Brexit and the UK oil and gas industry

Oil & Gas UK provides evidence-based insights on behalf of our members to a range of stakeholders that includes both the Westminster and Holyrood governments and parliaments, the media and internationally. Through our research, and soundings taken of our membership, we know that the top priorities for the UK oil and gas sector post-Brexit include:

  1. Protecting the offshore industry from future EU regulatory changes: As the largest EU producer of offshore oil and gas, the UK takes a leading role at the EU decision making table in support of our industry. Future changes to regulations or directives by EU institutions could negatively impact the UK oil and gas industry even after Brexit. Therefore, Oil & Gas UK is asking  the Government to ensure there is a mechanism in place that provides support to the UKCS in relation to future EU rules.
  2. Maintaining a strong voice in Europe: Whether the UK participates in any  future EU Governance framework or not, a forward-looking European energy policy needs to recognise that oil and gas will remain a key part of both the UK and the EU’s energy mix for decades to come.
  3. Minimal friction between the UK and EU: Although the UK’s oil and gas sector has a global reach, it has a significant and valuable supply chain that sources much of its’ goods and services from the EU. Our industry needs certainty and predictability to deliver its operations safely and efficiently and as such, ensuring the efficient and frictionless movement of goods, services and capital must remain a priority.
  4. Protecting energy trading and the internal energy market: The internal market has provided significant benefits to the UK in terms of competitiveness and security of supply.  After Brexit, it will be essential to maintain the commercial and regulatory integrity of any new internal energy market spanning the EU and UK.
  5. Protecting our licence to operate: Meeting the future energy needs of Europe while tackling climate change is important and any forward-looking energy policy needs to recognise that oil and gas will remain a key part of both the UK and the continent’s energy mix for decades to come.

Stakeholder & Communications –  Tom Evans / tevans@oilandgasuk.co.uk.

The names of the 167 men who tragically lost their lives in the Piper Alpha disaster will be read aloud at a special memorial service taking place in Aberdeen next week on the 30th anniversary.

Families, friends and representatives from industry will come together for an Act of Remembrance taking place at 7pm on 6 July in the Piper Alpha Memorial Garden at Hazlehead Park.

Offshore workers will also be able to pay their respects as the service is being streamed live on the UK Oil and Gas Chaplaincy Facebook page. The timing of the event – chosen to best suit the families and to be closer to the actual time of the disaster – coincides with offshore workers changing shift.

The Reverend Gordon Craig, Chaplain to the UK offshore oil and gas industry, who is organising the Act of Remembrance, said:

“We may be three decades on from the world’s worst offshore disaster but for families, friends, colleagues and survivors, the memories and feelings of loss are no less.  Our service will enable those to come together with representatives from the city and industry and remember the loved ones who tragically never made it home.”

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett said: “The shocking events of that night 30 years ago are imprinted on the Aberdeen memory forever.

“We will never forget that 167 men died in the Piper Alpha tragedy, which is why it is so important that the City of Aberdeen and industry come together for this Act of Remembrance.  We want to let those affected, particularly the families, know that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them and that our thoughts are with them now and forever.”

The order of service is:

  • Bon Accord Silver Band starts playing at 6.30pm
  • Rev Craig will begin proceedings at 7pm
  • Industry representatives will begin the roll-call of those who lost their lives
  • A lone piper will play a lament followed by a minute’s silence
  • Wreaths will then be laid by the Lord Provost on behalf of the City of Aberdeen, Oil & Gas UK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie on behalf of the industry, and Steve Rae one of the trustees from the Pound for Piper Trust which provides funding to help the city council maintain the North Sea Memorial Garden
  • Families, friends, colleagues and well-wishers will then have the opportunity to lay flowers or wreaths
  • Light refreshments will be available in Hazlehead Park Café, from 6pm onwards, courtesy of the Pound for Piper Trust

While the Act of Remembrance is the key event marking the anniversary of the disaster there are other opportunities for those wanting to reflect and pay their respects.

  • The Oil Chapel at the Kirk of St Nicholas Uniting in Aberdeen will open on 6 July between 12 noon and 4pm where people can visit to view the original Book of Remembrance or light a candle
  • Rev Craig will conduct ‘Daily Prayers’ that day in the Kirk starting at 1pm and lasting around 15 minutes
  • On Saturday 7 July Ferryhill Parish Church will keep its Church Sanctuary open from 10am to 4pm providing a peaceful space in which to remember those who lost their lives and who were affected
  • Ferryhill Parish Church also has the Memorial Chapel – home of the Piper Alpha stained-glass window
  • The designer of the window, Jennifer-Jane Bayliss, will be in the church from 11am and 12 noon and 2pm and 4pm.
  • The church is also home to the Lord Provost’s Book of Remembrance, and visitors will be able to read the names of loved ones, survivors’ names and official letters of condolence from all over the world.
  • A short film with some memories from survivors of the disaster will also be available.
  • There will be an opportunity to light a small candle in remembrance. 

Steve Rae, on behalf of the Pound for Piper Trust, added:

“The Pound for Piper Trust would like to thank the staff at Aberdeen City Council and Hazlehead Park for making every effort to have these gardens looking at their best for the service.  We would also like to thank those who give generously and those who work tirelessly to raise funds on the Trust’s behalf, as without their continued support the Trust would be unable to provide financial assistance to ensure these gardens are maintained to the high standards deserved of those 167 souls who lost their lives on that tragic night.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors / Picture Editors:

Media wishing to attend the Act of Remembrance at Hazlehead Park must contact in advance Oil & Gas UK Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk / 01224 577279 or Communications Adviser Lucy Gordon lgordon@oilandgasuk.co.uk / 01224 577331.

More information:

  • Download historical document about the Piper Alpha Memorial here.
  • The Pound for Piper Trust is selling 167 limited edition prints of the Piper Alpha Memorial and Gardens to raise funds for the garden. Find out more here:

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact 01224 577279.

Oil & Gas UK is the leading representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Its membership comprises oil and gas producers and contractor companies.

In parallel with the recent success of the 30th exploration licensing round, the production upturn and the rise in M&A activity, decommissioning is now recognised as a significant stage of a field’s life-cycle – with expenditure on decommissioning-related activities across the UK Continental Shelf approaching £2 billion per year.

A Decommissioning the North Sea in a $78 World business breakfast – organised by Oil & Gas UK, sponsored by White & Case and taking place in London on June 27 –  will provide an update on how industry and regulators are progressing with delivering the decommissioning scope in the UK.

The event will be chaired by Oil & Gas UK Upstream Policy Director Mike Tholen and feature the speakers:

  • Nils Cohrs, Oil & Gas Authority 
  • Graeme Fergusson, Decom Energy
  • Richard Heard, Oil & Gas UK 

Mr Tholen said:

“Industry is committed to delivering safe and cost-effective decommissioning when the time is right.

“But there are a few myths surrounding decommissioning such as ‘costs only ever go up’ and ‘decommissioning liabilities are a roadblock to new investment’ that our breakfast aims to debunk.

“Fresh insights will be provided by Oil & Gas UK into the rapidly changing decommissioning market where new companies and business models are emerging in the UK to tackle a global market running into $100s of billions of dollars.

“Reducing the overall cost of decommissioning on the UKCS, delivering regulatory obligations and developing new business models to optimise the delivery of decommissioning will also be discussed by our panel.”

The event should be of interest to anyone in industry looking ahead to decommissioning. Places can be booked here.

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Notes to Editors:

Media can attend the breakfast – to book contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on 01224 577279 / jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk. Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK.

Oil & Gas UK is the leading representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Its membership comprises oil and gas producers and contractor companies.

The Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK is recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours with an OBE for services to the oil and gas industry.

Deirdre Michie, who took up the post in 2015, said:

“I’m honoured and pleased to receive this award which also recognises the efforts of a small but extremely committed team at Oil & Gas UK that punches above its weight in terms of its hard work and support for our industry coming through one of its toughest times.”

 

Safety 30 Highlights from Oil & Gas UK on Vimeo.

Post-Piper Timeline 2018, Safety 30 – Oil & Gas UK from Oil & Gas UK on Vimeo.

A survivor of the Piper Alpha disaster today (June 6) helped close a major safety conference by challenging everyone in the room to make a conscious choice to do one thing differently to impact positively on safety culture.

“We are all free to choose what we do in life, but we are not free from the consequences,” Steve Rae told the two-day event held in Aberdeen almost three decades after the Piper Alpha disaster.

Almost 700 people attended Safety 30 which was organised by Oil & Gas UK in association with the International Regulators Forum and sponsored by Step Change in Safety. The event was opened on its final day by Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse who said he vividly recalled Piper Alpha and that safety should always be paramount.

