The leading representative body for the UK offshore oil and gas industry has praised industry and political backing for the North Sea Transition deal published today.

OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie this morning attended a roundtable hosted by BEIS Energy Minister Anne Marie Trevelyan, along with senior representatives from industry and the Oil and Gas Authority.

The deal is supported by OGUK’s members which represent over 400 companies spanning the length and breadth of the UK. It sets a course for the UK to meet the government’s target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, whilst still generating the energy it needs to power homes, hospitals and the economy.

Speaking today after the meeting with the Energy Minister, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:

“The UK is showing the world the way to keep the lights on and hit net zero by 2050.

“The North Sea Transition Deal will ensure we build on the last five decades of our offshore energy expertise to deliver to the UK the energy and security it needs, whilst significantly reducing emissions.

“Through government and industry working together we can make the UK a world centre of cleaner energy innovation that attracts investment, creates a new generation of jobs in areas that need them most and, importantly, hits these tough emissions targets that industry and government have signed up to.”

David Currie, Group Chief Executive Officer at Proserv, the Aberdeen headquartered global controls technology company, said:

“As our industry, and companies like Proserv, make advancements in the evolving energy business through utilising new and existing technologies, with key initiatives supporting the energy transition, the announcement of the North Sea Transition Deal is tremendous news.

“It is an innovative and transformational partnership that further enables us all and supports the journey we have firmly embarked upon. The transition and this partnership are critical, as they concern bringing the present into the future, while harnessing and enhancing skills and expertise accrued over many years. It is inspiring to see our industry, our leading industry body and the government come together to take this powerful step.” 

Chris Ayres, Chief Customer Officer of OPEX Group, a business that uses AI to help companies reduce their emissions said:

“The supply chain have already demonstrated their agility, turning their talent, expertise and experience towards supporting the key challenges associated with the Energy Transition. This deal reinforces the work that has already been undertaken and acts as a platform to accelerate the deployment of new technologies to deliver on the significant opportunities for the region and our economy.”

 

Ends

The oil and gas industry has said the UK’s energy transition could be under threat unless the government can provide vital support for the sector.

OGUK, the leading representative body for the UK offshore oil and gas industry, has stated that securing and sustaining investment in the sector is now critical to help the UK quickly realise a net-zero future.

The findings of OGUK’s 2021 Business Outlook show industry is facing a period of extreme uncertainty as it grapples with the after-effects of the pandemic, which has led to a significant decline in offshore activity levels and overall levels of expenditure falling by more than a quarter in the last year alone.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic and the severe economic downturn, production from UK waters still managed to safely meet around 70 per cent of the country’s oil and gas needs in 2020, evidencing the continued need for an indigenous supply. There are also some early signs of improved sentiment emerging, with new investors continuing to be attracted by the remaining potential of the North Sea.

To realise the UK’s shared climate goals, as well as maintaining affordable energy and a strong base for the UK’s energy supply chain to build from, OGUK reinforced that government policy and regulation must continue to prioritise domestic production over imported energy.

OGUK chief executive Deirdre Michie said:

“£3bn worth of investment has been deferred from company plans in 2020 and 2021 – and the effects of COVID-19 have really undermined energy communities, causing a rise in unemployment and a slump in activity.

“A climate-friendly future needs significant investment in indigenous opportunities so companies right across the sector can continue to develop low-carbon solutions. That is why we are working with the government to deliver a transformational North Sea Transition deal, which will drive forward Carbon Capture and Storage, hydrogen and low-carbon projects across the UK.

“This is an industry which continues to play a critical role in the economy, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs in industrial heartlands across the nation, generating affordable energy for millions and providing billions in value to the economy.

“But we cannot continue on this trajectory without vital support. Companies are in a fragile state. We need the recognition that our industry is a key player in a successful energy transition – one which won’t be possible without the inclusion of our sector.”

The full report can be downloaded here.

Commenting on Shell’s pledge made today (11 February) to accelerate the drive for net-zero emissions, OGUK Sustainability Director Mike Tholen said:

“It is an exciting time for the country’s oil and gas industry as we see companies including Shell demonstrate how our sector is transforming to meet the clean energy challenge, putting their expertise to work, as other companies are also doing, to help achieve our climate goals here in the UK.

“Now is the time to develop a sustainable future. By reducing the carbon impact of oil and gas as we invest in low carbon technologies, we can unlock a homegrown move towards net zero which maintains consumer affordability, promotes our world class supply chain and protects jobs and the energy communities we support.

“Everyday we see more examples of how this industry is changing. As we continue to face the challenges brought about by the pandemic, the UK economy should build on its strengths. The North Sea Transition Deal proposed in the Energy White Paper will be essential to accelerating investment and creating employment opportunities in new technologies while reducing emissions from production.”

Commenting on the Scottish Government’s proposal to end all overseas trade backing and promotion activities focused on fossil fuel goods and services by COP26, OGUK chief executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:

“We are requesting an urgent meeting with Scottish Ministers so that we can highlight the effect this policy may have on members, particularly our SME members, who are still reeling from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the downturn with its volatile commodity prices.

“We welcome the Scottish Government’s offer of consultation, as it’s important that any such policy shift is implemented thoughtfully, in partnership with industry and with appropriate preparation time so that those companies ideally placed to support the energy transition are not undermined.

“In order to ensure our shared Net-Zero objectives become a reality, we will need to deliver a fair and managed transition at pace; one which deals with the realities of a competitive market while at the same time offering exciting new prospects for the future of our industry.”

OGUK chief executive Deirdre Michie OBE has today appeared before the House of Commons Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee to give evidence on the Energy White Paper (EWP), published in December.

The recently published paper provides a critical opportunity for a transformational North Sea Transition Deal (NSTD) to deliver new business opportunities, jobs and skills at pace, and protect and transition the wider communities which currently rely on the oil and gas sector.

The powerful committee also had representatives from the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) in attendance to quiz industry representatives on the content and deliverability of the much anticipated document.

OGUK Chief executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:

“We welcome the Publication of the Energy White Paper as it demonstrates a holistic approach to energy, which is something we have been asking for in terms of the development of a comprehensive energy strategy.

“It is a timely document which sets out ambitious and challenging expectations of the UK energy industry, including the offshore oil and gas sector.

“It seeks to build on the strengths of our sector and others in a meaningful way – by recognising the contribution the industry can make to a successful transition.

“We’re proud to tell our story. The sector is already in action and changing – building on its strong focus on oil and gas to incorporating wind, CCUS, hydrogen, wave and tidal energies, but there is a still a need for governmental support to help our workers and communities transition at pace.

“We must use this as an opportunity to solidify the importance of our workforce and produce reliable frameworks to support the transition of their knowledge and skills.

“We now need government and Parliament to develop strong legislation to help us deliver our net-zero ambitions whilst ensuring our energy communities are secure and equipped with the necessary infrastructure for a fair transition.”

