Richard Sands: what’s your story?


Last time around, we heard from Jonathan Foster, director of OESG founder member Petroleum Safety Services Limited.  In this, the third in our ‘what’s your story?’ series of posts, find out what makes founder member Richard Sands tick.


Q. What does your company do?

Moorhouse Petroleum Limited (trading as Moorhouse Drilling and Completions) is a well construction and well re-entry project management company, specialising in deep wells onshore UK.

Oil and gas companies, who have licences from the government to explore and develop oil and gas assets, are often referred to as ‘Operators’. Operators may wish to employ a specialist project management consultancy to provide professional services which they do not have access to within their own business.

An Operator will contract with Moorhouse for us to plan their drilling or well re-entry operations. Moorhouse can obtain the necessary local planning approvals and Environment Agency permits for the work, design the work, plan the work, tender and contract the necessary services and then supervise the operations.


Q. How long have you been working with the onshore oil and gas industry?

I have been working in the onshore UK oil and gas deep well industry since 1985.  I founded Moorhouse Drilling and Completions in September 1994.


Q. How did you start?

When I was sixteen years old, I applied to British Petroleum to work in the truly unique operations that were taking place in the North Sea at that time. The year was 1977. I started work with BP in 1979 where I became a formally trained drilling engineer and achieved a first class honours degree in mechanical engineering. In 1985, I was transferred to onshore UK land operations near Nottingham and I have been involved in drilling and well re-entry operations ever since, both onshore and offshore. Other land operations which I have been involved with include those in Romania, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Yemen and Kazakhstan.


Q. What do you enjoy most about your work?

Satisfaction in work for me is providing a first class service and being recognised for that. Our operations are 24/7 with a high cost base and so are fully supported from start to finish, including through Christmas, New Year and bank holidays.


Q. What motivates you?

I am motivated by performing operations with the minimum of environmental impact.

I am a father and grandfather and would like our grandchildren and their offspring to look back at our generation and be proud of how we have preserved the planet for their use, given the knowledge and technology available at the time.

A further aspect which motivates me is that, as a family business owner, we enhance employee’s lives where possible, providing satisfaction at work and react to employee’s personal circumstances in a way which larger companies cannot match. We also provide sponsorship to local children’s clubs, providing opportunities for them to join in and then improve in their given sport.


Q. How do you see the future of onshore oil and gas developing?

Onshore oil and gas will continue to provide a vital contribution to the UK energy requirements in the long term.

As imported energy prices rise, additional impetus will be given to home grown energy and will attract further investment. It is the intention that Moorhouse will be available in the long term to provide vital specialised support for the continued development of UK onshore oil and gas.