Member Login / Register

The trade body for the UK offshore oil and gas industry has given its response to the Brexit, trade and the economic impacts on UK Cities report from the Centre for Economic Performance and Centre for Cities at the London School of Economics.

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said: “We have yet to see details of this report but would welcome discussion with the authors. We commissioned our own study into the possible cost of trade, where our workforce comes from, and the potential impact and opportunities of Brexit. It found that the tariff and trade impact on oil and gas producers would likely be less severe than specific areas of the supply chain that trades goods such as chemicals and plastics internationally.

“We briefed Government on our findings and will continue to work with Government to further understand the potential impact on our sector.

“Industry has worked hard to boost productivity and reduce operating costs. While we are globally competitive, we are sensitive to extra burdens whether that be cost-related or restrictions on movement of personnel needed for critical operations. As such, Government should be aware of the tariff and non-tariff barriers which may be presented.”

 

The latest annual health and safety data published for the UK offshore oil and gas industry signals a continued trend of improving performance despite 2016 being a challenging year, says Oil & Gas UK.

The sector’s trade body today (July 27) publishes its Health & Safety Report 2017 – capturing the significant trends, issues and themes of the sector’s performance on the UK Continental Shelf during 2016.

Highlights of the report – which demonstrates that industry’s continued focus on safety is delivering –  include:

  • Dangerous occurrences – which have the potential to cause serious incidents and include oil and gas releases, dropped objects and fires and explosions – are the lowest on record
  • Six operators had no dangerous occurrences in 2016
  • Major and significant oil and gas releases are at an all-time low
  • There were 113 reportable injuries in over 50 million manhours worked offshore – the second lowest number of reportable injuries since the mid-1990s when the safety regulations came into force
    • the most common type of injury were strains and sprains
    • the three-year average non-fatal injury rate is less than half of construction and transport sectors
  • Nine operators had no reportable injuries in 2016
  • Safety critical maintenance backlog continues to reduce

Tragically, there was a fatality in 2016, which occurred during the unpacking of a container offshore, underlining how this major hazard industry can never let up on its drive to achieve the highest levels of safety performance.

Mick Borwell, Health, Safety and Environment Policy Director with Oil & Gas UK, said: “Our report reflects the continued industry-wide effort we make to maintain focus on the safety of our people and operations. That effort is paying back in the form of an improving overall performance.

“Nevertheless, 2016 was a year with fatalities in the UK and Norwegian sectors. The helicopter tragedy off Norway, which took the lives of 13 people, and a further non-fatal helicopter incident in the UK, has led to continued scrutiny of aviation safety. All such incidents are investigated and the findings shared across the sector.

“While these incidents cast a shadow over the year, it is important to recognise where progress has been made.

“Process safety incidents – which includes oil and gas releases, fires or explosions and dropped objects – are at the lowest on record. There has been a sustained overall downward trend in the total number of these hydrocarbon releases reported since a peak in 2004. Prevention of releases remains an absolute priority.

“We are also continuing to see reductions in the safety-critical maintenance backlog – an area industry has worked hard to address.

“The collaborative work across industry to improve safety performance is delivering. However, to drive further improvement, we must maintain our focus and collective determination and ensure that safety remains at the heart of all our operations.”

Oil & Gas UK’s Health & Safety Report 2017 , an infographic and a video of Health & Safety Manager Trish Sentence talking about the report can be downloaded here.

Oil & Gas UK has welcomed the announcement today (26 June) from EnQuest that first oil from the Kraken development has been delivered.

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive, said: “This is very welcome news from EnQuest and further confirmation of the potential of the UK Continental Shelf. The pursuit of oil and gas is always challenging and EnQuest has taken a variety of innovative and efficient steps successfully to complete the large Kraken development project while keeping costs down. Effective partnership working with the supply chain has also played an important part. First oil from Kraken is good for EnQuest and good for our industry. It demonstrates once again what the North Sea can still deliver with the right approach and investment.”

There is still time to shine a spotlight on the people and companies doing their best for offshore health and safety after organisers extended the deadline for entries to this year’s Offshore Safety Awards.

The closing date for nominations to the event – organised by Oil & Gas UK and Step Change in Safety, with Maersk Oil as principal sponsor – has been extended to 12 noon on Friday 2 June.

Mick Borwell, Health, Safety and Environment Policy Director with Oil & Gas UK, said: “We had a really high calibre of entries to our awards when they were held, in their new format, for the first time last year. We’re seeing the same again this year and wish to ensure as many people as possible can submit their entries before judging gets underway in June.”

Les Linklater, Executive Director of Step Change in Safety, said: “The Offshore Safety Awards are all about sharing and learning from the success of others. This is something our industry is embracing and we are really trying to encourage as many people as possible to participate and nominate in this year’s awards. We know there are some amazing organisations and individuals out there who are hugely successful in the safety space and we want to hear from them, and celebrate their achievements.”

There are six categories in the Awards – open to all companies and organisations operating in or involved with UK offshore operations – and they are:

  • Sharing and Learning
  • Workforce Engagement
  • Innovation in Safety
  • Safety Representative of the Year
  • Safety Leadership
  • Operational Integrity

A panel of judges and those attending the awards will decide the winner of each category at the interactive event which takes place on Wednesday 23 August at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.

Following the announcement by Repsol Sinopec Resources UK that first oil has begun to flow from the Shaw  field, Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said:

“This is a tremendous achievement by Repsol Sinopec Resources UK and their commitment to the North Sea is very welcome indeed.

“This is a major redevelopment in an area of the North Sea that has been producing for many years. It combines new and mature field activities that will extend the Montrose area’s productive life and demonstrates the potential that can still flow from the UK Continental Shelf with the right investment.

“At the project’s inception, HM Treasury worked closely with the industry to begin to make the tax regime more competitive. Since then, the tax regime for this basin has improved substantially and is now one of the most fiscally competitive in the world. We look forward to more investment of the kind announced today in order to unlock the billions of barrels of oil and gas that we believe this basin still holds.”

The trade body for the UK oil and gas industry has written to the Prime Minister highlighting research findings that assess the potential impact and opportunities of Brexit on the sector.

The study – commissioned by Oil & Gas UK – looked at the possible cost of trade for the sector and illustrates where the UK sector’s workforce comes from.

On trade costs, the data shows that:

  • Around £73 billion worth of oil and gas related trade (fuel and non-fuel) flows between the UK and the rest of world
  • Approximately £61 billion of this is related to traded goods, which may be subject to tariffs (services account for the remaining £12 billion)
  • Under the current ‘status-quo’ scenario with the UK as part of the EU, the total cost of this trade in goods is around £600 million per annum (less than 2% of the total value of trade subject to tariffs)
  • Under a worst-case scenario where the UK reverts to WTO rules with the EU and the rest of the world, the likely cost of trade will almost double to around £1.1 billion per annum; assuming trading behaviours remain unchanged
  • If the UK can negotiate minimal tariffs with the EU and improved tariffs with the rest of the world, the total cost of trade could fall by around £100 million per annum to £500 million

On labour movement, the data shows:

  • Of those directly employed by the oil and gas industry in the UK, 90% are UK national, 5% are EU workers from countries other than the UK and 5% are non-EU
  • Around 70% of the EU workers in the industry are skilled, with one in two holding managerial roles
  • Oil & Gas UK understands that these skilled roles filled by EU workers are often critical for projects and asks Government to consider these posts when developing domestic immigration policy.

