EIC 80 Years
80 years

Energy Industries Council celebrates 80 Years

The go-to energy supply chain trade association, globally

 EEC Tree

In 2023, the Energy Industries Council (EIC) celebrates its 80th anniversary. It’s been an incredible journey for the council and its members, starting in London in 1943 with a meeting of leaders from 13 engineering businesses. We are proud of our achievements and significant contributions to the energy sector, and most of all we are excited about the future. In order to celebrate with our members, staff, partners and stakeholders, we are organizing a series of jubilee events throughout 2023.

Please, join us. Stay updated on what is happening by following us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

On 20 April 2023, the EIC will celebrate its 80th Anniversary in London. To mark the occasion, we will hold a 1940s-themed cocktail party at Dorchester Hotel in London, welcoming our member companies, Board of Directors, representatives from governments, operators and developers, and some special guests. The inspiration for this theme comes from the council’s early AGMs, that were always followed by a cocktail party at the Dorchester Hotel for its members.

We will be raising money for charity at the Jubilee cocktail reception and at similar 80th jubilee events around the world.

Further information will be shared over the course of 2023.

History Timeline

A short History of EIC

EIC foundation

On 25 February 1943, 13 petroleum equipment manufacturers met in war-torn London at a “post-war planning meeting”, to conceive the Council of British Manufacturers of Petroleum Equipment (CBMPE), as the EIC was known then. Even though World War II was still raging in 1943, the CBMPE quickly made its first approaches to the British government, namely the Ministry of Fuel & Power, and the Industry and Export Council, with its stated aims being ‘Education, Publicity and Propoganda’ on behalf of British petroleum equipment manufacturers.

As was written in the early minutes of CBMPE meetings, Cabinet ministers felt that:
“Unless this section of British industry makes itself felt as an authoritative body representing so many millions of capital and employing so many people, we will stand very little chance of being taken seriously.” CBMPE was to be “an entirely independent association representing firms who can supply equipment to the oil industry, so that British manufacturers may secure their fair share of international business, to make their contribution to maintaining UK exports.”

International missions

eic team

By the end of 1943, CBMPE had grown from 13 to 142 members and was already making plans for the future. For example, in July 1946, the council conducted its first overseas mission to the Caribbean, a three-month trip by sea attended by ten council members, followed by a second council mission to the Middle East in 1947 and a third to the USA in 1949. From then on, the number and destinations of international missions grew quickly. The council’s first country report was penned following a successful third mission to Canada, selling 320 copies. Overseas delegations continue to this day, with our next being planned for Guyana in 2023.

In the days before internet, the creation of its first ‘Guide to British Petroleum Equipment’ was an important early objective, a procurement guide showcasing British engineering and manufacturing prowess to petroleum project decision-makers. In 1947, the inaugural ‘Guide’, as it was affectionately known, was published, to become a regularly updated publication that was printed in volume and shipped to customers around the world. A leatherbound, goldleaf, hardback book with colour-printed photos and images, it was an expensive and ambitious concept to pursue, but became an industry go-to encyclopaedia of UK capability.

The council proudly still owns a copy of that first edition which is displayed in our London headquarters, presenting 176 businesses and their products.

Today, the ‘Guide’ has evolved into EICSupplyMap, a fully searchable, online database of the detailed capabilities of all 3,500 British energy supply chain companies with more than £1m revenues and we plan our first app-version launch for 2023. as well as a new dataset that will focus on supply gaps in 2024. But, of course, it turns out that this is not a new idea.

In 1959, the council took the visionary step of starting up a new business as a wholly-owned subsidiary – ‘British Oil Equipment Credits Ltd’ (BOEC) - formed to negotiate and sign export credit agreements covering the supply of equipment from the UK to overseas purchasers in the oil industry, most notably in Mexico, signing its first agreement with PEMEX for £3.5m that year. The business remained in operation until 1971 when it was sold to Brefcon for £500.

1971 also saw the first council move into North Sea Operations, launched with Shell and BP talking to members about the “enormous opportunities for British manufacturers”, quickly followed by three member companies deciding to:
“..take the plunge into the field of servicing and supplying equipment for North Sea Operations.”

History Timeline

Today, the EIC works closely with North East Scotland’s Energy Transition Zone, and its Chairman Sir Ian Wood KT GBE has been a valued keynote speaker at each Energy Export Conferences since the first in 2019, all held in Aberdeen. It was, in fact, in 1984 that the council first encountered Sir Ian, referencing a Financial Times article titled ‘Offshore Industry lobbies for better deal’ with Ian Wood already playing a central role, arguing:
“that 70% UK content was harmful to export competitiveness, where UK businesses were winning 2% overseas.”