Mr Rae – who has remained in the industry and is now an operations manager – made his comments at a final session symbolically passing on the baton to industry’s next generation represented by two millennials who won industry awards in 2017: Apprentice of the Year Samuel Ash and Graduate of the Year Joanna Reynolds.

He also issued a ‘call to arms’ at a separate conference session urging industry to think differently about the way the offshore workforce is trained.

Industry’s changing labour force learns differently and expects to see technology Mr Rae said, adding that there was little effort to assess and develop cognitive and ‘soft skills’, and that the offshore industry could learn about training from the aviation sector, which was integrating technical and non-technical training to build resilience in pilots.

The importance of ‘soft skills’ or non-technical skills (NTS) – described as communication, stress management, situation awareness, decision making, teamwork and leadership – was also raised at another conference session, which heard that stress “plays havoc” with situational awareness and decision making and that NTS training could be integrated with technical training.

Elsewhere, TAQA gave a talk describing how they have re-engaged their safety reps and safety committees. Safety is a ‘doing word’, delegates were told, and the HSE, companies, safety reps and Step Change in Safety can do more to work together to tackle disengagement with the subject among employees at all level.

A session led by BP explored safe riser inspections using onshore trials and offshore execution, and new technologies such as 3D modelling, delivering safer operations and cost savings. The operator also ran an interactive session showcasing a self-evaluation tool which aims to encourage participants to think about and take action to help improve their personal resilience.

Other breakouts included talks on the blockers and enablers to risk management; discussions around the factors which came together to cause the Bourbon Dolphin tragedy and whether it could happen again; insights over late life asset transfer; learnings around collaboration; an introduction to a new approach to bow ties in risk management; details of a novel risk assessment approach when considering the risk of losing dynamic positioning in marine operations and how new technology can help keep workers out of high risk areas.

There were also discussions on reinforcing the importance of learning from incidents and the safety culture beyond compliance. Delegates were also told to go and read again Lord Cullen’s report into Piper Alpha and not just its 106 recommendations that were all adopted by industry.

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said:

“From Lord Cullen opening Safety 30 to Piper Alpha survivor Steve Rae sharing safety reflections with two of industry’s next generation, it has been an engaging and insightful conference. The tragedy of Piper Alpha left a safety legacy that must remain with us – as we have highlighted these last two days – and I sincerely hope that we all now go back to our workplaces better informed, motivated and committed to doing our part to improve process safety across the industry.”

Chris Flint, HSE’s Director of Energy Division, said:

“Lord Cullen and other speakers emphasised the importance and benefits of learning from past experience across major hazard sectors. It is clear that all too often the warning signs have been present prior to incidents occurring and if these had been recognised and acted upon incidents could have been prevented. A key to prevention is effective process safety management.”

Les Linklater, Executive Director, Step Change in Safety, added:

“The Safety 30 Conference has demonstrated just how far we’ve come as an industry since that tragic night in July 1988. However, its also highlighted areas where we still need to make improvements in order to prevent serious- incidents and reduce risk to the workforce.

“Piper Alpha taught the oil and gas industry many important lessons but we must continue to challenge ourselves and make sure that we’re effectively managing safe operations and maintaining the trust of our workforce.”

SAFETY 30 PIPER ALPHA LEGACY – SECURING A SAFER FUTURE from Oil & Gas UK on Vimeo.

The Scottish judge who chaired the public inquiry into the Piper Alpha disaster will deliver the opening keynote address at a major offshore safety conference taking place in Aberdeen next month (June 5 and 6).

Lord Cullen will tell Safety 30 – organised by Oil & Gas UK and the International Regulators’ Forum with Step Change in Safety as principal sponsor – that there is much to be learnt from the fundamental reasons for past major accidents, whatever the differences in conditions today or in the future.

All too often there had been signs of danger which had not been recognised – or acted upon – to prevent those accidents or limit their extent, Lord Cullen will say in his address, using references from eight past accidents including Piper Alpha.

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said: “Lord Cullen’s report following his public inquiry into the Piper Alpha disaster was the catalyst for the extremely robust health and safety legislation that governs our sector today. We are delighted Lord Cullen will be joining us and look forward to the insights he will undoubtedly bring.”

Chris Flint, HSE’s Director Energy Division said: “The Piper Alpha disaster was a watershed moment for the industry and the inquiry led by Lord Cullen made recommendations that have had a lasting impact on the industry and management of major accident hazards offshore. Lord Cullen’s presence at the Safety 30 conference provides the opportunity to remind everyone of the need to work together to build on the Piper Alpha legacy, ensuring a safer future for the next generation of workers and beyond.”

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Notes to Editors:

Media are invited to attend Safety 30. To book your place contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk / 01224 577279.

 

Families, friends and industry representatives are to gather to remember the 167 men who lost their lives in the Piper Alpha disaster.

Thirty years on from the world’s worst offshore disaster, an Act of Remembrance – organised by the UK Oil and Gas Chaplaincy and Aberdeen City Council – will be held at the Piper Alpha Memorial Garden in Aberdeen.

The service will begin at 7pm on 6 July with the names of those who perished read aloud. A lone piper will play a lament followed by a minute’s silence.  Families, friends and colleagues will then be invited to lay wreaths or flowers led by Aberdeen’s Lord Provost Barney Crockett.  Music will also be provided by the Bon Accord Silver Band.

The Reverend Gordon Craig, Chaplain to the UK offshore oil and gas industry and who is organising the Act of Remembrance, said:

“Thirty years may seem a long time to some, but for those who lost a father, son, brother, husband, partner, friend or colleague, the tragedy is still very much part of their life.  Our commemoration is an opportunity to gather together and remember those loved ones who never came home. By naming every person who tragically lost their life the city and industry together can demonstrate that the loss of these men will not be forgotten. And that, may hopefully, bring a crumb of comfort to those whose loss is greatest.”

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett added: “It is hard to believe that three decades have passed since the Piper Alpha tragedy. The shocking events of that night thirty years ago are imprinted on the Aberdeen memory forever.

“We will never forget that 167 men died in the tragedy – dads, sons, brothers, uncles, nephews, partners, friends and colleagues – who never returned home.  This is why it is so important that the City of Aberdeen and industry come together for this Act of Remembrance.

“The memorial garden and statue is a very special place for the people of Aberdeen, the wider oil and gas industry, and particularly for those whose lives have been affected by this tragedy.  I hope that by coming together for this special service that those affected will know that our thoughts are with them at this time and forever.”

The service is open to families and friends of those who died in Piper Alpha as well as anyone who wants to remember and pay their respects.

Rev Craig added: “We would also like to take this opportunity to recognise the Pound for Piper Trust, who continue to provide funding to maintain the Memorial Gardens and thank them for their generosity in arranging with Hazelhead Park Café to provide light refreshments to all families and friends, prior to and after, attending the remembrance ceremony.”

 

 

Sweeping changes made to offshore safety over the years will be discussed at a major conference taking place in Aberdeen three decades on from the Piper Alpha disaster.

Views on how things were, how they are now and how they might change in the future will be shared by a former offshore installation manager, a union official and an HSE inspector in one of the plenary sessions at Safety 30 – organised by Oil & Gas UK and the International Regulators’ Forum with Step Change in Safety as principal sponsor.

The technical programme of the June 5 and 6 event is built around three main themes and features sessions on issues as diverse as non-technical skills training and implementation in the ‘people’ stream,  digital technology in the ‘plant’ strand and learning lessons from past tragedies in the ‘process’ topic area.

The value regulators bring to the overall safety of the offshore industry will also be discussed by a panel that includes representation from the UK Health and Safety Executive, the Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway and the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environment Management Authority from Australia.

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said:

“The conference is an opportunity to reflect on just how far we’ve come since the tragedy of Piper Alpha. It will tackle some of the big issues confronting our industry as we maintain the relentless focus on safe operations that has become a defining feature of the UK offshore oil and gas sector. The event offers an opportunity to reflect on past learning and improvements, but more importantly, to build on our continuing safety improvement efforts.”

Chris Flint, HSE’s Director Energy Division, added:

“The organising committee of the Safety 30 Conference have put together a varied and stimulating agenda with insightful speakers for all the plenary and parallel sessions. The conference provides a great opportunity to further improve safety in the offshore oil and gas sector by learning from each of the sessions which are themed around people, plant and process which we know are key to good process safety management. Safety 30 will also provide a fantastic opportunity to meet and engage with offshore regulators from around the world who are also presenting.”

The conference – taking place at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre – should be of interest to anyone working offshore with a focus on the safe management of people, plant and process. Book your place here.

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Notes to Editors:

Media are welcome to attend the conference. To arrange, contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on  jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk / 01224 577279.