To minimise any Brexit cost burden and to secure beneficial trading conditions, Oil & Gas UK recommends the UK Government prioritises the following during negotiations:

  • Frictionless access to markets and labour
  • Maintaining a strong voice in Europe
  • Protecting energy trading and the internal energy market

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said: “Oil & Gas UK is an apolitical organisation representing a large and diverse membership where there will be a variety of views.  While the trade body can’t take a position on Brexit, we commissioned the research because we need to understand the possible impact on our industry – and the possible opportunities – from exiting the EU.

“We also identified other EU policy issues as critical to the oil and gas industry and will require negotiation with European counterparts, as well as discussions at the domestic level between Government, regulators and industry during the Brexit process.

“During the global industry downturn, our industry has continued to focus on increasing its production efficiency, and on its unit operating costs which have improved by almost 50%.

“We are becoming a more globally competitive industry, but we continue to be very sensitive to any additional burdens either in relation to cost, or restrictions on the movement of key personnel required for critical operations.

“There are still up to 20 billion barrels of oil and gas to recover from the UKCS and, if properly supported, our already world-class supply chain could double its turnover by 2035.

“Oil & Gas UK would welcome discussions with Government officials to outline industry’s concerns and opportunities and help identify a path forward during Brexit negotiations.

“Our request of Government is that any change, whether domestic or European, is managed in a manner that minimises risk to the oil and gas industry and provides predictability and clarity wherever possible, through constructive dialogue and consultation.”

The letter was sent to the Prime Minister on Monday.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:
Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK.  Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on 01224 577279 / [email protected].

The hunt begins again for the men, women and companies going the extra mile for safety in the UK oil and gas industry. 

Individuals and businesses from across the sector are being encouraged to enter this year’s Offshore Safety Awards taking place at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on August 23.

Jointly organised by Oil & Gas UK and Step Change in Safety with Maersk Oil as principal sponsor, the annual safety awards celebrate the people and companies striving to make the UK Continental Shelf as safe as possible.

Nominations for the six categories have opened with a new addition of the Operational Integrity Award –  which recognises a company’s understanding and effective application of risk management in delivering safe operations.

Mick Borwell, Health, Safety and Environment Policy Director with Oil & Gas UK, said:

Mick Borwell, Health, Safety and Environment Policy Director, Oil & Gas UK

“All the winners and finalists in 2016 were extremely worthy and demonstrated high standards and excellent work in promoting safety in their own workplace and across the industry. We look forward to seeing this year’s entries and hope to attract even more people and workplaces where their efforts are having a positive impact on the sector.”

The awards – hosted in a theatre-style ceremony – will see the audience participating in the judging. Finalists will film video selfies and explain on the day what they have been doing to contribute toward safety.

Les Linklater, Executive Director with Step Change in Safety, said: “The offshore and onshore workforce is key to the prevention of major accidents and we should celebrate their hard work and dedication to safety – that’s what is at the heart of Offshore Safety Awards.

“The ceremony also gives the industry an opportunity to share and learn from one another, while also honouring and recognising the important people who play their part in continually improving our safety performance.

“Last year’s award ceremony was well received and we look forward to hosting the next one in August.”

All entries must be submitted by 26 May with the finalists being announced at the end of June.  The categories in the Offshore Safety Awards are:

Mick Borwell with some of last year’s winners.

•        Safety Leadership – for an inspirational leader who motivates and engages their team to work safely.
•        Safety Representative of the Year – for an enthusiastic and committed safety rep that is driving the safety agenda at their worksite.
•        Innovation in Safety – for a company which has put in place a clever process or technique to improve safety either across an organisation or at an individual worksite.
•        Workforce Engagement – for an individual or team which has actively embraced engagement with its workers on safety matters, showing how a commitment to worker involvement in safety has contributed to an improvement in safety performance.
•        Operational Integrity –  for an individual or team which has delivered increased efficiency or understanding of risk by putting in place sensible and proportionate risk management solution(s).
•        Sharing and Learning – for an individual/team or company that can demonstrate a learning and sharing culture either within their organisation, or who has made a significant contribution to health and safety through active participation in, or engagement with Oil & Gas UK or Step Change in Safety.

For full details on the categories and how to enter, please visit: www.offshoresafetyawards.com

 

Welcoming today’s announcement (31 January) that Shell has agreed to sell a package of UK North Sea assets to Chrysaor in a multi-billion pound deal, Oil & Gas UK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said:

“This is a very significant deal and signals a strong vote of confidence in the future of the UK Continental Shelf and the focus on maximising economic recovery.

“With these acquisitions, Chrysaor becomes a leading independent oil and gas company in the UK and one of its largest producers on an equity basis. Maintaining a diversity of operators in the region is crucial and we welcome Shell’s continued significant presence here as well as the arrival of new companies like Chrysaor.

“We also welcome Chrysaor’s intent to explore and invest in its new portfolio; this sends positive signals about the opportunities the UK’s offshore oil and gas basin has to offer.

“This region still has the potential to yield many more millions of barrels of hydrocarbons, helping to meet the country’s primary energy needs, secure jobs and generate wealth for the economy.

“Following on from similar deals in recent months, the new activity that this transaction could generate will be good news for the sector’s supply chain across the UK, which has been severely impacted by the downturn.”

 

 

Commenting on the publication of the Scottish Government’s consultation on its Energy Strategy, Oil & Gas UK’s CEO Deirdre Michie said:

“I welcome the Scottish Government’s recognition that oil and gas has an important part to play in Scotland’s energy mix going forward and that it is committed to supporting the policy of maximising economic recovery of the remaining hydrocarbons on the UK continental shelf.

“As we decarbonise towards 2050 and beyond, this sector can continue to make a significant contribution to Scotland’s economy.

“We support 330,000 jobs in the UK, 45 percent of which are in Scotland and many of which are highly skilled.

“The North East is a centre of excellence in areas such as subsea engineering, with potential to substantially grow the exports of supply chain goods and services, which in 2014 generated revenues of £16 billion for the UK economy.”

Oil & Gas UK in consultation with its members will respond in due course to today’s Energy Strategy and the recently published Climate Change Draft Plan.

In welcoming the publication of the UK Government’s green paper “Building our Industrial Strategy”, Oil & Gas UK’s CEO Deirdre Michie said:

“We look forward to contributing to the consultation on the Industrial Strategy to ensure that Government policy recognises and supports the importance of the vital upstream sector to the UK.  We are developers of cutting edge technology, providing highly skilled jobs, helping to power the nation and exporting to the world.  Furthermore, with up to an estimated 20 billion barrels of oil and gas to recover, the UK offshore oil and gas industry still has enormous potential to drive this country’s growth.

