Murray Fox, Head of Mid and Downstream, will be chairing a panel discussion at this year’s Promoting Gender Diversity in World Oil & Gas 2018

We are pleased to announce that Murray Fox, Head of Mid and Downstream, will be chairing a panel discussion at this year’s Promoting Gender Diversity in World Oil & Gas 2018. The panel discussion, Braking Boundaries – Personal Journeys, will take place on 20th February at The Waldorf Hilton Hotel in London.

This event is hosted and organised by the Global Women Petroleum & Energy Club and provides a platform for a conversation on why the industry lags behind many comparative industries when it comes to gender diversity and the growing importance of women in this sector.

For more information please visit the website 

ABC and Phoenix Flyers Charity Challenge 2016 Blog – Day 5

Day 5: 10th November, 2016

BIKE: Honeywood to Malgas to Fish Hoek – 55km

A downhill start through the green grainlands taking us down to the Breede River and our unusal crossing, which is on a pontoon pulled across by hand – the only human powered pontoon in the country. A quick lunch at the local hotel, then shuttle 250 km to Fish Hoek on the False Bay coastline, where we overnight near the ocean, well poised to tackle our last spectacular ride around the Cape Peninsula and into Cape Town.

HIKE: Marloth Nature Reservce– 15km

Marloth Nature Reserve lies in the majestic Swellendam mountains, between the towns of Swellendam, Ashton, Barrydale and Suurbraak. The reserve is 14 123 ha in extent and is managed together with another 16 532 ha of privately owned proclaimed mountain catchment land. The reserve’s office is approximately 1.5 km from Swellendam and adjacent to the Swellendam State Forest.There are eight day trails and the famous six-day Swellendam Hiking Trail. The day trails vary from short, easy walks to longer more strenuous routes. Indigenous forest walks: short and reasonably easy walks between 2 km and 5 km. The Plaat walks are slightly longer and range between 3 km and 16 km. The Peak walks: an ideal challenge for t hikers to the mountain peaks of Tienuurkop (1195m) or Twaalfuurkop (1450m). All the trails start and end at the reserve of ce, where vehicles can be parked

‘Arpad who did this walk last year told me I would ‘lose my lungs’ – he meant to say use my lungs, though after the amount of climbing that was involved in this walk I think he was right first time! It was a challenging though also very rewarding hike with spectacular views over the valley, which included the third oldest town in South Africa of Swellendam, dating from 1745.

Wildlife included soaring birds of prey and a tortoise that passed us on one of the climbs. Weather ranged from bright sunshine to light rain and winds as we climbed up close to the low cloud line.

The walk concluded with some of us racing up the last large hill, Arpad winning closely followed by Anna, while the rest of us quietly died below.

A bus journey, beer and as good a steak pie as I have ever tasted concluded a great day’

Tommy Webb, Petroceltic, Hiker

ABC and Phoenix Flyers Charity Challenge 2016 Blog – Day 4

Day 4: 9th November, 2016

BIKE: Albertinia to Honeywood – 95km

This is the tough, long day with rolling hills through the farming town of Riversdale and some steep climbs before barrelling down the valley to the Big Monster – a 5km relentless climb up to the Grootvadersbosch Nature Conservancy, where John & Miranda Moody of Honeywood Farm are our most hospitable hosts.They are descendants of the first British settlers to put down roots in this part of the world.

‘Day 4 was a tough 10 hours day where we rode 100km! The first half of the day was relatively easy compared to what was waiting for us towards the end of the ride. Until the 50km mark we enjoyed some long stretches of tar road and even had a stop at a cafe where I recharged my batteries with chocolate milkshake and chips.

The second half was alot tougher, no tar roads and alot of steep hills that at times made me wish I didnt have that milkshake. But as we conquered each hill we were rewarded with a great view and a sense of achievement.

After overcoming the last challenge which was a long painful ride uphill, we were rewarded with cold beers and a delicious homemade meal.

In the end Day 4 made all the previous days look easy but everyone completed the challenge and are now looking forward to some resting before Day 5.’

Phillipe Majuri De Barros, Woodside, Biker

HIKE: Grootvadersbosch – 10km

Shuttle to Honeywood farm and walk begin walk in the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve. This 250 ha of preserved forest is the nest remaining cover of indigenous forest in the southwestern Cape. There is an excellent hiking trail and paths which provide easy access to the forest. The early settlers in the Overberg managed to satisfy the huge demand for hardwoods at the turn of the 20th century throughout South Africa, but in doing so almost totally destroyed the unique forests in the Cape. Grootvadersbosch was established to preserve the area and restore it to its former beauty. Between 1896 and 1913 alien trees such as ash, bluegum, Californian redwood, Australian blackwood and camphor were planted on the slopes which had been cleared of indigenous forest. Efforts are now being made to reclaim these areas. The wilderness areas remain untouched and this is re ected in the richness of wildlife and birdlife one encounters while walking here. There is a good chance of seeing the shy bushbuck in the forest.