 

Ends

The UK offshore oil and gas industry has welcomed the deal outcome between the EU and the UK as the EU (Future Relationship) bill is voted on in parliament today. The leading representative body for the sector said that as the detail of the agreement is worked through, it is important that any friction and red tape is kept to a minimum whist ensuring it also reinforces the opportunity to pursue an exciting energy future.

OGUK chief executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:

“OGUK has consistently stated that a deal would be the best outcome for our industry. We therefore welcome the agreement and thank both the UK and EU for their efforts in securing this trade deal. We continue to work through the details with our members, the government, and the broader business community to ensure that every opportunity is taken to minimise and manage any potential disruption to goods and services in the energy sector, as well as limiting inefficiencies and red tape as changes are implemented.

“With anticipated agreement for the deal there is no time to waste, and it must also mark a renewed ambition in pursuit of an exciting energy future. We look forward to progressing the North Sea Transition Deal in the new year, which was supported in the government’s Energy White Paper and will unlock the full potential of our changing sector as a partner to deliver net zero.

“Through making the most of our domestic resources and putting our essential expertise to work, we can continue to provide jobs and opportunities in energy communities across the UK, while providing the affordable and lower carbon energy needed by millions across the country.”

 

Ends

The winners of OGUK’s Awards 2020 were honoured in virtual style this evening as industry came together to watch the ceremony digitally for the first time ever.

The night was the highlight of industry’s cultural calendar, with hundreds attending the event through YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook live and the prestigious first-time Audience Award receiving over 19,000 votes.

A total of 27 finalists, from more than 90 entrants, contended for the ten awards presented at the event.

Renowned industry expert John Hogg, HSSEQ Director TAQA Bratani Ltd, received Mentor of the Year for the vital role he has played and his extraordinary commitment to aiding learning and improvement across the industry.

Meanwhile Connor Robb, Project Manager at Baker Hughes, took the Graduate of the Year trophy for making his mark in the UK oil and gas industry, delivering tangible benefits to his employer, and being identified as a future leader by peers.

OGUK’s own health, safety and environment director Trevor Stapleton was also recognised for his outstanding teamwork this year in supporting the industry through the efforts of the Pandemic Steering Group, helping to deal with the challenges brought on by COVID-19 and protecting our people while maintaining safe operations.

The coveted first-time Audience Award was awarded to Omniscient Safety Innovations for their standout performance after receiving over 3,000 votes.

Commenting after the event, OGUK’s chief executive Deirdre Michie said:

“Congratulations to all our winners and finalists for their phenomenal achievements. It was an amazing event, with the offshore oil and gas industry coming together to celebrate its best and brightest in what has been one of the strongest headwinds our sector has ever had to face.

“Although we could not be together in person, it is so important to highlight the progress our supply chain and businesses have made, and the continuous hard work of the people throughout our industry.

“The celebration is a super way to acknowledge great people, achievements and delivery, despite the current challenges we face.

“Looking to 2021, I believe the North Sea grit the people in our industry are known for will continue to help us move forward, with courage, co-operation and commitment.

“Thank you to everyone who participated, and to our members for their great support and the OGUK team for once again raising the bar to deliver such an excellent event that the whole industry can be proud of.”

 

Individual award winners:

  • Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by OPITO) – Scott Milligan, Trainee Mechanical Technician, CNOOC International
  • Graduate of the Year (sponsored by ECITB) – Connor Robb, Project Manager, Baker Hughes
  • Mentor of the Year – John Hogg, HSSEQ Director, TAQA Bratani Ltd

Company award winners:                           

  • Workforce Engagement (sponsored by Wood) – Spirit Energy
  • Business Innovation SME – Omniscient Safety Innovations Ltd
  • Business Innovation Large Enterprise – Petrofac
  • Diversity & Inclusion (sponsored by Apache) – Baker Hughes
  • Energy Transition (sponsored by Fairfield Decom Limited) – TOTAL E&P UK Ltd
  • Excellence in Decommissioning – Fairfield Energy Ltd

 

Ends

 

A major independent report which sets out detailed routes for meeting the country’s climate targets has recognised the positive contribution the UK’s changing oil and gas industry can make in the energy transition.

The Sixth Carbon Budget published by the Committee on Climate Change today (Wednesday 9 December) outlines an ambitious and challenging programme of change for all industries to meet a range of scenarios.  It recommends a future energy system which utilises renewables, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage. Oil and gas demand is expected to fall by up to 85 percent and 70 percent respectively by 2050 depending on the selected scenario.

The committee makes the case for meeting as much as possible of the UK’s ongoing domestic needs from domestic production, warning of the risk that lower production costs internationally could favour imports.

The report confirms the important role of the UK’s oil and gas supply chain and the opportunity that exists from the £50bn investment required annually through to 2050 to achieve the country’s climate goals. The sector has thousands of companies across the UK that are set to play a critical role. The UK oil and gas industry supply chain currently has an annual turnover of over £26bn and the majority of companies are already also active in renewables or other parts of the energy industry.

The leading representative body for the sector, OGUK, today said the report underlines the need to deliver a homegrown transition towards net zero. It comes as the Committee on Climate Change underlined the importance of policy to ensure a fair transition, noting the Government’s planned North Sea Transition Deal can enable workers in the sector to transition to the hydrogen sector and other energy sectors.

The report recognises the role the changing sector can play during the transition and beyond, recommending:

  • The development of a ‘blue hydrogen bridge’ where the reformation of gas with carbon capture and storage is used in the short to medium term to establish a mass market for hydrogen, providing around 60 percent of hydrogen supply by 2035 and with its share of this growing market falling to 32 percent in 2050 as green hydrogen capacity builds up. Hydrogen will support shipping, heavy goods vehicles, industry and some building heating
  • The development of Carbon Capture and Storage at scale, with the emissions pathways for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland highly dependent on carbon storage capabilities. Carbon capture and storage to be applied at scale to the manufacturing and construction sector in the 2030s and continues to remove CO2 at similar levels out to 2050
  • The report calls for action to reduce emissions from the remaining fossil fuel supply (the main source of Fuel Supply emissions) by 75% by 2035 from 2018 levels. Mitigation actions include fuel switching, CCS and technologies to reduce methane flaring, venting and leakage. This is in line with industry’s existing commitments to halve emissions in the next decade before reaching 90 percent by 2040.
  • Reducing imports of oil and gas and directing spend instead to the UK economy, however the report warns lower production costs internationally may favour imports over domestic production. The CCC makes clear its proposed budget is designed to be met by reducing UK sources of emissions and not displacing them to other markets. Increased oil and gas imports that displace domestic production would not be consistent with this principle.
  • Low carbon investment must scale up to £50 billion each year to deliver Net Zero, supporting the UK’s economic recovery over the next decade. This is a significant opportunity for the UK’s oil and gas supply chain to realise new opportunities, support jobs and grow exports.