“The sector has contributed over £330 billion in corporate taxes since production began and currently still supports around 330,000 jobs across the UK.  Our supply chain is worth almost £30 billion and around 40 per cent of this is made up from exports.

“We welcome the focus on growing productivity, innovation and research and on managing the skills challenge.  As a UK wide industry, with hubs from Shetland to Southampton, we also welcome the focus on regionalisation.

“We firmly believe that the UK needs a strong and vital indigenous oil and gas industry underpinning the UK’s economic prosperity.

“The current industry downturn is extremely challenging for many of our members and we believe the industrial strategy can be a lever to ensure that this economic success story survives and continues to underpin the UK’s economic prosperity.

“Oil & Gas UK will coordinate industry and stakeholders in building a case for a sector deal that help towards that aim, deepening and developing centres of excellence from technology and decommissioning to subsea.”

 

The Offshore Helicopter Safety Leadership Group (OHSLG) is a tripartite group established through the amalgamation of the CAA’s Offshore Helicopter Safety Action Group (OHSAG) and Step Change in Safety’s Helicopter Safety Steering Group (HSSG).  It is jointly chaired by John McColl (CAA) and Mark Abbey (CHC).  Step Change in Safety act as the secretariat for the group and Oil & Gas UK is among the members.

Offshore Helicopter Safety Leadership Group, said: “This morning Sikorsky released an Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) for the S-92 requiring a onetime visual inspection of the Tail Rotor Pitch Change Shaft and Bearing assembly on the world wide S92 fleet prior to the next flight.

“This precautionary inspection is not a grounding, and will allow helicopter operators to carry out the request, which is additional to current routine inspections.  The Sikorsky ASB is mandatory and so will be complied with by helicopter operators worldwide, and requires operators to undertake:

 

  • One-off inspections of the tail rotor and bearing assemblies before the next flight.
  • A specific check of Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) data for each aircraft HUMS will detect early indications of any sign of failure. The operators will have completed the checks on all the aircraft by midday tomorrow (Wednesday 11th January, 2017). It is expected that during the next 24 hours there will be a phased return of aircraft following full return to service testing.

“Clearly the priority is to ensure that both passengers and crew are safe and it is important to maintain a precautionary stance in what is an ongoing investigation. As we receive information we will deliver it to our members, clients and the workforce.”

 

Mick Borwell, Health, Safety and Environment Policy Director, Oil & Gas UK

 

Mick Borwell, Health, Safety and Environment Director with Oil & Gas UK, said:

“This is the expected response from a helicopter manufacturer when a potential problem has been identified. It is a precautionary measure to ensure the continued safe transportation of the workforce.  There will be some short term disruption to operations while these checks are carried out but every possible step will be taken to minimise that. We will continue to monitor events. We support any steps being taken to further ensure the safe travel of the UK offshore workforce.”

 

A new publication to help guide the growing use offshore of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) – also known as drones – has been published by Oil & Gas UK.

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Operations Management Standards and Guidelines were developed by a work group set up by the trade body, involving industry and aviation safety experts, plus UAS operators.

Mick Borwell, health, safety and environment director with Oil & Gas UK, explained: “A small but increasing number of oil and gas operators are using UAS for inspections predominantly, but also for aerial photography, surveying and security.

“The technology is particularly attractive for its use in improving safety. For example, sending unmanned aircraft instead of people into confined spaces to conduct inspections reduces risk, and is also effective and efficient.  We expect their usage to grow.”

The new guidelines aim to achieve consistency with the high safety and operating standards already adopted on the UK Continental Shelf for offshore oil and gas production and helicopter flight operations.

“The intention is to encourage offshore operators planning on using this emerging technology to think about the whole operating and safety system offshore and not just the air vehicle,” said Mr Borwell.

“The guidelines have evolved from lessons learned in recent years and provide information about best practice, procedures and the certification needed to be compliant with UAS regulations. They are an important piece of work addressing the application of a new technology to the offshore environment which will help to ensure operations on the North Sea remain as safe as they can be.”

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Operations Management Standards and Guidelines can be downloaded from the Oil & Gas UK website  and are free to members and £60 to non-members.

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. For more information contact Communications Adviser Jennifer Phillips on [email protected] or 01224 577279.

Responding to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement today Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive said:
“We are pleased to hear the Chancellor re-commit to HM Treasury’s Driving Investment plan today. This sends a strong signal to investors that the government recognises that the UK oil and gas tax regime needs to be predictable and internationally competitive.

“Today’s Treasury forecasts show our industry will be contributing £10 billion more in production taxes over the next five years than was previously expected. While this can be attributed in part to changes in commodity prices and exchange rates it also reflects the significant work of industry to make our operations more efficient and to increase production.

“Our industry can make a vital contribution in delivering the Chancellor’s ambitions for the economy and the government’s industrial strategy. We are developers of cutting edge technology, providing highly skilled jobs, helping power to the nation and exporting to the world.

“We will continue to work with Treasury on the important issue of decommissioning tax relief, key to stimulating investment and activity for the supply chain which we hope to see resolved by the 2017 Budget.

“The sector is still in urgent need of fresh investment and we need government to keep working with us to ensure a competitive business environment.”

A new report forecasts a gradual but steady rise in offshore oil and gas decommissioning in the UK and Norway over the next ten years, with activity growing from a market worth over £2 billion in 2015.

Decommissioning Insight 2016, is launched today (15 November) by Oil & Gas UK, the leading trade association for the UK offshore oil and gas industry, at an industry conference on decommissioning in St Andrews, sponsored by Aberdeen Harbour Board.

The report is the first survey of both the UK and Norwegian decommissioning markets and provides the most comprehensive picture to date of anticipated activity in these two countries between now and 2025.

It confirms that decommissioning is a growing, if still emerging, market, despite low oil prices continuing to challenge the economics of the more mature offshore assets around the North Sea.

Total decommissioning expenditure in the UK and Norway last year was £2.1 billion, compared with just under £1.6 billion in 2014, and represented 5 per cent of total industry expenditure, compared with 2 per cent in 2010.

The total amount forecast to be spent on decommissioning on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) between now and 2025 is £17.6 billion up from £16.9 billion for 2015-2024.

Mike Tholen, Oil & Gas UK’s upstream policy director, said: “With low oil prices continuing, you might expect decommissioning to be a key focus for the sector in the years ahead, however we are not witnessing a rush to decommission.

“Different factors are at play and the picture is much more complex. Some companies are deferring cessation of production as field life has been extended by sustained efficiency improvements; others are delaying activity due to cash-flow constraints; while elsewhere, companies may be expediting decommissioning to take advantage of falling costs in the current downturn.”

While 52 new projects appear for the first time in this year’s report, most of these have been a long time in the planning. Over the next decade, there are more than 100 platforms forecast for complete or partial removal from both the UK and Norwegian continental shelves. Over 1,800 wells are scheduled to be plugged and abandoned and around 7,500 km of pipeline is forecast to be decommissioned.

Mr Tholen continued: “Of the estimated £17.6 billion of decommissioning expenditure on the UKCS over the next ten years, more than 50 per cent of this market will be found in the central North Sea.

