John Thorogood

Curriculum Vitae




  •  Expert advice to parties in a dispute involving complex downhole drilling problems for PSA Service Contractor in Middle East.
  • Assessment panel member for the Gulf Research Program administered by the US National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine
  • Leader of Oil & Gas UK Workgroup preparing guidance on Process Safety Performance Metrics.
  • Advisor to US Chemical Safety Board on Volume 3 of Macondo Report, Human Factors.
  • Advisor to independent North Sea operator on drilling aspects of an M&A opportunity.
  • Advisor to UAE Operator on technical and organisational aspects of HPHT pre-Khuff exploration well
  • South American National Oil Company: provision of advice on organisation of drilling department, technical standards, drilling operations performance and operational problem investigation.
  • Independent exploration company in South America: advice on contracting strategy and critical pre-operational reviews.
  • Independent exploration companies (UK): forensic review and root cause assessment of problematic well in West Africa and critical pre-operations review for West of Shetland appraisal well.
  • Senior Technical Advisor to mid-size independent European oil company: advising on well engineering technical policy, management systems and functional organisation.  Provision of advice on exploration project planning, operational reviews and organisational health checks.
  • Board member of Reelwell AS (Norway) and SmartReamer (UK)
  • Advisor to operator spearheading shale gas operations in onshore UK
  • Major operator: Peer assist for upcoming new-start exploration projects in remote areas including arctic operations.  Acted as rotational Operations Manager for Faroe Islands exploration well, 2007-08.  Provided advice on human factors aspects of operations control and systems for operational management of change.
  • Major operator: technical and operational advisor to remote area harsh environment deep water exploration project with 6th generation drillship in South Atlantic
  • Integrated Ocean Drilling Programme: Member of UK Science Advisory Panel and the International Engineering Development Panel advising on technology developments for deep water scientific drilling.  Undertook post operational reviews of expeditions and input to the Expedition 343 JFast project coring the Tokhu earthquake fault in 7,000m WD. 
  • Member of the JAMSTEC/CDEX Technical Advisory Team for operations on DV Chikyu.
  • Major equipment manufacturer: advising on the development, implementation and marketing of an advanced electronic drilling rig control system.
  • Major management consultancy: Provision of advice on new and emerging deep water drilling technologies in relation to future developments in the rig market. 
  • Performed technology assessments of new concepts for possible venture capital investment.
  • Acted as expert witness in a wellbore survey technology-related legal case.
  • Advisor to Research Council of Norway on R&D grant applications
  • Advisor to the International Research Institute of Stavanger on research project proposals and research directions with focus on human factors and automation.


June 2005 – September 2007
BP / Rosneft Joint Venture, Sakhalin Wells Team, Sakhalin SPU           
Chief Drilling Engineer

Following the success of the 2004 campaign, assigned as Chief Drilling Engineer with responsibility for all Project Services, management systems and assurance processes within the expanded team.  Continued to serve SPE on Governance Committee, Editorial reviews, Conference Planning Committees, writing for Journals and giving lectures.  Specific deliveries included: implementation of riserless mud recovery system that cut 9 days off well times, planning and implementing procedures for operating in early season ice and developing strategy for operating with ice-strengthened drillship for extended season operations.  Playing active role in coaching new exploration project teams and in technology strategy and planning.  At a Federal level, promoted involvement in drilling automation field trials, authored BP technical practice on wellbore survey.

 June 2003 – December 2004
Sakhalin Project, RU-KZ BU           
Exploration Drilling Project Manager

Acted as project manager for the 2004 Sakhalin Exploration drilling campaign.  Delivered discovery well in remote area with no accidents, injuries or harm to the environment.  Advised on organisational design for other critical exploration wells teams, reviews ofmajor well problems and organisational design.  Completed term on the Board of SPE.

May 2002 – May 2003
Upstream Technology Group (Aberdeen)

Advised on organisational design for critical wells teams, undertook reviews of major well problems and organisational design.  Continued on the Board of SPE.  Defined and implemented an R&D project on the human factors aspects of operational command and decision-making.  Lead a project to remove four Clair wellheads and one remaining from 2001 Faroe campaign.