Commenting, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said:

“The destination has always been clear, and the UK’s changing oil and gas industry is stepping up to help us get there. As the big choices facing our economy and society come into sharper focus, the UK has an opportunity to lead the way and we are committed to being a positive partner on this journey.

“We recognise that the industry we see today will be different to the one we see in the future. Many oil and gas companies are already adapting and transforming and with our supply chain is actively pursuing the new energy opportunities highlighted.

“As we look to bring these big changes to life, securing targeted support for our domestic supply chain remains critical if it is to attract a healthy share of the £50 billion investment the Committee on Climate Change says will be required annually by 2050.

“As the report notes, how we respond to these challenges at home can have a positive impact globally, and our sector continues to blaze a trail having published a clear pathway towards a net zero industry last year and committed to challenging emissions reductions targets earlier this year.

“This reinforces the need for a homegrown transition which puts the essential expertise of supply chain companies to work, protects jobs, while creating new ones of the future, while maintaining the supply of secure, affordable and low carbon energy produced in the UK to meet demand both now and in future.

“This vision for the future forms the basis of OGUK’s Roadmap 2035, our blueprint for net zero published last year, and its delivery can be accelerated through a North Sea Transition Deal.

“It shows the important contribution our industry can make as the country looks to carve out new industrial opportunities which can be exported globally, while at the same time meeting as much of the UK’s oil and gas demand with homegrown resources produced with ever decreasing emissions.”

Ends

The leading representative body for the UK offshore oil and gas industry has today (Thursday 3 December) responded to a report published by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). The Net Zero North Sea report has urged the offshore oil and gas industry to set out a plan for phasing out production and migrating to greener energies.

Commenting on the report, OGUK’s chief executive Deirdre Michie said:

“This report shows that more and more people are becoming invested in ensuring the successful transition of our sector not only for our climate, but for our people and communities too. As the report notes, industry now requires a long-term plan to build bridges into new sectors for our businesses and supply chain. The North Sea Transition Deal will be a key catalyst for this, helping to bring to life our detailed Roadmap 2035 which outlines the positive contribution we can make to the UK’s energy future.

“The UK’s changing offshore oil and gas industry has the essential expertise to develop critical net zero solutions, including CCUS and hydrogen. At the same time, our ambitious emissions reduction targets mean we can meet the existing but declining need for oil and gas with resources produced in the UK and with fewer emissions.

“This venture will need a stable and supportive regulatory regime, which aligns with governments’ new green ambitions, whilst recognising that the skills, technical resources and financial capabilities of our industry and supply chain will be needed to complete an inclusive and managed transition.”

Ends

The leading representative body for the UK offshore oil and gas industry, OGUK, has today (Wednesday, November 11) warned that it could take up to three years to restart many of the projects lost due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and commodity price downturn.

The warning comes in its Autumn Snapshot published today, which provides a business outlook for the third quarter of 2020.

The report finds that low sentiment in the outlook of companies continues into 2021, reflecting high levels of uncertainty in the market and reinforcing challenges brought on by Covid-19 are likely to persist.

However, despite the operational difficulties being faced, the industry continues to safely deliver secure and affordable energy, with production levels having remained relatively strong throughout the year.

OGUK’s report reinforces that a North Sea transition deal for this sector is essential in meeting the need for secure, affordable energy to be produced with fewer emissions and to position the UK as a leader in developing low-carbon solutions.

Commenting on the report, OGUK’s market intelligence manager Ross Dornan said:

“New projects and investments are crucial to providing secure energy, sustaining supply chain capabilities, and ensuring the UK is viewed as a good place for these companies to anchor their resources.

“As our Autumn Snapshot shows, it is estimated that companies could continue to take a conservative approach in 2021, reflecting the ongoing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and the wider economic downturn.

“Securing a North Sea transition deal for this changing industry is critical in ensuring the sector can use its essential skills to help build back better, providing many of the net-zero carbon emissions solutions required for the future.

“At the same time, OGUK’s Recovery Group continues to help shape the sector’s recovery as it takes steps to support the energy transition.

“The current fragile position of many areas of the supply chain means that this future contribution cannot be taken for granted. Industry needs this support now if it is going to be able to deliver later.”

Other indicators show UK gas demand fell by 16 per cent in Q2 compared with the same period in 2019, and drilling activity levels are on their way to becoming the lowest since the early 1970s.

Increasing activity, investment levels, and progress made by OGUK’s recovery group will be vital in providing new opportunities for the supply chain as the industry navigates the transition to a low-carbon future.

 

Key findings:

  • Brent crude averaged just under $41/bbl across the first 10 months of 2020. This is $23/bbl less than the 2019 average and prices at the end of October were at a four-month low ($37/bbl). Market expectations are than price will take time to recover.
  • The average day ahead NBP gas prices in the first 10 months of 2020 was 21.61 pence/therm (p/th), 38 per cent lower than the average for the same period in 2019
  • UK gas demand fell by 16 per cent in Q2 compared with the same period in 2019
  • OGUK members indicate low sentiment levels
  • Companies outline little change in their current outlook for 2021
  • Production has remained relatively strong, however shows a slight reduction of 2.5 per cent so far this year and is around 3 per cent lower than the 2019 full year daily average. This could be expected to recover in Q4 closer to in line with 2019 levels.
  • Fifty-four wells were spudded in the first 10 months of 2020, meaning the year is now almost certain to see the lowest total levels of drilling activity since the early 1970s
  • Only six exploration wells have been spudded so far and it is possible that there will be no further exploration drilling this year
  • Estimated that investors could continue to take a conservative approach in 2021, reflecting the ongoing challenges
  • Increasing activity and investment levels will be vital in providing new opportunities for the supply chain
  • OGUK anticipates that it could take 2-3 years to re-phase and recover the capital activity lost from 2020

Ends

The full report can be found here.

 

OGUK has launched a first-of-its-kind survey that will deliver a baseline for diversity and inclusion (D&I) demographic and sentiment within the sector, and act as an essential catalyst for progress and change.

As the energy mix becomes increasingly integrated, differences of perspective and background will be the key to harnessing the new ideas, disruptive innovations, and future ways of working that will propel us forward. The feedback provided by survey participants will play a pivotal role in promoting D&I, which will be a critical success factor in the industry’s journey towards realising Roadmap 2035.

Craig Shanaghey, President, Operations Services (Europe & Africa) at Wood, and D&I Task Group Chair, said: “The challenges we are facing as an industry require us to collectively think, behave, and act differently. At this critical juncture, we will only be able to turn those challenges into opportunities by unlocking the full potential of our talent pool; by creating the space for diversity of thought and perspective that are essential as we race to keep pace with the fast-changing world around us.

“As a Task Group, we recognise the broad acknowledgement that a move to better D&I means a better employee experience, it means a better culture, and it means better business. But the challenge is about how we drive that change – it is a complex and ever-evolving journey that requires constant focus and effort.