 

The oil and gas sector has renewed its backing for a major apprenticeship scheme that organisers hope will get more females and companies on board.

Recruitment has begun for this year’s intake of apprentices to the Oil and Gas Technical Apprentice Programme – OGTAP – that has already steered around 1,500 young people into the industry over the last two decades.

The charter setting out the governing principles of OGTAP – and its commitments to apprentices by companies taking part – has been updated due to the growth in number of participating companies and legislation changes.

It is signed by Oil & Gas UK and the Offshore Contractors’ Association on behalf of their participating members, and OGTAP is managed by the skills body OPITO and the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB).

Dr Alix Thom, Workforce Engagement and Skills Manager with Oil & Gas UK and former Chair of the OGTAP Steering Group, said:

“There is always a big demand for an OGTAP place which is not surprising given the many exciting and diverse opportunities this industry offers. Many previous apprentices have gone on to hold varied and senior roles.  This year we expect to recruit around 55 apprentices and we’d really like to see more females and people from ethnic minority groups applying as these communities are under-represented in both the offshore population and OGTAP. We’re also keen for more companies to get involved in the scheme which already has the backing of 17 oil and gas operators and contractors.”

Paul Atkinson, Chief Executive from the OCA, said:

“The oil and gas industry remains a great place to work. OGTAP is a wonderful opportunity for people from all backgrounds to lay down the foundations of an interesting and rewarding career. We are very keen to widen the diversity of applications. There will be opportunities in the North Sea for many years to come. We would encourage anyone who is interested to apply as soon as possible.

OGTAP is open to those looking to become apprentices in one of four areas: electrical maintenance, mechanical maintenance, process operators and instrumentation and control maintenance.

Applications for OGTAP places close on February 16.

Commenting on the publication of the Scottish Energy Strategy, Will Webster, Energy Policy Manager, Oil & Gas UK, said:

“We welcome the announcement by Scottish Minister for Business, Innovation and Strategy Paul Wheelhouse MSP that the UK oil and gas industry will remain the bedrock of Scotland’s future energy system and that building on our industry’s strengths is among the six priorities for the Scottish Energy Strategy’s 2050 vision.

“It’s also good to hear support for investment, innovation and diversification across our sector so we can maximise economic recovery from the North Sea, as well as acknowledgement of the world-class skills that our sector supports.

“In all future scenarios our industry has a role to play as we transition to a lower carbon future.  Oil and gas is forecast to provide more than half the world’s energy needs over at least the next two decades and will continue to be the mainstay of the UK’s energy supply – powering the nation with secure and affordable energy, as well as providing feedstock for many other industrial sectors and the manufacture of everyday products.

“We look forward to working with both the Scottish and UK Governments to ensure that the oil and gas industry continues to thrive.”

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Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on 01224 577279 / jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk.

Oil & Gas UK is the leading representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Its membership comprises oil and gas producers and contractor companies.

The head of Nexen in the UK has taken over as Co-Chair of the Board of Oil & Gas UK.

Ray Riddoch – Nexen’s UK Managing Director & Senior Vice President, Europe – takes over from the previous Co-Chair, Neil McCulloch, who has left EnQuest.

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said: “Ray Riddoch brings a huge breadth of industry experience and I am delighted he is becoming Co-Chair.

“I would also like to sincerely thank Neil McCulloch for his leadership and contribution to Oil & Gas UK and to the industry. The last 2 years have been very challenging and his support and insightful guidance during this time have been exceptional and very much appreciated by myself and the Board of Oil & Gas UK and we all wish him the very best for the future.”

Mr Riddoch, who has more than 30 years of upstream oil and gas experience in the UK, Europe and Africa, added: “I am delighted to take on the role of Operator Co-Chair. I look forward to working with the Oil & Gas UK Board and leadership team to promote the wealth of expertise in our industry and ensure a sustainable future for the North Sea.”

 

In an updated statement regarding the closure for repair of  the Forties Pipeline System, Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said:

“We have been in touch with Ineos and are closely monitoring the situation. The shutting down of the Forties pipeline does cause significant issues for our industry, financially, operationally and commercially – 40% of oil production is now shut in and the resulting lost production is worth around £20m per day at current oil prices to industry. We hope this can be resolved safely and as quickly as possible.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on 01224 577279 / jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk.

 

 

 

Commenting on the announcement from INEOS of a controlled shutdown of the Forties Pipeline System to repair a crack, Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said:

“We have been in touch with Ineos and are closely monitoring the situation and hope this can be resolved safely and as quickly as possible.”

Commenting on today’s launch of new E&P joint venture Spirit Energy, which combines Centrica plc’s E&P business with Bayerngas Norge AS, Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said:

“We welcome the arrival of a new independent operator to the North Sea. The launch of Spirit Energy is another positive sign of the strengthening belief in the future of this basin. It comes at a time of much merger and acquisition activity clearly signalling the investment potential of the UK Continental Shelf.

“Billions of barrels of oil and gas still remain within the basin. We need a diversity of companies with fresh ideas and innovative thinking to ensure we make the most of our own indigenous resources, which are vital for helping to meet our energy needs, and which also support hundreds of thousands of UK jobs.”

Announcements of BP’s intended sale of its North Sea Bruce assets to Serica Energy plc and the move by Ineos to explore for gas in waters to the far north of Shetland have been welcomed by trade body Oil & Gas UK as marking a day of ‘good news’ for the North Sea.

Commenting on today’s developments, Deirdre Michie, chief executive at the industry trade association, said:

“Following hard on the heels of recent merger and acquisition activity, today’s announcements are very good news indeed for the UK’s offshore oil and gas sector.  After three difficult years, they reinforce the gathering strength of belief in the future of the UK North Sea as we move slowly out of the downturn caused by the oil price slump.

“We believe there are up to 20 billion barrels of oil and gas still to recover from Britain’s offshore regions.  Today’s announcements will bolster the industry’s efforts to maximise recovery of a vital primary resource which helps to meet the country’s energy needs, secure jobs and generate wealth for the economy.  They will also act as catalysts for fresh investment, reinvigorating activity in both new and existing portfolios and generating orders for companies in the UK’s world-class oil and gas supply chain.

“The complexity of deals like the BP Serica one announced today is indicative of the effort the industry has to make to ensure that the right assets are in the right hands for further development and extending field life.

“This potential route for attracting fresh investment into existing fields is currently hampered by legislation which prevents the transfer of tax histories (TTH) with the sale of assets.  This means that new owners are not able to offset future decommissioning costs against historical production taxes paid.

“Treasury have previously consulted on the benefits of enabling TTH.  This is a textbook example of the need for TTH which we believe would make deal- making simpler and quicker, helping to unlock new investment in the basin.  We are hopeful of it being included as measure in tomorrow’s Budget.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk / 01224 577250

The UK Government has a limited window of opportunity to introduce a tax change with the Budget that could save the UK taxpayer millions of pounds by deferring the decommissioning of mature oil and gas fields.

The benefits of Tax Transferable History

 

That’s the view of Oil & Gas UK which believes it is vital that the tax history is transferred from seller to buyer when UK North Sea assets are sold on.

 

Enabling transferable tax history in the upcoming Autumn Budget would attract new investors and help unlock more deals in late life assets in the UK North Sea, says the trade body. This could prolong the life of mature fields by many years and save Treasury an average of £10 million per asset in deferred tax relief.

Currently the history of tax paid remains with the asset’s original owner even if the asset changes hands. But tax paid has a bearing on final decommissioning costs when the asset comes to the end of its productive life.

Oil & Gas UK analysis of 23 UK asset transfers since 2011 reveal that deals have extended field life by almost five years on average. Some fields have gone on producing for up to an extra 14 years, generating additional value to the Exchequer and providing continued highly skilled employment across the UK.

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said:

“Enabling tax history to be transferred between seller and buyer will ensure we encourage investment into late life but still highly productive assets and so help to extend the life of the basin.

“Transferable tax history would boost the number of mature field deals we are seeing in the North Sea. This, in turn, would help bring fresh investment into the basin, generate new production and provide extra tax revenues for Treasury.

“Mature assets are attracting interest from investors who see the competitive opportunity that the UKCS continues to offer. However, the current tax position is proving to be a blocker to potential deals and that is why it is important that HMT acts to facilitate and support further deals. With decommissioning activity forecast on 214 fields on the UK Continental Shelf to 2025, there is no time to waste.”

Oil & Gas UK and industry has had discussions with Government officials and has also set out its requests of HMT in a letter to Chancellor Phillip Hammond.

Deirdre Michie added:

“Government has done a great deal to improve the fiscal regime and helped to make the UK Continental Shelf one of the most fiscally competitive oil and gas regimes in the world.