“The UK’s supply chain will need to focus on developing a high-quality, cost-efficient and competitive decommissioning capacity to make the most of the opportunity and provide a range of goods and services that can not only be deployed in the UK but also exported overseas.”

Since the 2015 survey, unit costs of decommissioning appear to be falling, particularly for well plugging, abandonment and making safe. This is partly due to a market-driven response to the downturn as associated costs (such as rig rates) have fallen. The industry is also increasingly applying past experience to new decommissioning projects to positive effect.

Oil & Gas UK is working on the MER UK Decommissioning Board with the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy to develop new fit-for-purpose technical, commercial and operational solutions to lower the cost of decommissioning while maintaining high safety and environmental standards.

Mr Tholen added: “There could still be up to 20 billion barrels of oil and gas to recover from the UKCS. If the UK is to continue to gain the full economic benefit from its oil and gas resource, it is important that the industry continues to work with the OGA as well as with HM Treasury to attract fresh investment, avoid premature decommissioning, retain the critical infrastructure needed to access future reserves and ensure decommissioning is carried out in a timely and most cost-effective way.

“We are now working with HM Treasury to explore further avenues in its ‘Driving Investment’ fiscal strategy for the sector, including the possibility of transferring tax relief on decommissioning costs with the sale of assets.”

The 2016 Decommissioning Insight report is available here. An infographic is available here.

Data from a ground breaking high-tech study that has captured the changing shape of the North Sea offshore workforce can now be found on the Oil & Gas UK website.

The trade body, along with Robert Gordon University (RGU), was funded by a Knowledge Transfer Partnership grant to examine workers’ size and shape, hoping that results generated would help guide the future design of offshore safety equipment, as well as the working environment.

The two-year study was led by Dr Arthur Stewart a reader from RGU’s School of Health Sciences and Dr Graham Furnace, Oil & Gas UK’s medical adviser. It has yielded plenty of results, culminating in eight publications so far.

“Our work has characterised the shape of male offshore workers using the latest 3D scanning technology, “ said Dr Stewart. “ With our representative sample we assessed their ability to pass one another in restricted width settings or to exit helicopter windows, to assess buoyant force in survival suits, and have also identified 11 ‘physique clusters’ which typify the workers.”

Mick Borwell, Health, Safety and Environment Policy Director with Oil & Gas UK, said: “It has been an extremely worthwhile partnership involving academia and industry. Findings will help inform all aspects of offshore ergonomics and health and safety, such as survival suit design and space availability in corridors and work environments offshore.

“The research also played a pivotal role in helping guide the work being done on passenger seating in helicopters in the wake of Civil Aviation Authority concerns about passenger size and emergency push-out windows.”

The data – expected to be of particular interest to designers and ergonomics experts – is available here.

ENDS

Issued by the Oil & Gas UK Communications Team. Contact Communications Adviser Jennifer Phillips on 01224 577276/ [email protected]

 

Those who have lost their lives while working in the UK offshore oil and gas industry over the years will be remembered at a special church service taking place in Aberdeen on Saturday (5 November).

The UK Oil & Gas Chaplaincy’s service of remembrance, which is held annually, will take place from 11am at The Kirk of St Nicholas Uniting in Union Street.

This year’s service will be particularly poignant as it takes place the day before the 30th anniversary of industry’s worst aviation accident where 43 passengers and two crew died when a British International Helicopters’ Boeing 234LR Chinook helicopter crashed while approaching Sumburgh Airport.

A large candle will be lit for all the men and women who have died offshore since the industry began some 50 years ago. A candle will then be lit for each of the four men who lost their lives in 2016. The Chinook tragedy will be remembered with the lighting of an additional candle.

The Reverend Pauline Nixon, whose husband was killed in the 1986 Chinook crash, will deliver a short address.

The Act of Remembrance will open with a lone piper playing a lament, followed by the names read aloud of those who have died offshore during the last year.  It will close with a minute’s silence.

The Reverend Gordon Craig, Chaplain to the UK offshore oil and gas industry, is officiating. He said: “It is really important for families to realise their loved ones are still being remembered and respected by the industry. The service is an opportunity to commemorate all those no longer with us.

“Thirty years on from the Chinook crash may seem like a long time but the memories are still vivid for those who lost their loved ones suddenly and tragically. The pain may be more manageable but there will still be times when the loss is felt deeply.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:
Any members of the media wishing to attend the service should contact Jennifer Phillips, Communications Adviser, Oil & Gas UK – [email protected] / 01224 577279.

Click on the links for more information about Remembrance Day Service and the Chaplaincy’s Book of Remembrance.

 

Those who have lost their lives while working in the UK offshore oil and gas industry over the years will be remembered at a special church service taking place in Aberdeen on Saturday (5 November).

The UK Oil & Gas Chaplaincy’s service of remembrance, which is held annually, will take place from 11am at The Kirk of St Nicholas Uniting in Union Street.

This years’ service will be particularly poignant as it takes place the day before the 30th anniversary of industry’s worst aviation accident where 43 passengers and two crew died when a British International Helicopters’ Boeing 234LR Chinook helicopter crashed while approaching Sumburgh Airport.

A large candle will be lit for all the men and women who have died offshore since the industry began some 50 years ago. A candle will then be lit for each of the four men who lost their lives in 2016. The Chinook tragedy will be remembered with the lighting of additional candle.

The Reverend Pauline Nixon, whose husband was killed in the 1986 Chinook crash, will deliver a short address.

The Act of Remembrance will open with a lone piper playing a lament, followed by the names read aloud of those who have died offshore during the last year.  It will close with a minute’s silence.

The Reverend Gordon Craig, Chaplain to the UK offshore oil and gas industry, is officiating. He said: “It is really important for families to realise their loved ones are still being remembered and respected by the industry. The service is an opportunity to commemorate all those no longer with us.

“Thirty years on from the Chinook crash may seem like a long time but the memories are still vivid for those who lost their loved ones suddenly and tragically. The pain may be more manageable but there will still be times when the loss is felt deeply.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Any members of the media wishing to attend the service should contact Jennifer Phillips, Communications Adviser, Oil & Gas UK – [email protected] / 01224 577279.

Click on the links for more information about Remembrance Day Service and the Chaplaincy’s Book of Remembrance.

 

 

Scotland’s First Minister today (19 September) heard at first hand the steps the UK oil and gas industry is taking to navigate its way through the downturn.

Nicola Sturgeon MSP met with senior industry leaders of Oil & Gas UK’s board at the trade body’s Aberdeen offices this afternoon.

The First Minister said: “I was delighted to meet with the Board of Oil & Gas UK today, which continues our close engagement with the industry to overcome the challenges it currently faces.

“While last week’s Oil and Gas Production statistics demonstrate that the industry is adapting to the current period of low prices, I am under no illusions about the significant challenges that remain. We must be ready to capitalise when the upturn comes, and it is encouraging that companies like Statoil are continuing to invest in the North Sea.

“We are doing all we can to support the industry, and I am pleased to say that Scottish Government is delivering on the support announced earlier this year, with over 600 people having their applications for support approved through our 3-year Transition Training Fund, and separately, we’ve committed £1.1 million to projects to boost business resilience. I’m also pleased to confirm that around 70 innovation projects with a total project value of around £16 million have benefited from £7 million of Scottish Government support to help firms reduce the risks associated with research and development.”

