SGS Lab Days at our West Thurrock facility enable our clients to gain greater understanding of natural resources oil, gas, and chemical testing. We spoke to Steve Aylieff, our Natural Resources Oil, Gas & Chemicals Regional Compliance Manager, to find out more.
Here at SGS, our clients depend on our natural resources oil, gas, and chemical (OGC) testing services to manage their operations. Our OGC laboratory based in West Thurrock is a purpose-built facility that provides laboratory testing services, analyzing thousands of samples for custody transfer, quality control, on-site production monitoring and scientific research purposes.
However, the tests we offer vary in complexity – and the results they generate aren’t always easily understood to people without a laboratory background. While our clients recognize the value of our analytical services, it is also beneficial to understand how the testing is performed and the meaning of a reported result.
Our first Lab Day was set up in May 2011 at our West Thurrock facility. Clients were invited to spend time in the laboratory, allowing them to gain hands-on experience in a laboratory environment.
Steve Aylieff was key to establishing these Lab Days, which have proved to be immensely popular. In fact, they are now listed in BP’s yearly training options for their employees. Here, Steve discusses Lab Days and their value for the clients.
Why did you feel that clients would benefit from spending a day in the West Thurrock lab?
“I joined SGS in January 2010 and soon started meeting clients. However, I quickly realized that most of our clients would benefit from understanding what goes on in our laboratories. Many clients that I met did not come from an oil-refining background, so I felt that providing them with a hands-on opportunity to observe what we do in our laboratories would benefit them greatly.
“With this in mind, the inaugural Lab Day took place in 2011. I invited operators to come and spend time with us in the laboratory, and to participate in certain tests that we offer. The clients were taken through various testing processes, and potential issues that could affect the result were highlighted as we progressed.”
So what happens during a Lab Day?
“Clients get to spend time in the laboratory and explore the testing activities we have throughout that specific day. For example, we have focused on sample preparation of crude and fuel oil, demonstrating how to mix and homogenize a sample prior to performing the analysis, which is vital to producing a representative sample for testing purposes.
“Throughout the day we also raise potential issues we can face when receiving and testing samples, which I feel goes a long way, and certainly helps future discussions. We encourage questions from our clients to ensure they are getting the most out of the day and obtain the required knowledge from the experience.”
What is the main aim of the day?
“The primary goal is to let our guests experience a laboratory environment, show them what actually happens in the laboratory, and to educate them on how we produce reliable analysis results. Additionally, the Lab Days allow us to spend time with our clients outside of normal surroundings, which is a terrific way to forge relationships. It is a win-win for both parties.”
What do clients enjoy most about the event?
“I feel they gain a greater understanding of what producing reliable analysis results involves. This is an eye-opening experience for a lot of the attendees, given that most of them have not spent time in a laboratory previously.”
How many Lab Days do you typically host each year worldwide?
“Before COVID-19, we used to host more than 20 events per year, and we are actively trying to get things up and running again.”
Lastly, is there anything else that you’d like to add?
“Yes, firstly, I would like to thank our clients for attending the Lab Days and for being so engaged. We can tell that they are truly invested in the process and that they genuinely want to learn more about what we do and the challenges we face. It’s a pleasure to share our experience and knowledge with them, and I hope we host many more Lab Days in the future.
“Finally, I also want to thank the SGS team at West Thurrock who consistently host fantastic events for all our clients. None of this would be possible without their hard work.”
We are SGS – the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification company. We are recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. Our 96,000 employees operate a network of 2,700 offices and laboratories, working together to enable a better, safer and more interconnected world.
For more information, please contact:
Oil, Gas and Chemicals Regional Compliance Manager at SGS
t: +44 (0) 1708 681 924
Global Marketing Manager at SGS
t: +48 58 621 35 21
Amman, Al-Jbeiha, Yajouz Street,
Caracas Building, Entrance No1, 3rd Floor, Office 311, 11193,