“We believe we’ve made a compelling, evidence backed case for transferable tax history to be provided for by Treasury and now hope that they do what is needed to prolong the life of the North Sea which still holds billions of barrels of oil and gas and still supports hundreds of thousands of UK jobs.”

Industry is working across the sector to reduce the cost of decommissioning through new technologies, different ways of working and sharing learnings from decommissioning projects already underway.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk / 07961 076645.

Oil & Gas UK is the leading representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Its membership comprises oil and gas producers and contractor companies.

One of the newest contractors in the UK North Sea was among the companies that set out their stalls to potential suppliers at a major oil and gas industry event in Aberdeen yesterday (Wednesday, November 1).

WorleyParsons was one of 11 companies and organisations to present at Share Fair – an Oil & Gas UK event designed to shine a light on potential new business and diversification opportunities for the UK oil and gas supply chain.

Sponsored by Stork – a Fluor company, the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre event attracted around 500 delegates.

Just days after confirming it had completed its £228 million takeover of Amec Foster Wheeler’s North Sea assets, WorleyParsons revealed the range of business opportunities it has in the North Sea, and also where supply chain expertise developed here could be deployed in their projects around the world.

Creating greater value rather than focusing on lowest cost was a key theme from Bibby Offshore, which advised how supply chain companies should best engage in its tender processes to deliver services.

Total E&P UK’s presentation focused on three major activity areas:  the Central Graben Area, Northern North Sea and West of Shetland.

As part of its forward plans pitch, Apache set out the expertise and technologies it needs is seeking to mitigate the challenges around heavy oil.

Repsol Sinopec highlighted its need for innovative technology and services to maximise returns on its operations and for decommissioning.

Also presenting were the Oil & Gas Technology Centre and representatives from the nuclear, offshore renewables and railways sectors.

Ken Cruickshank, Supply Chain Manager of Oil & Gas UK, said: “It’s been another successful Share Fair bringing suppliers and major purchasing companies together in one place to discuss how they can collaborate on future projects.  Many potential new business opportunities for the supply chain were highlighted, including £48 billion that is expected to be invested in the railways over the coming years and 18 new offshore wind projects in the pipeline.  Our supply chain has developed world class expertise in oil and gas – there is significant opportunity to capitalise on that and diversify into new sectors.”

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors:

 

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on 01224 577279 / jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk.

Oil & Gas UK is the leading representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Its membership comprises oil and gas producers and contractor companies.

Commenting on the UK Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, Mike Tholen, Upstream Policy Director with Oil & Gas UK, said:

“Oil & Gas UK welcomes the Government’s publication of the Clean Growth Strategy. The UK offshore oil and gas industry strives to reduce its emissions and CO2 emissions from production have fallen by 30% since 2000 – now accounting for just 3% of total domestic CO2 emissions. This downward trend is expected to continue.

“Oil and gas play a vital role in the UK’s energy mix with our own domestic resources meeting over half of our demand in 2016. Their importance in the UK’s energy mix will continue for decades to come with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy indicating they will continue to meet approximately two thirds demand by 2035.

“With up to 20 billion barrels of oil and gas still to recover from the UK Continental Shelf, industry is well placed to provide an indigenous resource to help meet this energy need, whilst supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs across the UK.

“Additionally, meeting demand with domestic hydrocarbons eases our reliance on international resources, ensures we protect security of energy supply and mitigates against carbon leakage.

“Gas has transformed the UK’s power sector in recent years, with a significant coal-to-gas switching in the power mix achieving cost-effective emissions reductions. This switching made a major contribution to an estimated 20% fall in UK power sector emissions in 2016, underlining the important role gas should continue to play as part of a cost-effective decarbonisation of the energy system.

“Oil & Gas UK welcomes the Government’s commitment to technology in the strategy, especially with regards to carbon abatement measures such as Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage. Oil & Gas UK looks forward to working with the Government to see how these technologies can further reduce emissions across the economy.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on 01224 577279 / jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk.

Oil & Gas UK is the leading representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Its membership comprises oil and gas producers and contractor companies.

 

New data providing more insight into the employment picture of the UK offshore oil and gas industry is published today (7 October) by Oil & Gas UK – the sector’s trade body.

The people working on offshore installations are a key focus of the Workforce Report which reveals the areas they travel from across the UK to get to their jobs offshore and how many are based in different regions of the UK Continental Shelf.

The report also looks at total employment for the industry and shows the regions across the UK where jobs are based.  Also highlighted are the other diverse industries – including financial services, retail and construction – where jobs are supported by the UK oil and gas sector.

The report says:

  • Industry supports more than 302,000[1] jobs with almost 60% of those in England, 38% in Scotland and the remainder across Northern Ireland and Wales.
  • The latest employment estimate is 160,000 lower than the peak of more than 460,000 jobs in 2014 – but the pace of contraction has slowed.
  • More than 52,000 people travelled offshore in the UK in 2016.
  • Of those, almost 24,000 are the core offshore workforce – people who spend more than 100 days on installations on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).
  • The number of core workers – directly linked to industry activity levels and spend – has seen a reduction of around 5,300 (18%) since 2014, when capital investment was at its peak, before the downturn.
  • Activity growth west of Shetland has resulted in the region seeing the greatest rise in offshore employment – more than doubling since 2014 to 4,304 offshore workers last year.
  • There has been a 42% increase in production per core worker since 2014, driven by industry efficiency improvements as well as higher volumes produced from redeveloped fields and new start-ups.
  • As the offshore population contracts, the average age of offshore workers has increased slightly by two years over the last two years to 42.7 – but is still roughly in line with the UK average.
  • Around 15% of the offshore workforce are non-British citizens – about half of whom are from other EU countries.
  • Other sectors where jobs are supported by the UK oil and gas industry include manufacturing, construction, metal products, finance, retail, and civil engineering, highlighting the economic reach of this industry and its importance to the wider UK economy.

Report author Alix Thom, Workforce Engagement and Skills Manager with Oil & Gas UK, said: “Our report sheds more light on the employment of an industry that has seen a significant contraction because of the global downturn.

“While employment has fallen over the last two years, the rate of contraction appears to be slowing and we are seeing more positive signs, such as increased activity west of Shetland.

“With billions of barrels of oil and gas still to be recovered from the North Sea, we need more fresh investment into the basin to drive new activity and help safeguard the hundreds of thousands of UK wide jobs our sector continues to support.”

The report can be seen here.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

The Workforce Report 2017 expands on the industry employment data published within Oil & Gas UK’s Economic Report 2017.

It provides more detail on the total employment supported across the whole upstream industry, both on and offshore, and draws on the Vantage Personnel on Board data to look exclusively at the breakdown of the offshore workforce.

Meanwhile, as part of its effort to attract more investment into the UK Continental Shelf and drive new activity and help safeguard jobs, Oil & Gas UK has submitted its asks of Treasury from the forthcoming Autumn Budget. The trade body is calling for:

  • Continued public commitment to the Driving Investment Plan – as this provides investors with the required fiscal predictability and confidence to invest in the UKCS.
  • Enabling Transferable Tax History – allowing a part of tax history to transfer from the seller to the buyer of North Sea oil and gas assets, which allows assets to move to those most suited to extend the productive life of the basin.
  • Support for the supply chain – by improving access to finance and recognition of competitiveness, attracting new investment.

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on 01224 577279 / jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk.

Oil & Gas UK is the leading representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Its membership comprises oil and gas producers and contractor companies.

[1] The number covers the full spectrum of employment – direct, indirect, and induced jobs.

  • Direct – those employed by companies extracting oil and gas.
  • Indirect – those who provide goods and services for an oil and gas company.
  • Induced – local economy jobs that benefit from the sector eg hospitality.

Responding to Statoil’s announcement that it has made an oil discovery in the Verbier prospect on the UK Continental Shelf, Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said:

“This is good news from Statoil and partners and we now really hope that the find proves to be commercially appealing and proceeds to development.

“It’s also another signal of confidence in the future of the UK Continental Shelf and the kind of development that should further persuade investors of the benefit of putting their money into this basin which still holds billions of barrels of oil and gas.”

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on 01224 577279 / jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk.