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, added: “We appreciated the First Minister taking time to come and speak with us in Aberdeen. We were able to give her an update on the performance of the UK offshore industry and an overview of what industry is doing to manage its way through one of the toughest times it has ever had to deal with.

“Industry has worked hard to significantly improve efficiency and lower its costs and we gave some examples as to what has been achieved under the leadership of the industry-led Efficiency Task Force.

“Our sector has had good support from the Scottish and UK Governments and we sincerely hope that this will continue in the coming months.”

The First Minister’s visit comes just ahead of Oil & Gas UK publishing its flagship Economic Report – the definitive guide to the current health and future prospects of the UK offshore oil and gas industry.

The report is being launched at a business breakfast in Aberdeen on September 27, a lunch briefing in Norwich also on September 27, as well as an event in Teeside on September 28 and in London on September 29.

To book your place contact the events team at [email protected]

Media are also welcome to attend.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:
Photographs are available of the First Minister meeting Oil & Gas UK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie and industry leaders. Contact Oil & Gas Communications Adviser Jennifer Phillips to arrange on 01224 577279 / [email protected]

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.

Adam Davey, market and intelligence manager, Oil & Gas UK said:

“The production increase we can see from today’s figures is the result of not only the hard work industry has done to improve efficiency, but also the massive boost of investment we have seen in recent years, which peaked at a record £14.8 billion of capital investment in 2014.

“While the efficiency drive by industry has helped to reduce the cost of doing business in the region, more needs to be done to ensure the UK Continental Shelf is an attractive investment proposition for those looking to undertake new exploration and develop assets.

“Oil & Gas UK’s flagship Economic Report, due out later this month, will provide more evidence on why industry, governments, HM Treasury and the Oil and Gas Authority must work together to create a low tax, high activity province which can continue to support the important supply chain based here and position our sector in the best place to take advantage of any potential upturn.”

ENDS
Notes to Editors
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.
Issued by Lucy Coleman, Communications Manager, Oil & Gas UK – contact [email protected] and tel: 01224 577343.

Brexit cities report – Oil & Gas UK response

The trade body for the UK offshore oil and gas industry has given its response to the Brexit, trade and the economic impacts on UK Cities report from the Centre for Economic Performance and Centre for Cities at the London School of Economics.

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said: “We have yet to see details of this report but would welcome discussion with the authors. We commissioned our own study into the possible cost of trade, where our workforce comes from, and the potential impact and opportunities of Brexit. It found that the tariff and trade impact on oil and gas producers would likely be less severe than specific areas of the supply chain that trades goods such as chemicals and plastics internationally.

“We briefed Government on our findings and will continue to work with Government to further understand the potential impact on our sector.

“Industry has worked hard to boost productivity and reduce operating costs. While we are globally competitive, we are sensitive to extra burdens whether that be cost-related or restrictions on movement of personnel needed for critical operations. As such, Government should be aware of the tariff and non-tariff barriers which may be presented.”

 

Key report shows safety further improving in UK offshore oil and gas

The latest annual health and safety data published for the UK offshore oil and gas industry signals a continued trend of improving performance despite 2016 being a challenging year, says Oil & Gas UK.

The sector’s trade body today (July 27) publishes its Health & Safety Report 2017 – capturing the significant trends, issues and themes of the sector’s performance on the UK Continental Shelf during 2016.

Highlights of the report – which demonstrates that industry’s continued focus on safety is delivering –  include:

  • Dangerous occurrences – which have the potential to cause serious incidents and include oil and gas releases, dropped objects and fires and explosions – are the lowest on record
  • Six operators had no dangerous occurrences in 2016
  • Major and significant oil and gas releases are at an all-time low
  • There were 113 reportable injuries in over 50 million manhours worked offshore – the second lowest number of reportable injuries since the mid-1990s when the safety regulations came into force
    • the most common type of injury were strains and sprains
    • the three-year average non-fatal injury rate is less than half of construction and transport sectors
  • Nine operators had no reportable injuries in 2016
  • Safety critical maintenance backlog continues to reduce

Tragically, there was a fatality in 2016, which occurred during the unpacking of a container offshore, underlining how this major hazard industry can never let up on its drive to achieve the highest levels of safety performance.

Mick Borwell, Health, Safety and Environment Policy Director with Oil & Gas UK, said: “Our report reflects the continued industry-wide effort we make to maintain focus on the safety of our people and operations. That effort is paying back in the form of an improving overall performance.

“Nevertheless, 2016 was a year with fatalities in the UK and Norwegian sectors. The helicopter tragedy off Norway, which took the lives of 13 people, and a further non-fatal helicopter incident in the UK, has led to continued scrutiny of aviation safety. All such incidents are investigated and the findings shared across the sector.

“While these incidents cast a shadow over the year, it is important to recognise where progress has been made.

“Process safety incidents – which includes oil and gas releases, fires or explosions and dropped objects – are at the lowest on record. There has been a sustained overall downward trend in the total number of these hydrocarbon releases reported since a peak in 2004. Prevention of releases remains an absolute priority.

“We are also continuing to see reductions in the safety-critical maintenance backlog – an area industry has worked hard to address.

“The collaborative work across industry to improve safety performance is delivering. However, to drive further improvement, we must maintain our focus and collective determination and ensure that safety remains at the heart of all our operations.”

Oil & Gas UK’s Health & Safety Report 2017 , an infographic and a video of Health & Safety Manager Trish Sentence talking about the report can be downloaded here.

Kraken first oil welcomed by Oil & Gas UK

Oil & Gas UK has welcomed the announcement today (26 June) from EnQuest that first oil from the Kraken development has been delivered.

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive, said: “This is very welcome news from EnQuest and further confirmation of the potential of the UK Continental Shelf. The pursuit of oil and gas is always challenging and EnQuest has taken a variety of innovative and efficient steps successfully to complete the large Kraken development project while keeping costs down. Effective partnership working with the supply chain has also played an important part. First oil from Kraken is good for EnQuest and good for our industry. It demonstrates once again what the North Sea can still deliver with the right approach and investment.”

Deadline extended for Offshore Safety Awards

There is still time to shine a spotlight on the people and companies doing their best for offshore health and safety after organisers extended the deadline for entries to this year’s Offshore Safety Awards.

The closing date for nominations to the event – organised by Oil & Gas UK and Step Change in Safety, with Maersk Oil as principal sponsor – has been extended to 12 noon on Friday 2 June.

Mick Borwell, Health, Safety and Environment Policy Director with Oil & Gas UK, said: “We had a really high calibre of entries to our awards when they were held, in their new format, for the first time last year. We’re seeing the same again this year and wish to ensure as many people as possible can submit their entries before judging gets underway in June.”

Les Linklater, Executive Director of Step Change in Safety, said: “The Offshore Safety Awards are all about sharing and learning from the success of others. This is something our industry is embracing and we are really trying to encourage as many people as possible to participate and nominate in this year’s awards. We know there are some amazing organisations and individuals out there who are hugely successful in the safety space and we want to hear from them, and celebrate their achievements.”

