Chris Bayly retires after 39 years in the industry

Chris Bayly retires after 39 years in the industry

Chris Bayly, most recently OPC Training Manager is retiring at the end of May after 39 years in the oil and gas industry, the last 17 of those with OPC.  A multi-tasking petroleum engineer, Chris has served in a variety of roles for OPC throughout the world and we wish him a very happy retirement.

We had a quick interview with Chris to reflect and celebrate his career.

What led to you joining OPC?

“I had first met Piers when he was managing one of the first ever projects for OPC in the North Sea in 1988.  I was working for Dresser Atlas and we hit it off – shared a few drinks as you do – and kept in touch over the years.  Then in 2003 I was working for Blackwatch and the recession was biting so I rang Piers.  We had lunch and by closing time I had joined OPC!”

What roles have you performed for OPC?

“I basically went where I was needed, working with Tullow in Bangladesh, then the North Sea before a long stint as a Consultant Operations and Production Engineer rotating offshore with Rasgas in Qatar.  From 2011 to 2013 I was OPC Middle East Manager based in Doha and then from 2013 to 2016 performed several interesting projects with a variety of clients in the UK, Kuwait, Myanmar and the Golan Heights. From 2016 I have been based in the OPC London office as Training Manager and also supporting on bids and proposals.”

How do you view your time with OPC?

“It has been the best company I have worked for in my career.  I was encouraged to take on new roles and challenged to upskill my knowledge right to the end.  The challenge of learning new skills has been exhilarating and has meant I had a huge “bank” of information that I was able to pass on to younger engineers.  The variety of the work and the culture of the business – fun but professional – has made OPC a wonderful employer.”

Any highlights from your earlier career?

My favourite place to work was Gabon. I drove my jeep into the jungle to check and maintain the gauges in the wells. The beauty of the jungle was stunning and I often had visits from local wildlife including elephants. When we were not working we would rotate out to Libreville or Port Harcourt to nice hotels and cheap beer!

Working in Africa did have its moments.  I was working in Chad in the midst of the civil war and we were evacuated to nearby CAR in an emergency by the army with just our coveralls on!

What’s your plans for retirement?

We are moving house at the moment and we have a holiday home in Malaysia that we will spend time in and use as a base to travel around Asia. I love visiting new countries – which has been one of the highlights of my career – and hope to tick of several more in retirement.

I look back on my career with so many fond memories – and its probably a blessing that we are in lockdown as I would just bore everyone at my leaving drinks with all the old stories! I am very grateful to all the clients and consultants that I have worked with over the years and feel that I have been blessed to have worked during “the golden years” of the oil and gas industry.


Piers Johnson, Managing Director of OPC said:

“It will be an end of an era to see Chris leave OPC. He has willingly mobilised to many work locations around the world, sometimes at short notice, without adverse comments, even though some locations have been challenging.   He has done his job competently and always delivered an expert professional service.  I have enjoyed listening to his oil field stories, maybe more than he has enjoyed listening to mine.   I wish him and Joy a happy retirement and look forward to visiting them in Malaysia when I get the chance.”

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