‘We left Miranda and John the owners of Honeywood farm at 8am to begin to walk to the Grootvadersbosch forest. This was a good chance to see the unique forest in the Cape which was once home of only indigenous trees. It is now being preserved to restore it to its past beauty.

The walk look easy to start with but as the hike progressed it became clear that it was going to be a challenging walk with some steep hills to get through.

We came prepared with compeed pads to cover our blisters when we stopped for energy snacks and a light lunch in the woods next to a lovely small river.

Towards the end of this long hard walk four hikers run up a hill as fast as we could to test our stamina whilst we waited for those with injuries on their feet. We were such troopers!

Then after some rest, we took Daytrippers minibus to Simon Town stopping in a cafe along the road where we coincided with the bikers and shared our experiences of the day.

Seeing everyone together felt like a happy family!!’

Libertad West, Cripps Sears, Hiker


‘Today we left the beautiful Garden Route Lodge and made our way to Karoo.

We had planned to walk through the Groot Vaders Bos Reserve but unfortunately it was closed for public use. Luckily for us the Honeywood Farm we are staying in had long rolling hills which we were able to do a 5 hour hike around.

On our route we were faced with bulls and baboons. Both of which we had no knowledge of in terms of our safety so we made slow and steady movements to get passed.

We made our way back to the farm for a tradition braai (BBQ to us) and after the long activities of the day, we all made our way to bed early.’

Anna Davies, Cripps Sears, Hiker

ABC and Phoenix Flyers Charity Challenge 2016 Blog – Day 3

Day 3: 8th November, 2016

BIKE: Mossel Bay to Albertinia – 75km

‘We cycle back up into the hills and have to ford another river to reach our destination but we are getting accustomed to this by now. The mountain range looms in the background but thankfully our route is in the foothills. The Historical Albertinia Hotel serves up traditional fare in 7 courses: certainly well-earned and much needed, especially with what is in store for tomorrow…!

With perfect cycling weather on our side, overcast and mild, the group headed off from the Riviera hotel in Mossel bay at 8am this morning. Our 75km of undulating hills and climbs were highlighted with a great full group ride, a spectacular dismount from Michael, two token punctures and a not so graceful dismount to conclude the day from myself. All in all after cycling double the altitude of yesterday and experiencing a lion accompanied cycle through the game park, we are all in great spirits.’

Katie Shaw-Brown, Woodside, Biker



HIKE: Mossel Bay to Albertinia – 75km

Below the lighthouse is a large cave where the trail starts, after which we hike through 13,5km of scenic coastline with fascinating plant life and rock formations.The rugged appearance of the coastline is the result of a turbulent geological past. The consequent variety of rock and soil types which the trail traverses is reflected in the plant cover. In spring the diversity of veld flowers here makes a colourful sight.


ABC and Phoenix Flyers Charity Challenge 2016 Blog – Day 2

Day 2: 7th November, 2016

HIKE: Walk over the Montagu Pass to George – 16km

‘We began our hike with a gentle walk up to “Amanda’s Grave” the top of the Outeniqua mountains with fantastic views across the coastal belt with George in the foreground. The walk down the other side is quite dramatic and the road intersects the railway line and passes under some arched bridges. There are numerous little waterfalls and the vegetation is indigenous forest. The historic bridge at the bottom is a national monument as is the whole pass, which is said to be haunted by a man in a black suit.

Our first day was one of numbers! 25,000 steps, 5 and a half hours hiking, 39 flights of stairs (according to the iPhone health app) and 1 bad fall. Bennet, our tour guide promised to ease us in with a chilled day for the more apprehensive amongst us. 5 hours later we wondered what his idea of full throttle might be for us on the 4th or 5th day. *cry face*. This really is a hard slog and I am now so glad I did my hill training. The Outeniqua Mountains were beautiful but really challenging. I took a terrible fall on the way down and bruised my foot but managed to hobble along for the next 2 and a half hours hopefully not causing too much inconvenience to my team mates I hope. The sense of comradery is incredible and honestly one of the best parts of this trip. The other highlight for me is the incredible scenery. Everywhere you look is a picture perfect view. You wonder if the locals become complaisant and take it for granted but everyone I have asked has said they know how lucky they are you live in these surroundings. That was day one, I’m sure even more adventure lie ahead. We can’t wait to see what else South Africa has in store.’

Maria Klatsa, Cripps Sears, Hiker



BIKE: George to Mossel Bay – 73km

‘We begin our cycle with a gentle climb up to the top of the Outeniqua Mountains with fantastic views across the coastal belt with George in the foreground. There is then an exhilarating 7km descent down the Montagu Pass past Blanco to Groot Brak for lunch followed by a ride through the gorge and hopefully an elephant or rhino to be seen. Overnight at hotel chalets in Hartenbos near Mossel Bay.