 

 

Brexit and the UK oil and gas industry

Brexit and the UK oil and gas industry

Oil & Gas UK provides evidence-based insights on behalf of our members to a range of stakeholders that includes both the Westminster and Holyrood governments and parliaments, the media and internationally. Through our research, and soundings taken of our membership, we know that the top priorities for the UK oil and gas sector post-Brexit include:

  1. Protecting the offshore industry from future EU regulatory changes: As the largest EU producer of offshore oil and gas, the UK takes a leading role at the EU decision making table in support of our industry. Future changes to regulations or directives by EU institutions could negatively impact the UK oil and gas industry even after Brexit. Therefore, Oil & Gas UK is asking  the Government to ensure there is a mechanism in place that provides support to the UKCS in relation to future EU rules.
  2. Maintaining a strong voice in Europe: Whether the UK participates in any  future EU Governance framework or not, a forward-looking European energy policy needs to recognise that oil and gas will remain a key part of both the UK and the EU’s energy mix for decades to come.
  3. Minimal friction between the UK and EU: Although the UK’s oil and gas sector has a global reach, it has a significant and valuable supply chain that sources much of its’ goods and services from the EU. Our industry needs certainty and predictability to deliver its operations safely and efficiently and as such, ensuring the efficient and frictionless movement of goods, services and capital must remain a priority.
  4. Protecting energy trading and the internal energy market: The internal market has provided significant benefits to the UK in terms of competitiveness and security of supply.  After Brexit, it will be essential to maintain the commercial and regulatory integrity of any new internal energy market spanning the EU and UK.
  5. Protecting our licence to operate: Meeting the future energy needs of Europe while tackling climate change is important and any forward-looking energy policy needs to recognise that oil and gas will remain a key part of both the UK and the continent’s energy mix for decades to come.

Stakeholder & Communications –  Tom Evans / tevans@oilandgasuk.co.uk.

Remembering Piper Alpha – 30 years on

The names of the 167 men who tragically lost their lives in the Piper Alpha disaster will be read aloud at a special memorial service taking place in Aberdeen next week on the 30th anniversary.

Families, friends and representatives from industry will come together for an Act of Remembrance taking place at 7pm on 6 July in the Piper Alpha Memorial Garden at Hazlehead Park.

Offshore workers will also be able to pay their respects as the service is being streamed live on the UK Oil and Gas Chaplaincy Facebook page. The timing of the event – chosen to best suit the families and to be closer to the actual time of the disaster – coincides with offshore workers changing shift.

The Reverend Gordon Craig, Chaplain to the UK offshore oil and gas industry, who is organising the Act of Remembrance, said:

“We may be three decades on from the world’s worst offshore disaster but for families, friends, colleagues and survivors, the memories and feelings of loss are no less.  Our service will enable those to come together with representatives from the city and industry and remember the loved ones who tragically never made it home.”

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett said: “The shocking events of that night 30 years ago are imprinted on the Aberdeen memory forever.

“We will never forget that 167 men died in the Piper Alpha tragedy, which is why it is so important that the City of Aberdeen and industry come together for this Act of Remembrance.  We want to let those affected, particularly the families, know that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them and that our thoughts are with them now and forever.”

The order of service is:

  • Bon Accord Silver Band starts playing at 6.30pm
  • Rev Craig will begin proceedings at 7pm
  • Industry representatives will begin the roll-call of those who lost their lives
  • A lone piper will play a lament followed by a minute’s silence
  • Wreaths will then be laid by the Lord Provost on behalf of the City of Aberdeen, Oil & Gas UK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie on behalf of the industry, and Steve Rae one of the trustees from the Pound for Piper Trust which provides funding to help the city council maintain the North Sea Memorial Garden
  • Families, friends, colleagues and well-wishers will then have the opportunity to lay flowers or wreaths
  • Light refreshments will be available in Hazlehead Park Café, from 6pm onwards, courtesy of the Pound for Piper Trust

While the Act of Remembrance is the key event marking the anniversary of the disaster there are other opportunities for those wanting to reflect and pay their respects.

  • The Oil Chapel at the Kirk of St Nicholas Uniting in Aberdeen will open on 6 July between 12 noon and 4pm where people can visit to view the original Book of Remembrance or light a candle
  • Rev Craig will conduct ‘Daily Prayers’ that day in the Kirk starting at 1pm and lasting around 15 minutes
  • On Saturday 7 July Ferryhill Parish Church will keep its Church Sanctuary open from 10am to 4pm providing a peaceful space in which to remember those who lost their lives and who were affected
  • Ferryhill Parish Church also has the Memorial Chapel – home of the Piper Alpha stained-glass window
  • The designer of the window, Jennifer-Jane Bayliss, will be in the church from 11am and 12 noon and 2pm and 4pm.
  • The church is also home to the Lord Provost’s Book of Remembrance, and visitors will be able to read the names of loved ones, survivors’ names and official letters of condolence from all over the world.
  • A short film with some memories from survivors of the disaster will also be available.
  • There will be an opportunity to light a small candle in remembrance. 

Steve Rae, on behalf of the Pound for Piper Trust, added:

“The Pound for Piper Trust would like to thank the staff at Aberdeen City Council and Hazlehead Park for making every effort to have these gardens looking at their best for the service.  We would also like to thank those who give generously and those who work tirelessly to raise funds on the Trust’s behalf, as without their continued support the Trust would be unable to provide financial assistance to ensure these gardens are maintained to the high standards deserved of those 167 souls who lost their lives on that tragic night.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors / Picture Editors:

Media wishing to attend the Act of Remembrance at Hazlehead Park must contact in advance Oil & Gas UK Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk / 01224 577279 or Communications Adviser Lucy Gordon lgordon@oilandgasuk.co.uk / 01224 577331.

More information:

  • Download historical document about the Piper Alpha Memorial here.
  • The Pound for Piper Trust is selling 167 limited edition prints of the Piper Alpha Memorial and Gardens to raise funds for the garden. Find out more here:

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact 01224 577279.

Oil & Gas UK is the leading representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Its membership comprises oil and gas producers and contractor companies.

Debunking and delivering decommissioning

In parallel with the recent success of the 30th exploration licensing round, the production upturn and the rise in M&A activity, decommissioning is now recognised as a significant stage of a field’s life-cycle – with expenditure on decommissioning-related activities across the UK Continental Shelf approaching £2 billion per year.

A Decommissioning the North Sea in a $78 World business breakfast – organised by Oil & Gas UK, sponsored by White & Case and taking place in London on June 27 –  will provide an update on how industry and regulators are progressing with delivering the decommissioning scope in the UK.

The event will be chaired by Oil & Gas UK Upstream Policy Director Mike Tholen and feature the speakers:

  • Nils Cohrs, Oil & Gas Authority 
  • Graeme Fergusson, Decom Energy
  • Richard Heard, Oil & Gas UK 

Mr Tholen said:

“Industry is committed to delivering safe and cost-effective decommissioning when the time is right.

“But there are a few myths surrounding decommissioning such as ‘costs only ever go up’ and ‘decommissioning liabilities are a roadblock to new investment’ that our breakfast aims to debunk.

“Fresh insights will be provided by Oil & Gas UK into the rapidly changing decommissioning market where new companies and business models are emerging in the UK to tackle a global market running into $100s of billions of dollars.

“Reducing the overall cost of decommissioning on the UKCS, delivering regulatory obligations and developing new business models to optimise the delivery of decommissioning will also be discussed by our panel.”

The event should be of interest to anyone in industry looking ahead to decommissioning. Places can be booked here.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Media can attend the breakfast – to book contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on 01224 577279 / jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk. Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK.

Oil & Gas UK is the leading representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Its membership comprises oil and gas producers and contractor companies.

OBE for Oil & Gas UK CEO

The Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK is recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours with an OBE for services to the oil and gas industry.

Deirdre Michie, who took up the post in 2015, said:

“I’m honoured and pleased to receive this award which also recognises the efforts of a small but extremely committed team at Oil & Gas UK that punches above its weight in terms of its hard work and support for our industry coming through one of its toughest times.”

 

Piper Alpha conference successfully shines light on safety

Safety 30 Highlights from Oil & Gas UK on Vimeo.

Post-Piper Timeline 2018, Safety 30 – Oil & Gas UK from Oil & Gas UK on Vimeo.

A survivor of the Piper Alpha disaster today (June 6) helped close a major safety conference by challenging everyone in the room to make a conscious choice to do one thing differently to impact positively on safety culture.

“We are all free to choose what we do in life, but we are not free from the consequences,” Steve Rae told the two-day event held in Aberdeen almost three decades after the Piper Alpha disaster.

Almost 700 people attended Safety 30 which was organised by Oil & Gas UK in association with the International Regulators Forum and sponsored by Step Change in Safety. The event was opened on its final day by Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse who said he vividly recalled Piper Alpha and that safety should always be paramount.

Mr Rae – who has remained in the industry and is now an operations manager – made his comments at a final session symbolically passing on the baton to industry’s next generation represented by two millennials who won industry awards in 2017: Apprentice of the Year Samuel Ash and Graduate of the Year Joanna Reynolds.