September 2000 – April 2002
BP Exploration (Faroes) Ltd, Aberdeen           
Drilling Manager

Responsible for delivery of the BP Faroe and UK White Zone deep water drilling programme 2001-2002.  Directed the project to set up new team, operation and logistics in a totally new area within previously un-tried, un-tested “goal setting” regulatory framework.  Managed the well operations using 5th generation dual activity DP drillship and logistics within this framework.  Appointed as a Director of the Society of Petroleum Engineers with responsibility for Drilling and Completions for a 3-year term wef October 2001.

January 1999 – August 2000
BP Amoco Norge           
Exploration Drilling Project Manager

Following BP - Amoco integration, directed the project with the Exploration Drilling team to deliver two highly successful wells with the West Alpha during the Summer of 1999.  During 2000, directed the project to drill the Snadd discovery well with the 5th generation new build dual activity dynamically positioned drillship West Navion.  Developed the planning, project management and organizational techniques that now underpin the BP Beyond the Best Common Process.

August 1996 - December 1999
BP Norge           
Exploration Drilling Project Manager

Managed import and start-up of Ocean Alliance DP operations in the Norway deep water frontier licences.  Oversaw the upgrade project and work required to bring rig into compliance with Norwegian Regulations.  Worked as night rep on Vøring Plateau well in 1485m WD.  Project managed execution of BP Norge’s 2nd deep water well in 850m WD.  Well drilled, and tested on DP, major gas discovery.  Consulted for BP operations in Kuwait, Colombia and Alaska.  Chairman of SPE Forum Series Implementation Committee, Co-chairman of 1997 forum on Multi-lateral completions.  Chairman of 1998 SPE Annual Meeting Drilling Technology Committee.

July 1991 - July 1996           
BP Exploration

Internal consultant on contracting and operating strategies throughout BP operations: Vietnam, Colombia, Venezuela, Alaska, US GoM and UK.  Participated in management of the R&D process, managed the Drilling Optimisation project.  Created the Drilling Learning project and introduced the concept of Technical Limit.  Sorted out the Prudhoe Bay survey database and resolved major issues concerning the technical integrity of directional drilling operations on the North Slope.  Played a significant role in SPE Conferences, Forum series meetings and committees.

February 1989 - June 1991           
BP Exploration           
Head of Drilling Technology, Drilling Technology Group

Managed a group of drilling technology specialists providing technical service support to operating areas.  Managed significant parts on the R&D portfolio.  External Industrial Activities: continued as an SPE Technical Editor and was a member of various conference programme committees

January 1983 – January 1989
Britoil plc           
Senior Supervising Engineer

Provided technical support for operations in all operated areas, including North Sea. Responsible for the technical supervision of engineers in the group and in the operating areas.  Carried out a lot of work on the development of deviation survey error modelling, development of integrated drilling engineering and operations support databases.  Worked on a number of field development projects and rig conversions.  Implemented new diverter system design concepts and design verification thereof.  Supervised work on preparation for drilling with semisubmersibles to the West of Shetland, included riser and mooring system management and integration of ROV operations. Supervised the development of a new fatigue-resistant wellhead system (Vetco SG5 lockdown).

September 1973 – December 1982           
BNOC – Burmah Oil Co

Trained as a drilling engineer with Burmah Oil.  Initially in UK, then as roughneck and assistant driller on land rigs in India.  Worked as Ops DE and Wellsite Engineer on DP drillship in 1974 offshore Morocco and then on land rigs in Nigeria, Algeria and Turkey.  Moved to the North Sea in 1975 and developed in-house directional software that became an industry standard.  Devised and evolved company procedures for directional surveying. Worked as a wellsite engineer on exploration wells in the North Sea (semis & jackups), then as a drilling supervisor. Provided drilling engineering input to the Plan of Development for the Clyde Field Development. Provided drilling engineering input to the preparation of the Basis of Design for the Clyde Field Drilling Facilities and a workover rig for Beatrice B platform. Acted as company representative during the construction of the Dyvi Omega (Ocean Patriot) rig in Toulon. Supervised the technical aspects of the company's participation in the Mobil operated Extended Reach Drilling Project.