Day 2 began with the kind of breakfast (eggs, bacon, bread and fruit) that made me feel ready to take on the world.

Full of the resultant energy and enthusiasm, I began vigorously pumping up my tyres, so much that one of them exploded in my face with an ear splitting bang, covering me and my surroundings with sticky tyre sealant.

Fortunately Steve, Sele and Pedro from day trippers are like a formula 1 pit crew and minutes later we were on the road.

And the road was long, with many a winding turn, the occasional brutal climb, lots of gravel and bumps and some springboks.

We have an impressive group of cyclists from the UK, France, Australa, New Zealand and Brazil, and we have an actual lion and a tyrannosaurus to help us keep strong. I mostly tried to keep up with Peter the rowing champion who climbs hills like a mountain goat. I didn’t always succeed.

Day 2 was an ‘easy’ 65 kilometres, and despite a few more tyre blow outs and some broken spokes, everyone made it to the Riviera hotel in reasonable shape.

Some sunburn, a few aches and pains, but looking forward to tomorrow and the game reserve.’

Andy Jenkins, Cripps Sears, Biker

ABC and Phoenix Flyers Charity Challenge 2016 Blog – Day 1

Day 1: 6th November, 2016

Arrival of teams In Cape Town and George

After many months of planning, preparation and anticipation on three continents, the 2016 event is finally underway! Participants from Australia, France and the United Kingdom arrived in South Africa over the weekend. A group from France and the UK met at Cape Town airport on Sunday morning.

After a brief welcome from Phoenix, meeting their tour guides and posing for a group photo, the group set off on a four-hour journey from Cape Town to George, with all their gear and bikes in tow. They will meet the Australian participants in George.

For most, this is their first visit to Africa. However, the team can rely on the experience of Michael and Carolyn Cripps, who are completing this event for the sixth consecutive year, making them the record-holders for participating in the ABC Charity Challenge.

We wish our intrepid hikers and cyclists all the very best as they begin their week-long adventure in aid of children with burns.



New solar panels that track the sun are based on Origami. Really

The renewables sector continues to innovate to compete with conventional energy. Cost of solar equipment has dropped significantly as technology has adapted and improved. In a continuation of this theme researchers at the University of Michigan have demonstrated that a simple method of increasing the amount of energy produced by solar panels can boost a panel’s energy generation by 40 per cent, significantly reducing its overall cost.

The majority of solar panels worldwide are fixed on rooftops at a set angle. This means they miss out on capturing solar energy during parts of every day because they do not tilt to follow the sun.

The engineering researchers found that by cutting solar cells into particular designs using kirigami, a type of origami involving cutting as well as folding, the cells are capable of tracking the sun’s angle – without having to be fitted on a tilting panel.

The process requires the making of a specific kirigami cut to create strips in a solar cell. When the two ends are pulled in opposite directions, the strips then tilt and assume the desired angle.

A key detail is that the structure thus created morphs in such a way as to prevent an individual strip from casting shadows on its neighbours. Further, the “waviness” of the new form does not impair its performance.

The researchers, led by Max Shtein and Stephen Forrest, both professors of materials science and engineering, calculate that solar panels which have tracking mechanisms can generate 20 to 40 per cent more energy a year than fixed panels.

However, tracking panels are can be costly and cumbersome and cannot be used on the majority of pitched roof buildings, which represent around 80 per cent of solar power installations.

The new kirigami panels can generate more electricity using the same amount of semiconducting material. They do this to nearly the same degree that conventional tracking systems do, said Shtein.

He commented: ““It doesn’t take much force at all. And although the technique is best suited for thin, flexible materials, in principle it could work with almost any kind of solar cell.”

However, the newly demonstrated system, which has flexible solar cells made of gallium arsenide, is so far only a proof-of-principle. Bringing the technology to the point of commercial application still appears some years off.

Oil market price drop may herald “a new oil order”

A senior Goldman Sachs analyst recently argued that the changes to the oil market which have produced the recent fall in oil prices constitute a fundamentally new paradigm. Read more

UPDATE: ABC Charity raises £100,000

This year Cripps Sears & Partners is delighted that four members of staff have volunteered to tackle the vertiginous heights of the South African mountains on foot – for our Action for Burns in children (ABC) charity. Through a series of fundraising events including a Mexican Feast, a Hungarian delicatessen selection and sponsored cups of tea, the group have been edging ever closer to their sponsorship targets. Read more

Ted Theodore joins Cripps Sears & Partners

2015 has been a challenging year but a successful one and we are delighted to welcome Ted Theodore as part of our continued international expansion. Based in Lagos, Ted will be heading our Lagos office and working closely with our practice leads in developing business in Sub Saharan Africa. Read more