He also issued a ‘call to arms’ at a separate conference session urging industry to think differently about the way the offshore workforce is trained.

Industry’s changing labour force learns differently and expects to see technology Mr Rae said, adding that there was little effort to assess and develop cognitive and ‘soft skills’, and that the offshore industry could learn about training from the aviation sector, which was integrating technical and non-technical training to build resilience in pilots.

The importance of ‘soft skills’ or non-technical skills (NTS) – described as communication, stress management, situation awareness, decision making, teamwork and leadership – was also raised at another conference session, which heard that stress “plays havoc” with situational awareness and decision making and that NTS training could be integrated with technical training.

Elsewhere, TAQA gave a talk describing how they have re-engaged their safety reps and safety committees. Safety is a ‘doing word’, delegates were told, and the HSE, companies, safety reps and Step Change in Safety can do more to work together to tackle disengagement with the subject among employees at all level.

A session led by BP explored safe riser inspections using onshore trials and offshore execution, and new technologies such as 3D modelling, delivering safer operations and cost savings. The operator also ran an interactive session showcasing a self-evaluation tool which aims to encourage participants to think about and take action to help improve their personal resilience.

Other breakouts included talks on the blockers and enablers to risk management; discussions around the factors which came together to cause the Bourbon Dolphin tragedy and whether it could happen again; insights over late life asset transfer; learnings around collaboration; an introduction to a new approach to bow ties in risk management; details of a novel risk assessment approach when considering the risk of losing dynamic positioning in marine operations and how new technology can help keep workers out of high risk areas.

There were also discussions on reinforcing the importance of learning from incidents and the safety culture beyond compliance. Delegates were also told to go and read again Lord Cullen’s report into Piper Alpha and not just its 106 recommendations that were all adopted by industry.

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said:

“From Lord Cullen opening Safety 30 to Piper Alpha survivor Steve Rae sharing safety reflections with two of industry’s next generation, it has been an engaging and insightful conference. The tragedy of Piper Alpha left a safety legacy that must remain with us – as we have highlighted these last two days – and I sincerely hope that we all now go back to our workplaces better informed, motivated and committed to doing our part to improve process safety across the industry.”

Chris Flint, HSE’s Director of Energy Division, said:

“Lord Cullen and other speakers emphasised the importance and benefits of learning from past experience across major hazard sectors. It is clear that all too often the warning signs have been present prior to incidents occurring and if these had been recognised and acted upon incidents could have been prevented. A key to prevention is effective process safety management.”

Les Linklater, Executive Director, Step Change in Safety, added:

“The Safety 30 Conference has demonstrated just how far we’ve come as an industry since that tragic night in July 1988. However, its also highlighted areas where we still need to make improvements in order to prevent serious- incidents and reduce risk to the workforce.

“Piper Alpha taught the oil and gas industry many important lessons but we must continue to challenge ourselves and make sure that we’re effectively managing safe operations and maintaining the trust of our workforce.”

SAFETY 30 PIPER ALPHA LEGACY – SECURING A SAFER FUTURE from Oil & Gas UK on Vimeo.

Lord Cullen to give keynote speech at Safety 30

The Scottish judge who chaired the public inquiry into the Piper Alpha disaster will deliver the opening keynote address at a major offshore safety conference taking place in Aberdeen next month (June 5 and 6).

Lord Cullen will tell Safety 30 – organised by Oil & Gas UK and the International Regulators’ Forum with Step Change in Safety as principal sponsor – that there is much to be learnt from the fundamental reasons for past major accidents, whatever the differences in conditions today or in the future.

All too often there had been signs of danger which had not been recognised – or acted upon – to prevent those accidents or limit their extent, Lord Cullen will say in his address, using references from eight past accidents including Piper Alpha.

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said: “Lord Cullen’s report following his public inquiry into the Piper Alpha disaster was the catalyst for the extremely robust health and safety legislation that governs our sector today. We are delighted Lord Cullen will be joining us and look forward to the insights he will undoubtedly bring.”

Chris Flint, HSE’s Director Energy Division said: “The Piper Alpha disaster was a watershed moment for the industry and the inquiry led by Lord Cullen made recommendations that have had a lasting impact on the industry and management of major accident hazards offshore. Lord Cullen’s presence at the Safety 30 conference provides the opportunity to remind everyone of the need to work together to build on the Piper Alpha legacy, ensuring a safer future for the next generation of workers and beyond.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Media are invited to attend Safety 30. To book your place contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk / 01224 577279.

 

Remembering Piper Alpha – three decades on

Families, friends and industry representatives are to gather to remember the 167 men who lost their lives in the Piper Alpha disaster.

Thirty years on from the world’s worst offshore disaster, an Act of Remembrance – organised by the UK Oil and Gas Chaplaincy and Aberdeen City Council – will be held at the Piper Alpha Memorial Garden in Aberdeen.

The service will begin at 7pm on 6 July with the names of those who perished read aloud. A lone piper will play a lament followed by a minute’s silence.  Families, friends and colleagues will then be invited to lay wreaths or flowers led by Aberdeen’s Lord Provost Barney Crockett.  Music will also be provided by the Bon Accord Silver Band.

The Reverend Gordon Craig, Chaplain to the UK offshore oil and gas industry and who is organising the Act of Remembrance, said:

“Thirty years may seem a long time to some, but for those who lost a father, son, brother, husband, partner, friend or colleague, the tragedy is still very much part of their life.  Our commemoration is an opportunity to gather together and remember those loved ones who never came home. By naming every person who tragically lost their life the city and industry together can demonstrate that the loss of these men will not be forgotten. And that, may hopefully, bring a crumb of comfort to those whose loss is greatest.”

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett added: “It is hard to believe that three decades have passed since the Piper Alpha tragedy. The shocking events of that night thirty years ago are imprinted on the Aberdeen memory forever.

“We will never forget that 167 men died in the tragedy – dads, sons, brothers, uncles, nephews, partners, friends and colleagues – who never returned home.  This is why it is so important that the City of Aberdeen and industry come together for this Act of Remembrance.

“The memorial garden and statue is a very special place for the people of Aberdeen, the wider oil and gas industry, and particularly for those whose lives have been affected by this tragedy.  I hope that by coming together for this special service that those affected will know that our thoughts are with them at this time and forever.”

The service is open to families and friends of those who died in Piper Alpha as well as anyone who wants to remember and pay their respects.

Rev Craig added: “We would also like to take this opportunity to recognise the Pound for Piper Trust, who continue to provide funding to maintain the Memorial Gardens and thank them for their generosity in arranging with Hazelhead Park Café to provide light refreshments to all families and friends, prior to and after, attending the remembrance ceremony.”

 

 

Protecting people, plant and process at Safety 30

Sweeping changes made to offshore safety over the years will be discussed at a major conference taking place in Aberdeen three decades on from the Piper Alpha disaster.

Views on how things were, how they are now and how they might change in the future will be shared by a former offshore installation manager, a union official and an HSE inspector in one of the plenary sessions at Safety 30 – organised by Oil & Gas UK and the International Regulators’ Forum with Step Change in Safety as principal sponsor.

The technical programme of the June 5 and 6 event is built around three main themes and features sessions on issues as diverse as non-technical skills training and implementation in the ‘people’ stream,  digital technology in the ‘plant’ strand and learning lessons from past tragedies in the ‘process’ topic area.

The value regulators bring to the overall safety of the offshore industry will also be discussed by a panel that includes representation from the UK Health and Safety Executive, the Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway and the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environment Management Authority from Australia.

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said:

“The conference is an opportunity to reflect on just how far we’ve come since the tragedy of Piper Alpha. It will tackle some of the big issues confronting our industry as we maintain the relentless focus on safe operations that has become a defining feature of the UK offshore oil and gas sector. The event offers an opportunity to reflect on past learning and improvements, but more importantly, to build on our continuing safety improvement efforts.”

Chris Flint, HSE’s Director Energy Division, added:

“The organising committee of the Safety 30 Conference have put together a varied and stimulating agenda with insightful speakers for all the plenary and parallel sessions. The conference provides a great opportunity to further improve safety in the offshore oil and gas sector by learning from each of the sessions which are themed around people, plant and process which we know are key to good process safety management. Safety 30 will also provide a fantastic opportunity to meet and engage with offshore regulators from around the world who are also presenting.”

The conference – taking place at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre – should be of interest to anyone working offshore with a focus on the safe management of people, plant and process. Book your place here.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Media are welcome to attend the conference. To arrange, contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on  jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk / 01224 577279.

 

More females and companies wanted for apprentice scheme

The oil and gas sector has renewed its backing for a major apprenticeship scheme that organisers hope will get more females and companies on board.