EEC2022 Sir Ian and Stuart
Sir Ian Wood and Stuart Broadley - EEC 2022
EEC2022 Sir Ian and Stuart
EEC 2022
EEC2022 Sir Ian and Stuart
EEC 2019

A period of strategic creativity for the EIC was 1999 – when the EIC Vision 99 was presented to the Board with the straplines ‘energizing your business’ by ‘providing a unique global service’. Central to Vision 99 were several objectives, including to open EIC offices in key energy centres around the world, to offer a real-time global interactive intelligence system to members, and to be the voice of the energy industry.

This clear and inspiring vision, accompanied by a ‘£1m Expansion Programme’ press release, enabled huge scope for growth and global influence for the EIC in the decades to follow, and the council arguably is still following that vision today.

1946 - Representatives from the CBMPE were part of the Petroleum Equipment Industry Committee of the British Standards Institution (BSI)
1947 - Following the mission to the Caribbean in 1946, S. T. Robson, a director at Head Wrightson and chairman of the CBMPE, toured the Middle East in late 1947.
1951 - The CBMPE was registered on 30 March 1951. Its HQ was located at 79 Buckingham Palace Road.
1958 - The CBMPE was behind the creation of the British Refinery Constructors consortium.
1961 - Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) was a BOEC client, with £7 million in orders.
2018 - The EIC Connect event model is taken to Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia for the first time.
2018 - The first edition of the Brazil Energy Future Summit was organised in Rio, with an evening reception at the MAR museum.

EIC Board of Directors

It was in fact at the very beginning of 1942 that the first attempt was made to form a body, slated to be named the British Development Company for Petroleum Installations, but it was not until 16 March 1943 that the first official Executive Committee meeting of the renamed Council of British Manufacturers of Petroleum Equipment was held in London. The first item on the agenda was to appoint the first Chairman Mr S T Robson, and the first Honorary Secretary*, Mr Thomas Lacey Bonstow, affectionately known as TLB. Under their inspiring leadership, the council’s journey began.

*Honorary Secretary was later retitled Director General in 1983 and from 1992 has been Chief Executive

  1. Mr T L Bonstow

  2. Mr S T Robson

  3. Mr Edward F E Howard

  4. Mr Douglas Wilson

  5. Mr George Vernon Sims

  6. Mr G H Thorne

  7. Mr J M Storey CBE

  8. Mr G H Hancock

  9. Mr J M Storey CBE

  10. Mr J Neill Thompson MBE

  11. Mr Gordon Goodrich MC

  12. Mr Peter Griggs

  13. Mr Arthur T Wright

  14. Mr Arthur T Wright CBE

  15. Mr J Eric Williams

  16. Mr B W V Bovey OBE

  17. Mr Eddie G Kiernan

  18. Mr Roger S Dobson OBE

  19. Mr Tim M Evans

  20. Mr Tim M Evans CBE

  21. Mr Barry W V Bovey OBE

  22. Mr James G Beckett

  23. Mr Paul S Barron CBE

  24. Mr Mike Straughen

  25. Mr D J Baughen

  26. Mr Hugh Saville - interim

  27. Mr Steve Lee

  28. Mark Stewart (acting)

  29. Mr Mike Rolls

  30. Mr Paul Mitchell

  31. Mr O Hugh Saville

Over the ensuing 80 years, the council, which was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee in 1951, has seen 26 Chairmen and 12 CEOs and since those first days, the council has held 464 executive committee / board meetings.

In 1968, the council marked its Silver jubilee with the first of two Brighton Conferences, based on the then new idea of ‘Talks with Users’, to bring member companies and key oil operators together. Deemed a great success, it was afterwards recommended to continue regular and direct dialogue between members and operators. This seems obvious now, but back then it had been the council that spoke to operators and then converted that into news that was distributed by paper and in committees to its members.

The council celebrated its golden jubilee by holding a series of events to raise money for the MacMillan Nurses Fund charity, raising £60,000 in 1993. In 1997, similarly impressive levels of funds were raised for the Save the Children charity and its patron HRH the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, attended that year’s Annual Dinner.