“The results of this survey will give us the much-needed insight to not only understand our collective baseline for diversity and inclusion, but more crucially, to be able to decipher the meaningful and impactful actions that can drive positive change and, ultimately, underpin our delivery of Roadmap 2035.”

OGUK chief executive Deirdre Michie said: “I am delighted to announce the launch of our industry-wide survey on diversity and inclusion. This is an important piece of work that will enable us to really understand where we are as an industry and where we need to get to, in order to attract and retain the talent we need to secure our future by providing solutions to some of the key challenges facing our sector in the short and longer term.

“It will ensure we are shining a spotlight on good examples of D&I practice, as well as initiatives to drive and improve inclusion and diversity.

“If we’re serious about realising the exciting opportunities in the UK energy sector then people must feel empowered to be themselves and this industry must attract and retain diverse people.

“D&I is critical to our efforts in delivering Roadmap 2035 – by fostering a diverse and inclusive working culture, we will secure and retain new talent, bring new perspectives and ideas to the fore and, ultimately, expand supply chain opportunities whilst continuing to contribute to the UK’s vital security of energy supply.”

The anonymised and confidential survey, developed by OGUK’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Group with Robert Gordon University (RGU), will remain open until Thursday, 31 December. It is accessible to all individuals within the oil and gas industry, including those who may recently have retired, or are currently off work or between jobs but are able to share input from their experience at previous organisations. It can be accessed here and via OGUK’s social channels. Results and insights are expected in Q1 2021.

Ends

 

A flagship report released today (Wednesday, November 4) outlines the UK offshore oil and gas industry’s health, safety and environmental performance in 2019, and highlights future plans for further improvement.

The latest findings were revealed by leading representative body OGUK, which today published its first combined report into health, safety and environment data, showing encouraging signs of improvement across a broad range of HSE indicators.

While the findings reveal an increase in total hydrocarbon releases, more serious RIDDOR-reportable releases decreased year-on-year, from 85 to 67. Overall, 49 per cent (62) of all releases were classed as minor, with 10 per cent still to be classified, and three were classified as major releases.

In aviation safety, last year saw a third consecutive year of accident-free flying in the UKCS, and for the second year running, the five-year fatal accident rate per 100, 000 flying hours remained at zero.

The results demonstrate that, overall, 2019 saw stabilised environmental performance, underlining that good management remains a priority alongside continued improvements in this area.

Commenting on the report, OGUK’s health, safety and environment director Trevor Stapleton said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on oil and gas operations in the North Sea. However, this virus should not and will not distract industry from focusing on its key goal of maintaining safe operations while continuing to provide the energy society needs – however challenging that might be.

“Understanding our past performance means we can identify areas of strength and areas that need further work and focus our efforts accordingly.

“As an industry, we take any hydrocarbon release very seriously. The UK offshore oil and gas industry’s work to improve safety performance is delivering in many areas – but we must continue our relentless focus on safe operations in every aspect.

“The number of these releases considered reportable under RIDDOR requirements is down year-on-year, but there are signs of an increase in the three-year rolling average. We are working closely with operators and regulators to maintain Principles of Process Safety, and our hydrocarbon release prevention strategies will be refined for next year.

“It is encouraging to see that dangerous occurrences and the non-fatal injury rate both fell to their lowest levels in 2019 and, while a single one is too many, it is a testament to industry that continued focus in these areas has resulted in improvement.”

Mr Stapleton added: “We are taking action and working with the UK government on a major sector deal. The deal will give industry opportunities and guidance on decarbonisation, electrification of assets and the development of carbon capture and storage – all of which will drive down emissions.

“Despite the signs of improvement, there can be no room for complacency and the safety of our workforce remains a key priority for our members.”

The Report can be found at: https://oilandgasuk.co.uk/product/health-safety-environment-report/

 

Ends

 

The shortlist for this year’s prestigious OGUK Awards has been revealed today.

The annual awards ceremony celebrates the brightest and best talent from across the country’s offshore oil and gas industry and finalists represent the hard work, innovation, and collaboration the industry has adopted throughout 2020.

The judging panel, which included OGUK decommissioning manager Joe Leask, executive director of Step Change in Safety Steve Rae and Mark Lammey, Energy Voice editor, nominated thirty individuals and businesses across eight award categories, out of over 90 applications.

The winners will be crowned at OGUK’s first ever virtual awards event on Thursday December 10.

Commenting, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:

“I am delighted to present the shortlist for OGUK’s annual awards. This past year, our industry experienced one of the strongest headwinds we have had yet to face, – but we are pulling through with innovation, collaboration, and determination. This is the North Sea grit we are known for and it enables us to keep providing energy to the UK during this difficult time.

“The finalists represent the excellence the industry has to offer. I’d like to congratulate all of our finalists on their super achievements and wish them the best of luck for the ceremony.”

Further information about the OGUK Awards can be found here: www.ogukawards.co.uk

Ends

The number of workers on offshore oil and gas installations decreased by around 4,000 as the UK went into lockdown in March this year, official figures published by industry body OGUK confirm today. Average weekly personnel on board decreased from around 11,000 on the 8 March to just over 7,000 one month later, with drilling and engineering construction trades hardest hit.

OGUK’s Workforce Insight report 2020 also confirms the uptake of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme by companies, particularly in the supply chain, as many positioned themselves to endure the triple whammy of low oil and gas prices and the operational impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The leading representative body for the sector noted that while official figures on both on and offshore employment would not be available until next year, tentative signs are worrying and underline the need for governments, industry and regulators to work together to protect the jobs and skills that will be needed to meet UK energy needs now and as the country moves to a lower carbon future.

Commenting, report author OGUK workforce engagement and skills manager Dr Alix Thom said:

“Our figures confirm the initial operational impact of the lockdown back in March this year, with the number of workers offshore decreasing considerably in the space of a month as companies reduced to minimum manning in a bid to control the spread.

“Numbers have risen steadily since then as industry has adopted a robust swiss cheese barrier model, with a range of preventative measures in place both prior to mobilisation and whilst offshore, which has helped secure more jobs and increase operations in the immediate term.

“Despite this, we continue to see some very worrying signs for employment in the sector, with the uptake of furlough and continued suppression of global energy demand impacting our industry like many others in the wider economy.

“As our report shows, the recruitment and retention of diverse and talented people will be essential as we work to support UK energy needs both now, and in a lower carbon context. A North Sea Transition Deal, supported by the UK and Scottish governments, can act as a catalyst for this future, and in so doing will provide certainty on the sustainability for the sector in difficult times.”

Support for North Sea Transition Deal confirms exciting future for changing industry

The leading representative body for the UK offshore oil and gas industry has praised industry and political backing for the North Sea Transition deal published today.

OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie this morning attended a roundtable hosted by BEIS Energy Minister Anne Marie Trevelyan, along with senior representatives from industry and the Oil and Gas Authority.

The deal is supported by OGUK’s members which represent over 400 companies spanning the length and breadth of the UK. It sets a course for the UK to meet the government’s target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, whilst still generating the energy it needs to power homes, hospitals and the economy.