There are six categories in the Awards – open to all companies and organisations operating in or involved with UK offshore operations – and they are:

  • Sharing and Learning
  • Workforce Engagement
  • Innovation in Safety
  • Safety Representative of the Year
  • Safety Leadership
  • Operational Integrity

A panel of judges and those attending the awards will decide the winner of each category at the interactive event which takes place on Wednesday 23 August at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.

Trade body welcomes first oil from Montrose Area Redevelopment

Following the announcement by Repsol Sinopec Resources UK that first oil has begun to flow from the Shaw  field, Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said:

“This is a tremendous achievement by Repsol Sinopec Resources UK and their commitment to the North Sea is very welcome indeed.

“This is a major redevelopment in an area of the North Sea that has been producing for many years. It combines new and mature field activities that will extend the Montrose area’s productive life and demonstrates the potential that can still flow from the UK Continental Shelf with the right investment.

“At the project’s inception, HM Treasury worked closely with the industry to begin to make the tax regime more competitive. Since then, the tax regime for this basin has improved substantially and is now one of the most fiscally competitive in the world. We look forward to more investment of the kind announced today in order to unlock the billions of barrels of oil and gas that we believe this basin still holds.”

Brexit and the UK oil and gas industry

The trade body for the UK oil and gas industry has written to the Prime Minister highlighting research findings that assess the potential impact and opportunities of Brexit on the sector.

The study – commissioned by Oil & Gas UK – looked at the possible cost of trade for the sector and illustrates where the UK sector’s workforce comes from.

On trade costs, the data shows that:

  • Around £73 billion worth of oil and gas related trade (fuel and non-fuel) flows between the UK and the rest of world
  • Approximately £61 billion of this is related to traded goods, which may be subject to tariffs (services account for the remaining £12 billion)
  • Under the current ‘status-quo’ scenario with the UK as part of the EU, the total cost of this trade in goods is around £600 million per annum (less than 2% of the total value of trade subject to tariffs)
  • Under a worst-case scenario where the UK reverts to WTO rules with the EU and the rest of the world, the likely cost of trade will almost double to around £1.1 billion per annum; assuming trading behaviours remain unchanged
  • If the UK can negotiate minimal tariffs with the EU and improved tariffs with the rest of the world, the total cost of trade could fall by around £100 million per annum to £500 million

On labour movement, the data shows:

  • Of those directly employed by the oil and gas industry in the UK, 90% are UK national, 5% are EU workers from countries other than the UK and 5% are non-EU
  • Around 70% of the EU workers in the industry are skilled, with one in two holding managerial roles
  • Oil & Gas UK understands that these skilled roles filled by EU workers are often critical for projects and asks Government to consider these posts when developing domestic immigration policy.

To minimise any Brexit cost burden and to secure beneficial trading conditions, Oil & Gas UK recommends the UK Government prioritises the following during negotiations:

  • Frictionless access to markets and labour
  • Maintaining a strong voice in Europe
  • Protecting energy trading and the internal energy market

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said: “Oil & Gas UK is an apolitical organisation representing a large and diverse membership where there will be a variety of views.  While the trade body can’t take a position on Brexit, we commissioned the research because we need to understand the possible impact on our industry – and the possible opportunities – from exiting the EU.

“We also identified other EU policy issues as critical to the oil and gas industry and will require negotiation with European counterparts, as well as discussions at the domestic level between Government, regulators and industry during the Brexit process.

“During the global industry downturn, our industry has continued to focus on increasing its production efficiency, and on its unit operating costs which have improved by almost 50%.

“We are becoming a more globally competitive industry, but we continue to be very sensitive to any additional burdens either in relation to cost, or restrictions on the movement of key personnel required for critical operations.

“There are still up to 20 billion barrels of oil and gas to recover from the UKCS and, if properly supported, our already world-class supply chain could double its turnover by 2035.

“Oil & Gas UK would welcome discussions with Government officials to outline industry’s concerns and opportunities and help identify a path forward during Brexit negotiations.

“Our request of Government is that any change, whether domestic or European, is managed in a manner that minimises risk to the oil and gas industry and provides predictability and clarity wherever possible, through constructive dialogue and consultation.”

The letter was sent to the Prime Minister on Monday.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:
Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK.  Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on 01224 577279 / [email protected].

Safety champions wanted for industry awards

The hunt begins again for the men, women and companies going the extra mile for safety in the UK oil and gas industry. 

Individuals and businesses from across the sector are being encouraged to enter this year’s Offshore Safety Awards taking place at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on August 23.

Jointly organised by Oil & Gas UK and Step Change in Safety with Maersk Oil as principal sponsor, the annual safety awards celebrate the people and companies striving to make the UK Continental Shelf as safe as possible.

Nominations for the six categories have opened with a new addition of the Operational Integrity Award –  which recognises a company’s understanding and effective application of risk management in delivering safe operations.

Mick Borwell, Health, Safety and Environment Policy Director with Oil & Gas UK, said:

Mick Borwell, Health, Safety and Environment Policy Director, Oil & Gas UK

“All the winners and finalists in 2016 were extremely worthy and demonstrated high standards and excellent work in promoting safety in their own workplace and across the industry. We look forward to seeing this year’s entries and hope to attract even more people and workplaces where their efforts are having a positive impact on the sector.”

The awards – hosted in a theatre-style ceremony – will see the audience participating in the judging. Finalists will film video selfies and explain on the day what they have been doing to contribute toward safety.

Les Linklater, Executive Director with Step Change in Safety, said: “The offshore and onshore workforce is key to the prevention of major accidents and we should celebrate their hard work and dedication to safety – that’s what is at the heart of Offshore Safety Awards.

“The ceremony also gives the industry an opportunity to share and learn from one another, while also honouring and recognising the important people who play their part in continually improving our safety performance.

“Last year’s award ceremony was well received and we look forward to hosting the next one in August.”

All entries must be submitted by 26 May with the finalists being announced at the end of June.  The categories in the Offshore Safety Awards are:

Mick Borwell with some of last year’s winners.

•        Safety Leadership – for an inspirational leader who motivates and engages their team to work safely.
•        Safety Representative of the Year – for an enthusiastic and committed safety rep that is driving the safety agenda at their worksite.
•        Innovation in Safety – for a company which has put in place a clever process or technique to improve safety either across an organisation or at an individual worksite.
•        Workforce Engagement – for an individual or team which has actively embraced engagement with its workers on safety matters, showing how a commitment to worker involvement in safety has contributed to an improvement in safety performance.
•        Operational Integrity –  for an individual or team which has delivered increased efficiency or understanding of risk by putting in place sensible and proportionate risk management solution(s).
•        Sharing and Learning – for an individual/team or company that can demonstrate a learning and sharing culture either within their organisation, or who has made a significant contribution to health and safety through active participation in, or engagement with Oil & Gas UK or Step Change in Safety.