The earliest office premises taken by the council were signed up in November 1943 at 40 Palace Chambers in London. The royal link seems to have been important as the next two office addresses taken were 79 Buckingham Palace Road in 1949 and 2 Princes Row in 1955. Coincidence? – we’ll never know but today, EIC is still headquartered in London, and Prince Andrew attended the opening ceremony at our current premises in 89 Albert Embankment, Vauxhall, London in 2010 (and yes, this is again a royal reference, named after Prince Albert).

Dubai office, 2008
Opening office in Rio, 2009
London office, 2014
Opening office in Kuala Lumpur, 2014
Opening of Suite 925 in Houston, 2016

Our 26th and current Chairman, Mr Hugh Saville, was first elected to the council’s Board of Directors in 2004, and took on the Chairman role in 2017. Our current CEO Mr Stuart Broadley joined in 2016. Together, they have steered EIC successfully through a period of significant change and unprecedented growth. Hugh plans to retire from the Board in 2023, and he will be hugely missed, but then we will also welcome our 27th Chair.

Board of Directors

EIC international presence

Since the late 1940s, the council had considered the booking of a stand under its own name at overseas exhibitions, but it was not until 1958 that the council finally took the plunge, at the princely cost of £1,000, at the 5th World Petroleum Congress in New York. To pay for this an appeal fund with members was set up for the cost of the stand and associated cocktail party.

In the same year, the council launched and organized the inaugural Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Exhibition (CPEE) in the Grand Hall at Olympia in London, jointly arranged with the British Chemical Plant Manufacturers Association. A great success generating surplus of £3,670, a second CPEE was approved for 1962.

Today, the EIC’s three largest UK pavilions are at ADIPEC, OTC and Offshore Europe, but when did the council’s involvement with these shows start?

UK pavilions

It was in the year 2000 that the council organised its first UK pavilion at ADIPEC in Abu Dhabi. Indeed, in 2015 ADIPEC became EIC's biggest UK pavilion globally and ADIPEC 2023 will be EIC's 17th UK pavilion at the world's largest energy show.

In 1999, with the success of the Houston venture which was cited to have created 40% extended membership with 68 Houston-paying members, the Board pursued it’s Vision 99 strategy, which required the opening of several more offices in key energy hubs of the world between 1999 and 2001, namely re-opening in Aberdeen and new offices in Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Brazil, Venezuela and FSU/Eastern Europe.

This vision quickly turned to reality, with offices indeed opening in Aberdeen, Singapore and Rio, as well Dubai.

map with Aberdeen, Singapore and Rio, as well Dubai
Offices around the world

Member companies and services

EIC is a highly collaborative organisation, as noted through such initiatives as the Energy Exports Conference and the UK Energy Supply Chain task force, and this core value was stated as far back as 1949, with the Chairman requiring: “Make every effort to promote joint working.”

Today, the EIC is energy-agnostic, supporting our members to win business in all energy markets and technologies. This was not the case in the council’s early years when we were 100% focused on the oil industry.

Learn more about membership

In 1980 a really pivotal change for the council happened when a new ‘Working Party for Energy’ was appointed by the Board with these Terms of Reference: “It is agreed that it is desirable that CBMPE should extend its field of activity to cover the energy industry as a whole."

By 1992, EIC was adept as diversifying into different energy sectors, and went so far as to form a Water Committee, to meet member demand in the water and waste management markets.

In what was termed the ‘Way Ahead’ mission statement of 1995, EIC described itself as:
“A major trade association serving interests and activities of our members in the following industries - oil & gas, petrochemical, chemical, power generation, transmission and distribition, nuclear waste processing and storage, water, waste water and sewage processing, and coal processing.”

In 1993, the Chief Executive Dai Somerville-Jones was looking urgently for alternative sources of revenue. One idea was to analyse contracts published in the European Official Journal (OJ) and circulate relevant information to members, at a cost to them of less than a subscription to the OJ. Offered as an additional service to primary membership, with an additional fee, subscribers grew fast, to 36 within three months of launch.

In 1996, the council’s ‘Communications Working Group’ under the lead of EIC’s first Marketing Director noted that EIC distributed almost half a million pages of information to its 240 members annually, urging a more paperless approach. In 1998, EIC project lists started to be sent by email for the first time.

The end of 2008 saw the launch of the renamed EICDataStream, which remains our most popular product with members, our CAPEX and projects tracking database. The council took great courage from the success of EICDataStream, and went on to invest in EICAssetMap in 2017, mapping the world’s energy facilities and highlighting the OPEX and O&M opportunities for members.