Speaking today after the meeting with the Energy Minister, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:

“The UK is showing the world the way to keep the lights on and hit net zero by 2050.

“The North Sea Transition Deal will ensure we build on the last five decades of our offshore energy expertise to deliver to the UK the energy and security it needs, whilst significantly reducing emissions.

“Through government and industry working together we can make the UK a world centre of cleaner energy innovation that attracts investment, creates a new generation of jobs in areas that need them most and, importantly, hits these tough emissions targets that industry and government have signed up to.”

David Currie, Group Chief Executive Officer at Proserv, the Aberdeen headquartered global controls technology company, said:

“As our industry, and companies like Proserv, make advancements in the evolving energy business through utilising new and existing technologies, with key initiatives supporting the energy transition, the announcement of the North Sea Transition Deal is tremendous news.

“It is an innovative and transformational partnership that further enables us all and supports the journey we have firmly embarked upon. The transition and this partnership are critical, as they concern bringing the present into the future, while harnessing and enhancing skills and expertise accrued over many years. It is inspiring to see our industry, our leading industry body and the government come together to take this powerful step.” 

Chris Ayres, Chief Customer Officer of OPEX Group, a business that uses AI to help companies reduce their emissions said:

“The supply chain have already demonstrated their agility, turning their talent, expertise and experience towards supporting the key challenges associated with the Energy Transition. This deal reinforces the work that has already been undertaken and acts as a platform to accelerate the deployment of new technologies to deliver on the significant opportunities for the region and our economy.”

 

Ends

£3bn lost investment during pandemic could threaten green recovery

The oil and gas industry has said the UK’s energy transition could be under threat unless the government can provide vital support for the sector.

OGUK, the leading representative body for the UK offshore oil and gas industry, has stated that securing and sustaining investment in the sector is now critical to help the UK quickly realise a net-zero future.

The findings of OGUK’s 2021 Business Outlook show industry is facing a period of extreme uncertainty as it grapples with the after-effects of the pandemic, which has led to a significant decline in offshore activity levels and overall levels of expenditure falling by more than a quarter in the last year alone.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic and the severe economic downturn, production from UK waters still managed to safely meet around 70 per cent of the country’s oil and gas needs in 2020, evidencing the continued need for an indigenous supply. There are also some early signs of improved sentiment emerging, with new investors continuing to be attracted by the remaining potential of the North Sea.

To realise the UK’s shared climate goals, as well as maintaining affordable energy and a strong base for the UK’s energy supply chain to build from, OGUK reinforced that government policy and regulation must continue to prioritise domestic production over imported energy.

OGUK chief executive Deirdre Michie said:

“£3bn worth of investment has been deferred from company plans in 2020 and 2021 – and the effects of COVID-19 have really undermined energy communities, causing a rise in unemployment and a slump in activity.

“A climate-friendly future needs significant investment in indigenous opportunities so companies right across the sector can continue to develop low-carbon solutions. That is why we are working with the government to deliver a transformational North Sea Transition deal, which will drive forward Carbon Capture and Storage, hydrogen and low-carbon projects across the UK.

“This is an industry which continues to play a critical role in the economy, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs in industrial heartlands across the nation, generating affordable energy for millions and providing billions in value to the economy.

“But we cannot continue on this trajectory without vital support. Companies are in a fragile state. We need the recognition that our industry is a key player in a successful energy transition – one which won’t be possible without the inclusion of our sector.”

The full report can be downloaded here.

Shell transformation plans underline value of homegrown transition

Commenting on Shell’s pledge made today (11 February) to accelerate the drive for net-zero emissions, OGUK Sustainability Director Mike Tholen said:

“It is an exciting time for the country’s oil and gas industry as we see companies including Shell demonstrate how our sector is transforming to meet the clean energy challenge, putting their expertise to work, as other companies are also doing, to help achieve our climate goals here in the UK.

“Now is the time to develop a sustainable future. By reducing the carbon impact of oil and gas as we invest in low carbon technologies, we can unlock a homegrown move towards net zero which maintains consumer affordability, promotes our world class supply chain and protects jobs and the energy communities we support.

“Everyday we see more examples of how this industry is changing. As we continue to face the challenges brought about by the pandemic, the UK economy should build on its strengths. The North Sea Transition Deal proposed in the Energy White Paper will be essential to accelerating investment and creating employment opportunities in new technologies while reducing emissions from production.”

OGUK responds to Scottish Government proposal to halt backing of oversea oil and gas activity

Commenting on the Scottish Government’s proposal to end all overseas trade backing and promotion activities focused on fossil fuel goods and services by COP26, OGUK chief executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:

“We are requesting an urgent meeting with Scottish Ministers so that we can highlight the effect this policy may have on members, particularly our SME members, who are still reeling from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the downturn with its volatile commodity prices.

“We welcome the Scottish Government’s offer of consultation, as it’s important that any such policy shift is implemented thoughtfully, in partnership with industry and with appropriate preparation time so that those companies ideally placed to support the energy transition are not undermined.

“In order to ensure our shared Net-Zero objectives become a reality, we will need to deliver a fair and managed transition at pace; one which deals with the realities of a competitive market while at the same time offering exciting new prospects for the future of our industry.”

OGUK CEO says Energy White Paper must be opportunity for jobs and communities

OGUK chief executive Deirdre Michie OBE has today appeared before the House of Commons Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee to give evidence on the Energy White Paper (EWP), published in December.

The recently published paper provides a critical opportunity for a transformational North Sea Transition Deal (NSTD) to deliver new business opportunities, jobs and skills at pace, and protect and transition the wider communities which currently rely on the oil and gas sector.

The powerful committee also had representatives from the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) in attendance to quiz industry representatives on the content and deliverability of the much anticipated document.

OGUK Chief executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:

“We welcome the Publication of the Energy White Paper as it demonstrates a holistic approach to energy, which is something we have been asking for in terms of the development of a comprehensive energy strategy.

“It is a timely document which sets out ambitious and challenging expectations of the UK energy industry, including the offshore oil and gas sector.

“It seeks to build on the strengths of our sector and others in a meaningful way – by recognising the contribution the industry can make to a successful transition.

“We’re proud to tell our story. The sector is already in action and changing – building on its strong focus on oil and gas to incorporating wind, CCUS, hydrogen, wave and tidal energies, but there is a still a need for governmental support to help our workers and communities transition at pace.

“We must use this as an opportunity to solidify the importance of our workforce and produce reliable frameworks to support the transition of their knowledge and skills.

“We now need government and Parliament to develop strong legislation to help us deliver our net-zero ambitions whilst ensuring our energy communities are secure and equipped with the necessary infrastructure for a fair transition.”

 

Ends

OGUK responds to Brexit deal outcome as EU Future Relationship bill voted through

The UK offshore oil and gas industry has welcomed the deal outcome between the EU and the UK as the EU (Future Relationship) bill is voted on in parliament today. The leading representative body for the sector said that as the detail of the agreement is worked through, it is important that any friction and red tape is kept to a minimum whist ensuring it also reinforces the opportunity to pursue an exciting energy future.

OGUK chief executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:

“OGUK has consistently stated that a deal would be the best outcome for our industry. We therefore welcome the agreement and thank both the UK and EU for their efforts in securing this trade deal. We continue to work through the details with our members, the government, and the broader business community to ensure that every opportunity is taken to minimise and manage any potential disruption to goods and services in the energy sector, as well as limiting inefficiencies and red tape as changes are implemented.

“With anticipated agreement for the deal there is no time to waste, and it must also mark a renewed ambition in pursuit of an exciting energy future. We look forward to progressing the North Sea Transition Deal in the new year, which was supported in the government’s Energy White Paper and will unlock the full potential of our changing sector as a partner to deliver net zero.

“Through making the most of our domestic resources and putting our essential expertise to work, we can continue to provide jobs and opportunities in energy communities across the UK, while providing the affordable and lower carbon energy needed by millions across the country.”

 

Ends

Industry unites to celebrate best and brightest amid challenging year

The winners of OGUK’s Awards 2020 were honoured in virtual style this evening as industry came together to watch the ceremony digitally for the first time ever.

The night was the highlight of industry’s cultural calendar, with hundreds attending the event through YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook live and the prestigious first-time Audience Award receiving over 19,000 votes.

A total of 27 finalists, from more than 90 entrants, contended for the ten awards presented at the event.

Renowned industry expert John Hogg, HSSEQ Director TAQA Bratani Ltd, received Mentor of the Year for the vital role he has played and his extraordinary commitment to aiding learning and improvement across the industry.

Meanwhile Connor Robb, Project Manager at Baker Hughes, took the Graduate of the Year trophy for making his mark in the UK oil and gas industry, delivering tangible benefits to his employer, and being identified as a future leader by peers.

OGUK’s own health, safety and environment director Trevor Stapleton was also recognised for his outstanding teamwork this year in supporting the industry through the efforts of the Pandemic Steering Group, helping to deal with the challenges brought on by COVID-19 and protecting our people while maintaining safe operations.

The coveted first-time Audience Award was awarded to Omniscient Safety Innovations for their standout performance after receiving over 3,000 votes.

Commenting after the event, OGUK’s chief executive Deirdre Michie said:

“Congratulations to all our winners and finalists for their phenomenal achievements. It was an amazing event, with the offshore oil and gas industry coming together to celebrate its best and brightest in what has been one of the strongest headwinds our sector has ever had to face.

“Although we could not be together in person, it is so important to highlight the progress our supply chain and businesses have made, and the continuous hard work of the people throughout our industry.

“The celebration is a super way to acknowledge great people, achievements and delivery, despite the current challenges we face.

“Looking to 2021, I believe the North Sea grit the people in our industry are known for will continue to help us move forward, with courage, co-operation and commitment.

“Thank you to everyone who participated, and to our members for their great support and the OGUK team for once again raising the bar to deliver such an excellent event that the whole industry can be proud of.”

 

Individual award winners:

  • Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by OPITO) – Scott Milligan, Trainee Mechanical Technician, CNOOC International
  • Graduate of the Year (sponsored by ECITB) – Connor Robb, Project Manager, Baker Hughes
  • Mentor of the Year – John Hogg, HSSEQ Director, TAQA Bratani Ltd

Company award winners:                           

  • Workforce Engagement (sponsored by Wood) – Spirit Energy
  • Business Innovation SME – Omniscient Safety Innovations Ltd
  • Business Innovation Large Enterprise – Petrofac
  • Diversity & Inclusion (sponsored by Apache) – Baker Hughes
  • Energy Transition (sponsored by Fairfield Decom Limited) – TOTAL E&P UK Ltd
  • Excellence in Decommissioning – Fairfield Energy Ltd

 

Ends

Climate report reinforces need for homegrown transition

 

A major independent report which sets out detailed routes for meeting the country’s climate targets has recognised the positive contribution the UK’s changing oil and gas industry can make in the energy transition.

The Sixth Carbon Budget published by the Committee on Climate Change today (Wednesday 9 December) outlines an ambitious and challenging programme of change for all industries to meet a range of scenarios.  It recommends a future energy system which utilises renewables, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage. Oil and gas demand is expected to fall by up to 85 percent and 70 percent respectively by 2050 depending on the selected scenario.

The committee makes the case for meeting as much as possible of the UK’s ongoing domestic needs from domestic production, warning of the risk that lower production costs internationally could favour imports.

The report confirms the important role of the UK’s oil and gas supply chain and the opportunity that exists from the £50bn investment required annually through to 2050 to achieve the country’s climate goals. The sector has thousands of companies across the UK that are set to play a critical role. The UK oil and gas industry supply chain currently has an annual turnover of over £26bn and the majority of companies are already also active in renewables or other parts of the energy industry.

The leading representative body for the sector, OGUK, today said the report underlines the need to deliver a homegrown transition towards net zero. It comes as the Committee on Climate Change underlined the importance of policy to ensure a fair transition, noting the Government’s planned North Sea Transition Deal can enable workers in the sector to transition to the hydrogen sector and other energy sectors.

The report recognises the role the changing sector can play during the transition and beyond, recommending:

  • The development of a ‘blue hydrogen bridge’ where the reformation of gas with carbon capture and storage is used in the short to medium term to establish a mass market for hydrogen, providing around 60 percent of hydrogen supply by 2035 and with its share of this growing market falling to 32 percent in 2050 as green hydrogen capacity builds up. Hydrogen will support shipping, heavy goods vehicles, industry and some building heating
  • The development of Carbon Capture and Storage at scale, with the emissions pathways for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland highly dependent on carbon storage capabilities. Carbon capture and storage to be applied at scale to the manufacturing and construction sector in the 2030s and continues to remove CO2 at similar levels out to 2050
  • The report calls for action to reduce emissions from the remaining fossil fuel supply (the main source of Fuel Supply emissions) by 75% by 2035 from 2018 levels. Mitigation actions include fuel switching, CCS and technologies to reduce methane flaring, venting and leakage. This is in line with industry’s existing commitments to halve emissions in the next decade before reaching 90 percent by 2040.
  • Reducing imports of oil and gas and directing spend instead to the UK economy, however the report warns lower production costs internationally may favour imports over domestic production. The CCC makes clear its proposed budget is designed to be met by reducing UK sources of emissions and not displacing them to other markets. Increased oil and gas imports that displace domestic production would not be consistent with this principle.
  • Low carbon investment must scale up to £50 billion each year to deliver Net Zero, supporting the UK’s economic recovery over the next decade. This is a significant opportunity for the UK’s oil and gas supply chain to realise new opportunities, support jobs and grow exports.