Recruitment has begun for this year’s intake of apprentices to the Oil and Gas Technical Apprentice Programme – OGTAP – that has already steered around 1,500 young people into the industry over the last two decades.

The charter setting out the governing principles of OGTAP – and its commitments to apprentices by companies taking part – has been updated due to the growth in number of participating companies and legislation changes.

It is signed by Oil & Gas UK and the Offshore Contractors’ Association on behalf of their participating members, and OGTAP is managed by the skills body OPITO and the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB).

Dr Alix Thom, Workforce Engagement and Skills Manager with Oil & Gas UK and former Chair of the OGTAP Steering Group, said:

“There is always a big demand for an OGTAP place which is not surprising given the many exciting and diverse opportunities this industry offers. Many previous apprentices have gone on to hold varied and senior roles.  This year we expect to recruit around 55 apprentices and we’d really like to see more females and people from ethnic minority groups applying as these communities are under-represented in both the offshore population and OGTAP. We’re also keen for more companies to get involved in the scheme which already has the backing of 17 oil and gas operators and contractors.”

Paul Atkinson, Chief Executive from the OCA, said:

“The oil and gas industry remains a great place to work. OGTAP is a wonderful opportunity for people from all backgrounds to lay down the foundations of an interesting and rewarding career. We are very keen to widen the diversity of applications. There will be opportunities in the North Sea for many years to come. We would encourage anyone who is interested to apply as soon as possible.

OGTAP is open to those looking to become apprentices in one of four areas: electrical maintenance, mechanical maintenance, process operators and instrumentation and control maintenance.

Applications for OGTAP places close on February 16.

Trade body response to Scottish Energy Strategy

Commenting on the publication of the Scottish Energy Strategy, Will Webster, Energy Policy Manager, Oil & Gas UK, said:

“We welcome the announcement by Scottish Minister for Business, Innovation and Strategy Paul Wheelhouse MSP that the UK oil and gas industry will remain the bedrock of Scotland’s future energy system and that building on our industry’s strengths is among the six priorities for the Scottish Energy Strategy’s 2050 vision.

“It’s also good to hear support for investment, innovation and diversification across our sector so we can maximise economic recovery from the North Sea, as well as acknowledgement of the world-class skills that our sector supports.

“In all future scenarios our industry has a role to play as we transition to a lower carbon future.  Oil and gas is forecast to provide more than half the world’s energy needs over at least the next two decades and will continue to be the mainstay of the UK’s energy supply – powering the nation with secure and affordable energy, as well as providing feedstock for many other industrial sectors and the manufacture of everyday products.

“We look forward to working with both the Scottish and UK Governments to ensure that the oil and gas industry continues to thrive.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on 01224 577279 / jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk.

Oil & Gas UK is the leading representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Its membership comprises oil and gas producers and contractor companies.

New Co Chair for Oil & Gas UK

The head of Nexen in the UK has taken over as Co-Chair of the Board of Oil & Gas UK.

Ray Riddoch – Nexen’s UK Managing Director & Senior Vice President, Europe – takes over from the previous Co-Chair, Neil McCulloch, who has left EnQuest.

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said: “Ray Riddoch brings a huge breadth of industry experience and I am delighted he is becoming Co-Chair.

“I would also like to sincerely thank Neil McCulloch for his leadership and contribution to Oil & Gas UK and to the industry. The last 2 years have been very challenging and his support and insightful guidance during this time have been exceptional and very much appreciated by myself and the Board of Oil & Gas UK and we all wish him the very best for the future.”

Mr Riddoch, who has more than 30 years of upstream oil and gas experience in the UK, Europe and Africa, added: “I am delighted to take on the role of Operator Co-Chair. I look forward to working with the Oil & Gas UK Board and leadership team to promote the wealth of expertise in our industry and ensure a sustainable future for the North Sea.”

 

Forties Pipeline System – updated statement

In an updated statement regarding the closure for repair of  the Forties Pipeline System, Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said:

“We have been in touch with Ineos and are closely monitoring the situation. The shutting down of the Forties pipeline does cause significant issues for our industry, financially, operationally and commercially – 40% of oil production is now shut in and the resulting lost production is worth around £20m per day at current oil prices to industry. We hope this can be resolved safely and as quickly as possible.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on 01224 577279 / jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk.

 

 

 

INEOS Forties Pipeline System

Commenting on the announcement from INEOS of a controlled shutdown of the Forties Pipeline System to repair a crack, Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said:

“We have been in touch with Ineos and are closely monitoring the situation and hope this can be resolved safely and as quickly as possible.”

Trade body welcomes launch of Spirit Energy

Commenting on today’s launch of new E&P joint venture Spirit Energy, which combines Centrica plc’s E&P business with Bayerngas Norge AS, Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said:

“We welcome the arrival of a new independent operator to the North Sea. The launch of Spirit Energy is another positive sign of the strengthening belief in the future of this basin. It comes at a time of much merger and acquisition activity clearly signalling the investment potential of the UK Continental Shelf.

“Billions of barrels of oil and gas still remain within the basin. We need a diversity of companies with fresh ideas and innovative thinking to ensure we make the most of our own indigenous resources, which are vital for helping to meet our energy needs, and which also support hundreds of thousands of UK jobs.”

Oil & Gas UK welcomes deal news for North Sea

Announcements of BP’s intended sale of its North Sea Bruce assets to Serica Energy plc and the move by Ineos to explore for gas in waters to the far north of Shetland have been welcomed by trade body Oil & Gas UK as marking a day of ‘good news’ for the North Sea.

Commenting on today’s developments, Deirdre Michie, chief executive at the industry trade association, said:

“Following hard on the heels of recent merger and acquisition activity, today’s announcements are very good news indeed for the UK’s offshore oil and gas sector.  After three difficult years, they reinforce the gathering strength of belief in the future of the UK North Sea as we move slowly out of the downturn caused by the oil price slump.

“We believe there are up to 20 billion barrels of oil and gas still to recover from Britain’s offshore regions.  Today’s announcements will bolster the industry’s efforts to maximise recovery of a vital primary resource which helps to meet the country’s energy needs, secure jobs and generate wealth for the economy.  They will also act as catalysts for fresh investment, reinvigorating activity in both new and existing portfolios and generating orders for companies in the UK’s world-class oil and gas supply chain.

“The complexity of deals like the BP Serica one announced today is indicative of the effort the industry has to make to ensure that the right assets are in the right hands for further development and extending field life.

“This potential route for attracting fresh investment into existing fields is currently hampered by legislation which prevents the transfer of tax histories (TTH) with the sale of assets.  This means that new owners are not able to offset future decommissioning costs against historical production taxes paid.

“Treasury have previously consulted on the benefits of enabling TTH.  This is a textbook example of the need for TTH which we believe would make deal- making simpler and quicker, helping to unlock new investment in the basin.  We are hopeful of it being included as measure in tomorrow’s Budget.”

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Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk / 01224 577250

Oil & Gas UK makes final case for tax change ahead of UK Budget

The UK Government has a limited window of opportunity to introduce a tax change with the Budget that could save the UK taxpayer millions of pounds by deferring the decommissioning of mature oil and gas fields.

The benefits of Tax Transferable History

 

That’s the view of Oil & Gas UK which believes it is vital that the tax history is transferred from seller to buyer when UK North Sea assets are sold on.

 

Enabling transferable tax history in the upcoming Autumn Budget would attract new investors and help unlock more deals in late life assets in the UK North Sea, says the trade body. This could prolong the life of mature fields by many years and save Treasury an average of £10 million per asset in deferred tax relief.

Currently the history of tax paid remains with the asset’s original owner even if the asset changes hands. But tax paid has a bearing on final decommissioning costs when the asset comes to the end of its productive life.

Oil & Gas UK analysis of 23 UK asset transfers since 2011 reveal that deals have extended field life by almost five years on average. Some fields have gone on producing for up to an extra 14 years, generating additional value to the Exchequer and providing continued highly skilled employment across the UK.

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said:

“Enabling tax history to be transferred between seller and buyer will ensure we encourage investment into late life but still highly productive assets and so help to extend the life of the basin.

“Transferable tax history would boost the number of mature field deals we are seeing in the North Sea. This, in turn, would help bring fresh investment into the basin, generate new production and provide extra tax revenues for Treasury.

“Mature assets are attracting interest from investors who see the competitive opportunity that the UKCS continues to offer. However, the current tax position is proving to be a blocker to potential deals and that is why it is important that HMT acts to facilitate and support further deals. With decommissioning activity forecast on 214 fields on the UK Continental Shelf to 2025, there is no time to waste.”

Oil & Gas UK and industry has had discussions with Government officials and has also set out its requests of HMT in a letter to Chancellor Phillip Hammond.

Deirdre Michie added:

“Government has done a great deal to improve the fiscal regime and helped to make the UK Continental Shelf one of the most fiscally competitive oil and gas regimes in the world.

“We believe we’ve made a compelling, evidence backed case for transferable tax history to be provided for by Treasury and now hope that they do what is needed to prolong the life of the North Sea which still holds billions of barrels of oil and gas and still supports hundreds of thousands of UK jobs.”

Industry is working across the sector to reduce the cost of decommissioning through new technologies, different ways of working and sharing learnings from decommissioning projects already underway.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk / 07961 076645.

Oil & Gas UK is the leading representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Its membership comprises oil and gas producers and contractor companies.

Business opportunities unveiled at key supply chain event

One of the newest contractors in the UK North Sea was among the companies that set out their stalls to potential suppliers at a major oil and gas industry event in Aberdeen yesterday (Wednesday, November 1).

WorleyParsons was one of 11 companies and organisations to present at Share Fair – an Oil & Gas UK event designed to shine a light on potential new business and diversification opportunities for the UK oil and gas supply chain.

Sponsored by Stork – a Fluor company, the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre event attracted around 500 delegates.

Just days after confirming it had completed its £228 million takeover of Amec Foster Wheeler’s North Sea assets, WorleyParsons revealed the range of business opportunities it has in the North Sea, and also where supply chain expertise developed here could be deployed in their projects around the world.

Creating greater value rather than focusing on lowest cost was a key theme from Bibby Offshore, which advised how supply chain companies should best engage in its tender processes to deliver services.

Total E&P UK’s presentation focused on three major activity areas:  the Central Graben Area, Northern North Sea and West of Shetland.

As part of its forward plans pitch, Apache set out the expertise and technologies it needs is seeking to mitigate the challenges around heavy oil.

Repsol Sinopec highlighted its need for innovative technology and services to maximise returns on its operations and for decommissioning.

Also presenting were the Oil & Gas Technology Centre and representatives from the nuclear, offshore renewables and railways sectors.

Ken Cruickshank, Supply Chain Manager of Oil & Gas UK, said: “It’s been another successful Share Fair bringing suppliers and major purchasing companies together in one place to discuss how they can collaborate on future projects.  Many potential new business opportunities for the supply chain were highlighted, including £48 billion that is expected to be invested in the railways over the coming years and 18 new offshore wind projects in the pipeline.  Our supply chain has developed world class expertise in oil and gas – there is significant opportunity to capitalise on that and diversify into new sectors.”

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Notes to Editors:

 

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on 01224 577279 / jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk.

Oil & Gas UK is the leading representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Its membership comprises oil and gas producers and contractor companies.

Clean Growth Strategy – Oil & Gas UK response

Commenting on the UK Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, Mike Tholen, Upstream Policy Director with Oil & Gas UK, said:

“Oil & Gas UK welcomes the Government’s publication of the Clean Growth Strategy. The UK offshore oil and gas industry strives to reduce its emissions and CO2 emissions from production have fallen by 30% since 2000 – now accounting for just 3% of total domestic CO2 emissions. This downward trend is expected to continue.

“Oil and gas play a vital role in the UK’s energy mix with our own domestic resources meeting over half of our demand in 2016. Their importance in the UK’s energy mix will continue for decades to come with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy indicating they will continue to meet approximately two thirds demand by 2035.

“With up to 20 billion barrels of oil and gas still to recover from the UK Continental Shelf, industry is well placed to provide an indigenous resource to help meet this energy need, whilst supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs across the UK.

“Additionally, meeting demand with domestic hydrocarbons eases our reliance on international resources, ensures we protect security of energy supply and mitigates against carbon leakage.

“Gas has transformed the UK’s power sector in recent years, with a significant coal-to-gas switching in the power mix achieving cost-effective emissions reductions. This switching made a major contribution to an estimated 20% fall in UK power sector emissions in 2016, underlining the important role gas should continue to play as part of a cost-effective decarbonisation of the energy system.

“Oil & Gas UK welcomes the Government’s commitment to technology in the strategy, especially with regards to carbon abatement measures such as Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage. Oil & Gas UK looks forward to working with the Government to see how these technologies can further reduce emissions across the economy.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on 01224 577279 / jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk.

Oil & Gas UK is the leading representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Its membership comprises oil and gas producers and contractor companies.

 

Fresh insight into UK oil and gas jobs scene captured in new report

New data providing more insight into the employment picture of the UK offshore oil and gas industry is published today (7 October) by Oil & Gas UK – the sector’s trade body.

The people working on offshore installations are a key focus of the Workforce Report which reveals the areas they travel from across the UK to get to their jobs offshore and how many are based in different regions of the UK Continental Shelf.

The report also looks at total employment for the industry and shows the regions across the UK where jobs are based.  Also highlighted are the other diverse industries – including financial services, retail and construction – where jobs are supported by the UK oil and gas sector.

The report says:

  • Industry supports more than 302,000[1] jobs with almost 60% of those in England, 38% in Scotland and the remainder across Northern Ireland and Wales.
  • The latest employment estimate is 160,000 lower than the peak of more than 460,000 jobs in 2014 – but the pace of contraction has slowed.
  • More than 52,000 people travelled offshore in the UK in 2016.
  • Of those, almost 24,000 are the core offshore workforce – people who spend more than 100 days on installations on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).
  • The number of core workers – directly linked to industry activity levels and spend – has seen a reduction of around 5,300 (18%) since 2014, when capital investment was at its peak, before the downturn.
  • Activity growth west of Shetland has resulted in the region seeing the greatest rise in offshore employment – more than doubling since 2014 to 4,304 offshore workers last year.
  • There has been a 42% increase in production per core worker since 2014, driven by industry efficiency improvements as well as higher volumes produced from redeveloped fields and new start-ups.
  • As the offshore population contracts, the average age of offshore workers has increased slightly by two years over the last two years to 42.7 – but is still roughly in line with the UK average.
  • Around 15% of the offshore workforce are non-British citizens – about half of whom are from other EU countries.
  • Other sectors where jobs are supported by the UK oil and gas industry include manufacturing, construction, metal products, finance, retail, and civil engineering, highlighting the economic reach of this industry and its importance to the wider UK economy.

Report author Alix Thom, Workforce Engagement and Skills Manager with Oil & Gas UK, said: “Our report sheds more light on the employment of an industry that has seen a significant contraction because of the global downturn.

“While employment has fallen over the last two years, the rate of contraction appears to be slowing and we are seeing more positive signs, such as increased activity west of Shetland.

“With billions of barrels of oil and gas still to be recovered from the North Sea, we need more fresh investment into the basin to drive new activity and help safeguard the hundreds of thousands of UK wide jobs our sector continues to support.”

The report can be seen here.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

The Workforce Report 2017 expands on the industry employment data published within Oil & Gas UK’s Economic Report 2017.

It provides more detail on the total employment supported across the whole upstream industry, both on and offshore, and draws on the Vantage Personnel on Board data to look exclusively at the breakdown of the offshore workforce.

Meanwhile, as part of its effort to attract more investment into the UK Continental Shelf and drive new activity and help safeguard jobs, Oil & Gas UK has submitted its asks of Treasury from the forthcoming Autumn Budget. The trade body is calling for:

  • Continued public commitment to the Driving Investment Plan – as this provides investors with the required fiscal predictability and confidence to invest in the UKCS.
  • Enabling Transferable Tax History – allowing a part of tax history to transfer from the seller to the buyer of North Sea oil and gas assets, which allows assets to move to those most suited to extend the productive life of the basin.
  • Support for the supply chain – by improving access to finance and recognition of competitiveness, attracting new investment.

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on 01224 577279 / jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk.

Oil & Gas UK is the leading representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Its membership comprises oil and gas producers and contractor companies.

[1] The number covers the full spectrum of employment – direct, indirect, and induced jobs.

  • Direct – those employed by companies extracting oil and gas.
  • Indirect – those who provide goods and services for an oil and gas company.
  • Induced – local economy jobs that benefit from the sector eg hospitality.

Statoil announcement welcomed by Oil & Gas UK

Responding to Statoil’s announcement that it has made an oil discovery in the Verbier prospect on the UK Continental Shelf, Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said:

“This is good news from Statoil and partners and we now really hope that the find proves to be commercially appealing and proceeds to development.

“It’s also another signal of confidence in the future of the UK Continental Shelf and the kind of development that should further persuade investors of the benefit of putting their money into this basin which still holds billions of barrels of oil and gas.”

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on 01224 577279 / jphillips@oilandgasuk.co.uk.