For full details on the categories and how to enter, please visit: www.offshoresafetyawards.com

Oil & Gas UK welcomes Shell’s multi-billion pound deal with Chrysaor

 

Welcoming today’s announcement (31 January) that Shell has agreed to sell a package of UK North Sea assets to Chrysaor in a multi-billion pound deal, Oil & Gas UK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said:

“This is a very significant deal and signals a strong vote of confidence in the future of the UK Continental Shelf and the focus on maximising economic recovery.

“With these acquisitions, Chrysaor becomes a leading independent oil and gas company in the UK and one of its largest producers on an equity basis. Maintaining a diversity of operators in the region is crucial and we welcome Shell’s continued significant presence here as well as the arrival of new companies like Chrysaor.

“We also welcome Chrysaor’s intent to explore and invest in its new portfolio; this sends positive signals about the opportunities the UK’s offshore oil and gas basin has to offer.

“This region still has the potential to yield many more millions of barrels of hydrocarbons, helping to meet the country’s primary energy needs, secure jobs and generate wealth for the economy.

“Following on from similar deals in recent months, the new activity that this transaction could generate will be good news for the sector’s supply chain across the UK, which has been severely impacted by the downturn.”

 

 

Oil & Gas UK comments on the Scottish Government’s Energy Strategy

Commenting on the publication of the Scottish Government’s consultation on its Energy Strategy, Oil & Gas UK’s CEO Deirdre Michie said:

“I welcome the Scottish Government’s recognition that oil and gas has an important part to play in Scotland’s energy mix going forward and that it is committed to supporting the policy of maximising economic recovery of the remaining hydrocarbons on the UK continental shelf.

“As we decarbonise towards 2050 and beyond, this sector can continue to make a significant contribution to Scotland’s economy.

“We support 330,000 jobs in the UK, 45 percent of which are in Scotland and many of which are highly skilled.

“The North East is a centre of excellence in areas such as subsea engineering, with potential to substantially grow the exports of supply chain goods and services, which in 2014 generated revenues of £16 billion for the UK economy.”

Oil & Gas UK in consultation with its members will respond in due course to today’s Energy Strategy and the recently published Climate Change Draft Plan.

Oil & Gas UK response to the Industrial Strategy green paper

In welcoming the publication of the UK Government’s green paper “Building our Industrial Strategy”, Oil & Gas UK’s CEO Deirdre Michie said:

“We look forward to contributing to the consultation on the Industrial Strategy to ensure that Government policy recognises and supports the importance of the vital upstream sector to the UK.  We are developers of cutting edge technology, providing highly skilled jobs, helping to power the nation and exporting to the world.  Furthermore, with up to an estimated 20 billion barrels of oil and gas to recover, the UK offshore oil and gas industry still has enormous potential to drive this country’s growth.

“The sector has contributed over £330 billion in corporate taxes since production began and currently still supports around 330,000 jobs across the UK.  Our supply chain is worth almost £30 billion and around 40 per cent of this is made up from exports.

“We welcome the focus on growing productivity, innovation and research and on managing the skills challenge.  As a UK wide industry, with hubs from Shetland to Southampton, we also welcome the focus on regionalisation.

“We firmly believe that the UK needs a strong and vital indigenous oil and gas industry underpinning the UK’s economic prosperity.

“The current industry downturn is extremely challenging for many of our members and we believe the industrial strategy can be a lever to ensure that this economic success story survives and continues to underpin the UK’s economic prosperity.

“Oil & Gas UK will coordinate industry and stakeholders in building a case for a sector deal that help towards that aim, deepening and developing centres of excellence from technology and decommissioning to subsea.”

Offshore Helicopter Safety Leadership Group statement re S-92 helicopter alert service bulletin

 

The Offshore Helicopter Safety Leadership Group (OHSLG) is a tripartite group established through the amalgamation of the CAA’s Offshore Helicopter Safety Action Group (OHSAG) and Step Change in Safety’s Helicopter Safety Steering Group (HSSG).  It is jointly chaired by John McColl (CAA) and Mark Abbey (CHC).  Step Change in Safety act as the secretariat for the group and Oil & Gas UK is among the members.

Offshore Helicopter Safety Leadership Group, said: “This morning Sikorsky released an Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) for the S-92 requiring a onetime visual inspection of the Tail Rotor Pitch Change Shaft and Bearing assembly on the world wide S92 fleet prior to the next flight.

“This precautionary inspection is not a grounding, and will allow helicopter operators to carry out the request, which is additional to current routine inspections.  The Sikorsky ASB is mandatory and so will be complied with by helicopter operators worldwide, and requires operators to undertake:

 

  • One-off inspections of the tail rotor and bearing assemblies before the next flight.
  • A specific check of Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) data for each aircraft HUMS will detect early indications of any sign of failure. The operators will have completed the checks on all the aircraft by midday tomorrow (Wednesday 11th January, 2017). It is expected that during the next 24 hours there will be a phased return of aircraft following full return to service testing.

“Clearly the priority is to ensure that both passengers and crew are safe and it is important to maintain a precautionary stance in what is an ongoing investigation. As we receive information we will deliver it to our members, clients and the workforce.”

 

S-92 Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin – Oil & Gas UK response

Mick Borwell, Health, Safety and Environment Policy Director, Oil & Gas UK

 

Mick Borwell, Health, Safety and Environment Director with Oil & Gas UK, said:

“This is the expected response from a helicopter manufacturer when a potential problem has been identified. It is a precautionary measure to ensure the continued safe transportation of the workforce.  There will be some short term disruption to operations while these checks are carried out but every possible step will be taken to minimise that. We will continue to monitor events. We support any steps being taken to further ensure the safe travel of the UK offshore workforce.”

 

New guidelines for the use of drones offshore

A new publication to help guide the growing use offshore of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) – also known as drones – has been published by Oil & Gas UK.

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Operations Management Standards and Guidelines were developed by a work group set up by the trade body, involving industry and aviation safety experts, plus UAS operators.

Mick Borwell, health, safety and environment director with Oil & Gas UK, explained: “A small but increasing number of oil and gas operators are using UAS for inspections predominantly, but also for aerial photography, surveying and security.

“The technology is particularly attractive for its use in improving safety. For example, sending unmanned aircraft instead of people into confined spaces to conduct inspections reduces risk, and is also effective and efficient.  We expect their usage to grow.”

The new guidelines aim to achieve consistency with the high safety and operating standards already adopted on the UK Continental Shelf for offshore oil and gas production and helicopter flight operations.

“The intention is to encourage offshore operators planning on using this emerging technology to think about the whole operating and safety system offshore and not just the air vehicle,” said Mr Borwell.

“The guidelines have evolved from lessons learned in recent years and provide information about best practice, procedures and the certification needed to be compliant with UAS regulations. They are an important piece of work addressing the application of a new technology to the offshore environment which will help to ensure operations on the North Sea remain as safe as they can be.”

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Operations Management Standards and Guidelines can be downloaded from the Oil & Gas UK website  and are free to members and £60 to non-members.

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. For more information contact Communications Adviser Jennifer Phillips on [email protected] or 01224 577279.