Commenting, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said:

“The destination has always been clear, and the UK’s changing oil and gas industry is stepping up to help us get there. As the big choices facing our economy and society come into sharper focus, the UK has an opportunity to lead the way and we are committed to being a positive partner on this journey.

“We recognise that the industry we see today will be different to the one we see in the future. Many oil and gas companies are already adapting and transforming and with our supply chain is actively pursuing the new energy opportunities highlighted.

“As we look to bring these big changes to life, securing targeted support for our domestic supply chain remains critical if it is to attract a healthy share of the £50 billion investment the Committee on Climate Change says will be required annually by 2050.

“As the report notes, how we respond to these challenges at home can have a positive impact globally, and our sector continues to blaze a trail having published a clear pathway towards a net zero industry last year and committed to challenging emissions reductions targets earlier this year.

“This reinforces the need for a homegrown transition which puts the essential expertise of supply chain companies to work, protects jobs, while creating new ones of the future, while maintaining the supply of secure, affordable and low carbon energy produced in the UK to meet demand both now and in future.

“This vision for the future forms the basis of OGUK’s Roadmap 2035, our blueprint for net zero published last year, and its delivery can be accelerated through a North Sea Transition Deal.

“It shows the important contribution our industry can make as the country looks to carve out new industrial opportunities which can be exported globally, while at the same time meeting as much of the UK’s oil and gas demand with homegrown resources produced with ever decreasing emissions.”

Ends

OGUK responds to IPPR’s Net Zero North Sea report

The leading representative body for the UK offshore oil and gas industry has today (Thursday 3 December) responded to a report published by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). The Net Zero North Sea report has urged the offshore oil and gas industry to set out a plan for phasing out production and migrating to greener energies.

Commenting on the report, OGUK’s chief executive Deirdre Michie said:

“This report shows that more and more people are becoming invested in ensuring the successful transition of our sector not only for our climate, but for our people and communities too. As the report notes, industry now requires a long-term plan to build bridges into new sectors for our businesses and supply chain. The North Sea Transition Deal will be a key catalyst for this, helping to bring to life our detailed Roadmap 2035 which outlines the positive contribution we can make to the UK’s energy future.

“The UK’s changing offshore oil and gas industry has the essential expertise to develop critical net zero solutions, including CCUS and hydrogen. At the same time, our ambitious emissions reduction targets mean we can meet the existing but declining need for oil and gas with resources produced in the UK and with fewer emissions.

“This venture will need a stable and supportive regulatory regime, which aligns with governments’ new green ambitions, whilst recognising that the skills, technical resources and financial capabilities of our industry and supply chain will be needed to complete an inclusive and managed transition.”

Ends

Transition deal critical for sector as report warns recovery could take years

The leading representative body for the UK offshore oil and gas industry, OGUK, has today (Wednesday, November 11) warned that it could take up to three years to restart many of the projects lost due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and commodity price downturn.

The warning comes in its Autumn Snapshot published today, which provides a business outlook for the third quarter of 2020.

The report finds that low sentiment in the outlook of companies continues into 2021, reflecting high levels of uncertainty in the market and reinforcing challenges brought on by Covid-19 are likely to persist.

However, despite the operational difficulties being faced, the industry continues to safely deliver secure and affordable energy, with production levels having remained relatively strong throughout the year.

OGUK’s report reinforces that a North Sea transition deal for this sector is essential in meeting the need for secure, affordable energy to be produced with fewer emissions and to position the UK as a leader in developing low-carbon solutions.

Commenting on the report, OGUK’s market intelligence manager Ross Dornan said:

“New projects and investments are crucial to providing secure energy, sustaining supply chain capabilities, and ensuring the UK is viewed as a good place for these companies to anchor their resources.

“As our Autumn Snapshot shows, it is estimated that companies could continue to take a conservative approach in 2021, reflecting the ongoing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and the wider economic downturn.

“Securing a North Sea transition deal for this changing industry is critical in ensuring the sector can use its essential skills to help build back better, providing many of the net-zero carbon emissions solutions required for the future.

“At the same time, OGUK’s Recovery Group continues to help shape the sector’s recovery as it takes steps to support the energy transition.

“The current fragile position of many areas of the supply chain means that this future contribution cannot be taken for granted. Industry needs this support now if it is going to be able to deliver later.”

Other indicators show UK gas demand fell by 16 per cent in Q2 compared with the same period in 2019, and drilling activity levels are on their way to becoming the lowest since the early 1970s.

Increasing activity, investment levels, and progress made by OGUK’s recovery group will be vital in providing new opportunities for the supply chain as the industry navigates the transition to a low-carbon future.

 

Key findings:

  • Brent crude averaged just under $41/bbl across the first 10 months of 2020. This is $23/bbl less than the 2019 average and prices at the end of October were at a four-month low ($37/bbl). Market expectations are than price will take time to recover.
  • The average day ahead NBP gas prices in the first 10 months of 2020 was 21.61 pence/therm (p/th), 38 per cent lower than the average for the same period in 2019
  • UK gas demand fell by 16 per cent in Q2 compared with the same period in 2019
  • OGUK members indicate low sentiment levels
  • Companies outline little change in their current outlook for 2021
  • Production has remained relatively strong, however shows a slight reduction of 2.5 per cent so far this year and is around 3 per cent lower than the 2019 full year daily average. This could be expected to recover in Q4 closer to in line with 2019 levels.
  • Fifty-four wells were spudded in the first 10 months of 2020, meaning the year is now almost certain to see the lowest total levels of drilling activity since the early 1970s
  • Only six exploration wells have been spudded so far and it is possible that there will be no further exploration drilling this year
  • Estimated that investors could continue to take a conservative approach in 2021, reflecting the ongoing challenges
  • Increasing activity and investment levels will be vital in providing new opportunities for the supply chain
  • OGUK anticipates that it could take 2-3 years to re-phase and recover the capital activity lost from 2020

Ends

The full report can be found here.

OGUK launches first-of-its-kind D&I survey to drive sector change  

 

OGUK has launched a first-of-its-kind survey that will deliver a baseline for diversity and inclusion (D&I) demographic and sentiment within the sector, and act as an essential catalyst for progress and change.

As the energy mix becomes increasingly integrated, differences of perspective and background will be the key to harnessing the new ideas, disruptive innovations, and future ways of working that will propel us forward. The feedback provided by survey participants will play a pivotal role in promoting D&I, which will be a critical success factor in the industry’s journey towards realising Roadmap 2035.

Craig Shanaghey, President, Operations Services (Europe & Africa) at Wood, and D&I Task Group Chair, said: “The challenges we are facing as an industry require us to collectively think, behave, and act differently. At this critical juncture, we will only be able to turn those challenges into opportunities by unlocking the full potential of our talent pool; by creating the space for diversity of thought and perspective that are essential as we race to keep pace with the fast-changing world around us.

