Staff profile

Dr Ian Billing

Programme Leader MSc Applied Petroleum Geology

Ian Billing stood in a classroom.




College of Life and Natural Sciences


School of Environmental Sciences


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I completed my undergraduate degree in Geology at the University of Oxford, before embarking on a PhD at Durham University. This was then followed with a 25-year global career in the Oil and Gas Industry, working for Shell, Saudi Aramco and BP before I joined the University of Derby in 2016. I've been lucky to be able to combine my love of palaeontology and sedimentology throughout my career, and I'm a specialist in carbonate reservoir analysis. I am also a Chartered Geologist with the Geological Society of London, as well as a member of the PESGB and the AAPG.

Teaching responsibilities

I primarily teach on the Applied Petroleum Geology MSc.  From September 2020 we will be running the new MSc in GeoEnergy, and this will occupy most of my teaching time.

In addition, I contribute to the undergraduate curriculum with lectures on Geophysics, as well as Sedimentology, Mapping and Palaeontology.

Research interests

Most of my work in Industry was focused on reservoir characterisation and prediction, and this has continued into my research interests at Derby.  I've worked with an independent consultancy group on the application of new analysis techniques to better predict reservoir quality in North Sea Reservoirs, and I have ongoing research on the role of cyanobacteria on carbonate reservoir formation.

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

I have been a Session Chairman for the international EAGE conferences:

I most recently presented a poster on magnetic susceptibility at the PETEX Conference in London:

Experience in industry

I worked for 25 years in the oil and gas industry, before returning to academia.  My work has primarily been with international majors (Shell, Saudi Aramco and BP) in addition to a consultancy company (PanTerra).  I've been very fortunate to have worked in all geological facets of the business, from Exploration to Production, as well as Research and Development.  Prior to joining Derby University, I was Head to BP's Carbonate Centre of Expertise, with global oversight of all of BP's carbonate reservoir operations.

International experience

I have been fortunate to have had extensive international experience, with posting's in The Netherlands, Oman and Saudi Arabia.  Additionally, the projects I worked on took me all over the world, covering Alaska to Australia and pretty much everywhere in between!

Recent publications

Here are a selection of publications from my very varied career!: