • Martin,
                According to fracking industry propaganda, once established, fracking sites operate automatically with monitoring from a central remote location.
                Or is that just another inconvenient truth that’s forgotten occasionally?

              • Merton – we all knew exactly what would (not?) happen regarding jobs – and Lo! We were right.

                Pads won’t multiply across the Fylde as the Roseacre Wood decision has put paid to that nightmare.

      • Refracktion

        If 10 have moved to Lancashire and 4 live close by then that would be 14 high paid jobs so far in the locality. Not bad given progress so far.

        Plus whatever contracting and logistic jobs staffed by those in Lancs, though East Notts has benefitted from the campaign to frighten off local Lancs companies.

          • Refracktion
            Yes…but the majority of jobs have been in the industries that supply them.
            However, I feel that you may be comfortable that the number of Cuadrilla employees is low, no matter where they live, or would be uncomfortable should they employ hundreds to service dozens of wells, with dozens being drilled.

            • That does not make sense Hewes, these people have moved here because of the location of the HO and have not been employed as local expertise…..the point made very clear by Refracktion.

              There has likely been more money generated in the area from locals and visitors to the PNR site who oppose fracking from using local food outlets, hotels etc?

              • Sherwulfe – people opposing fracking spending lots of money in local hotels doesn’t sound very likely but those visitors helping Cuadrilla will undoubtably spend lots of money in hotels. My average is about 2k per week when visiting clients. Of course one wouldn’t expect too many locals to be employed on the drilling side of the things at the moment but I’ve met many Lancastrians who would in Industry who are very keen to shale gas develop so that they can return home and experience bad food and even worse weather

                • Judith. From my observations, the staff on the site, apart from security and cleaners, are camping out in porta cabins on the site and living on take aways. Certainly not spending 2k per week.

                • Pauline – you obviously haven’t been there enough – the staff certainly aren’t camping in porta cabins. Clearly some people save their money – whereas others, like myself, are more than happy to spend my income in the areas where I work.

                • Judith,
                  I know that during the drilling phase at PNR. some of the the drilling crews were accommodated at a fancy’ish hotel close to the Pleasure Beach.
                  This crew of about a dozen comprised of just one Englishman and the rest were East European. Obviously they are gone now but the international chain hotel will hopefully have earned some cash for it’s shareholders.
                  So there’s wages for a few chambermaids and reception staff paid by the fracking industry, but no new long term high quality jobs created.

                • Peter K Roberts – it’s always interesting that the anti-frackers concentrate on “long term high quality jobs” – what exactly does that mean? Do you think chambermaids don’t need work or those in the construction industry. I visited the site several times and actually didn’t meet anyone of Eastern European heritage but if I had so what? They might be UK citizens now. The fact is that anyone with a qualification in drilling or petroleum engineering would have moved away from the area as there was no work. The fracking industry potentially allows them to move back.

                • How arrogant of you, Ms Green. There are many, many people who visit the area to support local protectors and who contribute to the local community both financially and otherwise.

            • Sherwulfe
              The initial post noted how many Cuadrilla personnel lived in Lancs. But most jobs relating to the creation of a pad, drilling and fracking are in the industries serving Cuadrilla, such as the companies making the site (civils), Security, Drilling, Mud Logging, haulage and so on, few of which will be Cuadrilla employees, but more than the few Cuadrilla employees noted, will be locals with the required expertise).

              Plus, Linkedin does not tell you how many of the Ciadrilla Staff moved to Lancs or were already there. So hard to say that they are not all local or not. But as the fossil fuel diaspora are well spread across the country, some may have well been there already.

              How many jobs have been created in the accommodation industry was not my meaning when I referrrd to service industry, but jobs created ( or money spent ) by both anti frackers and those employed by and on behalf of Cuadrilla would count as local employment created by fracking.

              • ‘ But most jobs relating to the creation of a pad, drilling and fracking are in the industries serving Cuadrilla, such as the companies making the site (civils), Security, Drilling, Mud Logging, haulage and so on, few of which will be Cuadrilla employees, but more than the few Cuadrilla employees noted, will be locals with the required expertise).’ ah yes, those who were duped into contracts by third parties and then pulled out when they realised they were working indirectly for Cuadrilla….

                In truth, we all know the reality hewes, it doesn’t matter how it is wrapped and presented in glittery paper, the contents are rotten and dead in the water. Poor investors….a retirement pension for one and another huge salary for another? No return for the duped so far, or expected in the future. The longer this ponzi is supported the more will fall; shocking.

  2. A long career with Shell is a good sign. They are one of the few oil companies in the West that still fund their own research labs, rather than outsource.

    • I would question the wisdom of swapping a ‘long career with Shell’ for a tin pot company like Cuadrilla….

      I wonder which poor sods are funding this?

      • Sherwulfe – maybe you should write to him and offer your deep insight. I’m sure after working on unconventionals for some many years that he’d really benefit from your expertise on the subject. While you’re giving him career advice maybe you could also give him tips of what proppant load to use on the fracks.

        • Does anyone write to each other any more?

          ‘I’m sure after working on unconventionals for some many years’ am sure that if the homeland ‘unconventionals’ were doing so well he would not have to be shipped half way across the globe?

          Here’s a little advice on the longevity of his industry….

          Hope he has a good pension.

          Perhaps you could advise him?… oh wait…pointless.

          • Sherwulfe – I’m fully aware of the impact of global warming and just like Nick Riley, I’ve spent a huge amount of my career working on low carbon technologies. I’m also knowledgeable enough that I wound never be sufficiently idiotic to see one unusual spell of warm temperature and specifically blame global warming.

            • “I’m also knowledgeable enough that I wound never be sufficiently idiotic to see one unusual spell of warm temperature and specifically blame global warming.”

              Warmest February since records began, another piece of the jigsaw that green fails to place correctly. Sufficiently idiotic indeed.

  3. What’s the point of a new technical director when they cant frack with the current seismic and the flow rate is not commercial viable ? Maybe just an excuse.

  4. A newbie worth his weight in PR gold? A shiny decorated bauble to excite the speculators and which, for a while, might divert them from the reality of tremors and ponzi puff.

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