“As a Task Group, we recognise the broad acknowledgement that a move to better D&I means a better employee experience, it means a better culture, and it means better business. But the challenge is about how we drive that change – it is a complex and ever-evolving journey that requires constant focus and effort.

“The results of this survey will give us the much-needed insight to not only understand our collective baseline for diversity and inclusion, but more crucially, to be able to decipher the meaningful and impactful actions that can drive positive change and, ultimately, underpin our delivery of Roadmap 2035.”

OGUK chief executive Deirdre Michie said: “I am delighted to announce the launch of our industry-wide survey on diversity and inclusion. This is an important piece of work that will enable us to really understand where we are as an industry and where we need to get to, in order to attract and retain the talent we need to secure our future by providing solutions to some of the key challenges facing our sector in the short and longer term.

“It will ensure we are shining a spotlight on good examples of D&I practice, as well as initiatives to drive and improve inclusion and diversity.

“If we’re serious about realising the exciting opportunities in the UK energy sector then people must feel empowered to be themselves and this industry must attract and retain diverse people.

“D&I is critical to our efforts in delivering Roadmap 2035 – by fostering a diverse and inclusive working culture, we will secure and retain new talent, bring new perspectives and ideas to the fore and, ultimately, expand supply chain opportunities whilst continuing to contribute to the UK’s vital security of energy supply.”

The anonymised and confidential survey, developed by OGUK’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Group with Robert Gordon University (RGU), will remain open until Thursday, 31 December. It is accessible to all individuals within the oil and gas industry, including those who may recently have retired, or are currently off work or between jobs but are able to share input from their experience at previous organisations. It can be accessed here and via OGUK’s social channels. Results and insights are expected in Q1 2021.

Ends

OGUK flagship report shows industry maintains focus on improving HSE performance in challenging times

 

A flagship report released today (Wednesday, November 4) outlines the UK offshore oil and gas industry’s health, safety and environmental performance in 2019, and highlights future plans for further improvement.

The latest findings were revealed by leading representative body OGUK, which today published its first combined report into health, safety and environment data, showing encouraging signs of improvement across a broad range of HSE indicators.

While the findings reveal an increase in total hydrocarbon releases, more serious RIDDOR-reportable releases decreased year-on-year, from 85 to 67. Overall, 49 per cent (62) of all releases were classed as minor, with 10 per cent still to be classified, and three were classified as major releases.

In aviation safety, last year saw a third consecutive year of accident-free flying in the UKCS, and for the second year running, the five-year fatal accident rate per 100, 000 flying hours remained at zero.

The results demonstrate that, overall, 2019 saw stabilised environmental performance, underlining that good management remains a priority alongside continued improvements in this area.

Commenting on the report, OGUK’s health, safety and environment director Trevor Stapleton said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on oil and gas operations in the North Sea. However, this virus should not and will not distract industry from focusing on its key goal of maintaining safe operations while continuing to provide the energy society needs – however challenging that might be.

“Understanding our past performance means we can identify areas of strength and areas that need further work and focus our efforts accordingly.

“As an industry, we take any hydrocarbon release very seriously. The UK offshore oil and gas industry’s work to improve safety performance is delivering in many areas – but we must continue our relentless focus on safe operations in every aspect.

“The number of these releases considered reportable under RIDDOR requirements is down year-on-year, but there are signs of an increase in the three-year rolling average. We are working closely with operators and regulators to maintain Principles of Process Safety, and our hydrocarbon release prevention strategies will be refined for next year.

“It is encouraging to see that dangerous occurrences and the non-fatal injury rate both fell to their lowest levels in 2019 and, while a single one is too many, it is a testament to industry that continued focus in these areas has resulted in improvement.”

Mr Stapleton added: “We are taking action and working with the UK government on a major sector deal. The deal will give industry opportunities and guidance on decarbonisation, electrification of assets and the development of carbon capture and storage – all of which will drive down emissions.

“Despite the signs of improvement, there can be no room for complacency and the safety of our workforce remains a key priority for our members.”

The Report can be found at: https://oilandgasuk.co.uk/product/health-safety-environment-report/

 

Ends

 

OGUK reveals 2020 finalists for annual awards following challenging year for industry

The shortlist for this year’s prestigious OGUK Awards has been revealed today.

The annual awards ceremony celebrates the brightest and best talent from across the country’s offshore oil and gas industry and finalists represent the hard work, innovation, and collaboration the industry has adopted throughout 2020.

The judging panel, which included OGUK decommissioning manager Joe Leask, executive director of Step Change in Safety Steve Rae and Mark Lammey, Energy Voice editor, nominated thirty individuals and businesses across eight award categories, out of over 90 applications.

The winners will be crowned at OGUK’s first ever virtual awards event on Thursday December 10.

Commenting, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:

“I am delighted to present the shortlist for OGUK’s annual awards. This past year, our industry experienced one of the strongest headwinds we have had yet to face, – but we are pulling through with innovation, collaboration, and determination. This is the North Sea grit we are known for and it enables us to keep providing energy to the UK during this difficult time.

“The finalists represent the excellence the industry has to offer. I’d like to congratulate all of our finalists on their super achievements and wish them the best of luck for the ceremony.”

Further information about the OGUK Awards can be found here: www.ogukawards.co.uk

Ends

OGUK report offers first insight into impact of pandemic on offshore jobs

The number of workers on offshore oil and gas installations decreased by around 4,000 as the UK went into lockdown in March this year, official figures published by industry body OGUK confirm today. Average weekly personnel on board decreased from around 11,000 on the 8 March to just over 7,000 one month later, with drilling and engineering construction trades hardest hit.

OGUK’s Workforce Insight report 2020 also confirms the uptake of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme by companies, particularly in the supply chain, as many positioned themselves to endure the triple whammy of low oil and gas prices and the operational impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The leading representative body for the sector noted that while official figures on both on and offshore employment would not be available until next year, tentative signs are worrying and underline the need for governments, industry and regulators to work together to protect the jobs and skills that will be needed to meet UK energy needs now and as the country moves to a lower carbon future.

Commenting, report author OGUK workforce engagement and skills manager Dr Alix Thom said:

“Our figures confirm the initial operational impact of the lockdown back in March this year, with the number of workers offshore decreasing considerably in the space of a month as companies reduced to minimum manning in a bid to control the spread.

“Numbers have risen steadily since then as industry has adopted a robust swiss cheese barrier model, with a range of preventative measures in place both prior to mobilisation and whilst offshore, which has helped secure more jobs and increase operations in the immediate term.

“Despite this, we continue to see some very worrying signs for employment in the sector, with the uptake of furlough and continued suppression of global energy demand impacting our industry like many others in the wider economy.

“As our report shows, the recruitment and retention of diverse and talented people will be essential as we work to support UK energy needs both now, and in a lower carbon context. A North Sea Transition Deal, supported by the UK and Scottish governments, can act as a catalyst for this future, and in so doing will provide certainty on the sustainability for the sector in difficult times.”