Oil & Gas UK response to the Autumn Statement

Responding to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement today Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive said:
“We are pleased to hear the Chancellor re-commit to HM Treasury’s Driving Investment plan today. This sends a strong signal to investors that the government recognises that the UK oil and gas tax regime needs to be predictable and internationally competitive.

“Today’s Treasury forecasts show our industry will be contributing £10 billion more in production taxes over the next five years than was previously expected. While this can be attributed in part to changes in commodity prices and exchange rates it also reflects the significant work of industry to make our operations more efficient and to increase production.

“Our industry can make a vital contribution in delivering the Chancellor’s ambitions for the economy and the government’s industrial strategy. We are developers of cutting edge technology, providing highly skilled jobs, helping power to the nation and exporting to the world.

“We will continue to work with Treasury on the important issue of decommissioning tax relief, key to stimulating investment and activity for the supply chain which we hope to see resolved by the 2017 Budget.

“The sector is still in urgent need of fresh investment and we need government to keep working with us to ensure a competitive business environment.”

North Sea decommissioning to grow steadily in UK and Norway over next ten years

A new report forecasts a gradual but steady rise in offshore oil and gas decommissioning in the UK and Norway over the next ten years, with activity growing from a market worth over £2 billion in 2015.

Decommissioning Insight 2016, is launched today (15 November) by Oil & Gas UK, the leading trade association for the UK offshore oil and gas industry, at an industry conference on decommissioning in St Andrews, sponsored by Aberdeen Harbour Board.

The report is the first survey of both the UK and Norwegian decommissioning markets and provides the most comprehensive picture to date of anticipated activity in these two countries between now and 2025.

It confirms that decommissioning is a growing, if still emerging, market, despite low oil prices continuing to challenge the economics of the more mature offshore assets around the North Sea.

Total decommissioning expenditure in the UK and Norway last year was £2.1 billion, compared with just under £1.6 billion in 2014, and represented 5 per cent of total industry expenditure, compared with 2 per cent in 2010.

The total amount forecast to be spent on decommissioning on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) between now and 2025 is £17.6 billion up from £16.9 billion for 2015-2024.

Mike Tholen, Oil & Gas UK’s upstream policy director, said: “With low oil prices continuing, you might expect decommissioning to be a key focus for the sector in the years ahead, however we are not witnessing a rush to decommission.

“Different factors are at play and the picture is much more complex. Some companies are deferring cessation of production as field life has been extended by sustained efficiency improvements; others are delaying activity due to cash-flow constraints; while elsewhere, companies may be expediting decommissioning to take advantage of falling costs in the current downturn.”

While 52 new projects appear for the first time in this year’s report, most of these have been a long time in the planning. Over the next decade, there are more than 100 platforms forecast for complete or partial removal from both the UK and Norwegian continental shelves. Over 1,800 wells are scheduled to be plugged and abandoned and around 7,500 km of pipeline is forecast to be decommissioned.

Mr Tholen continued: “Of the estimated £17.6 billion of decommissioning expenditure on the UKCS over the next ten years, more than 50 per cent of this market will be found in the central North Sea.

“The UK’s supply chain will need to focus on developing a high-quality, cost-efficient and competitive decommissioning capacity to make the most of the opportunity and provide a range of goods and services that can not only be deployed in the UK but also exported overseas.”

Since the 2015 survey, unit costs of decommissioning appear to be falling, particularly for well plugging, abandonment and making safe. This is partly due to a market-driven response to the downturn as associated costs (such as rig rates) have fallen. The industry is also increasingly applying past experience to new decommissioning projects to positive effect.

Oil & Gas UK is working on the MER UK Decommissioning Board with the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy to develop new fit-for-purpose technical, commercial and operational solutions to lower the cost of decommissioning while maintaining high safety and environmental standards.

Mr Tholen added: “There could still be up to 20 billion barrels of oil and gas to recover from the UKCS. If the UK is to continue to gain the full economic benefit from its oil and gas resource, it is important that the industry continues to work with the OGA as well as with HM Treasury to attract fresh investment, avoid premature decommissioning, retain the critical infrastructure needed to access future reserves and ensure decommissioning is carried out in a timely and most cost-effective way.

“We are now working with HM Treasury to explore further avenues in its ‘Driving Investment’ fiscal strategy for the sector, including the possibility of transferring tax relief on decommissioning costs with the sale of assets.”

The 2016 Decommissioning Insight report is available here. An infographic is available here.

Offshore workforce size and shape data now available

Data from a ground breaking high-tech study that has captured the changing shape of the North Sea offshore workforce can now be found on the Oil & Gas UK website.

The trade body, along with Robert Gordon University (RGU), was funded by a Knowledge Transfer Partnership grant to examine workers’ size and shape, hoping that results generated would help guide the future design of offshore safety equipment, as well as the working environment.

The two-year study was led by Dr Arthur Stewart a reader from RGU’s School of Health Sciences and Dr Graham Furnace, Oil & Gas UK’s medical adviser. It has yielded plenty of results, culminating in eight publications so far.

“Our work has characterised the shape of male offshore workers using the latest 3D scanning technology, “ said Dr Stewart. “ With our representative sample we assessed their ability to pass one another in restricted width settings or to exit helicopter windows, to assess buoyant force in survival suits, and have also identified 11 ‘physique clusters’ which typify the workers.”

Mick Borwell, Health, Safety and Environment Policy Director with Oil & Gas UK, said: “It has been an extremely worthwhile partnership involving academia and industry. Findings will help inform all aspects of offshore ergonomics and health and safety, such as survival suit design and space availability in corridors and work environments offshore.

“The research also played a pivotal role in helping guide the work being done on passenger seating in helicopters in the wake of Civil Aviation Authority concerns about passenger size and emergency push-out windows.”

The data – expected to be of particular interest to designers and ergonomics experts – is available here.

ENDS

Issued by the Oil & Gas UK Communications Team. Contact Communications Adviser Jennifer Phillips on 01224 577276/ [email protected]

Remembrance service for the UK oil and gas industry

 

Those who have lost their lives while working in the UK offshore oil and gas industry over the years will be remembered at a special church service taking place in Aberdeen on Saturday (5 November).

The UK Oil & Gas Chaplaincy’s service of remembrance, which is held annually, will take place from 11am at The Kirk of St Nicholas Uniting in Union Street.

This year’s service will be particularly poignant as it takes place the day before the 30th anniversary of industry’s worst aviation accident where 43 passengers and two crew died when a British International Helicopters’ Boeing 234LR Chinook helicopter crashed while approaching Sumburgh Airport.

A large candle will be lit for all the men and women who have died offshore since the industry began some 50 years ago. A candle will then be lit for each of the four men who lost their lives in 2016. The Chinook tragedy will be remembered with the lighting of an additional candle.

The Reverend Pauline Nixon, whose husband was killed in the 1986 Chinook crash, will deliver a short address.

The Act of Remembrance will open with a lone piper playing a lament, followed by the names read aloud of those who have died offshore during the last year.  It will close with a minute’s silence.

The Reverend Gordon Craig, Chaplain to the UK offshore oil and gas industry, is officiating. He said: “It is really important for families to realise their loved ones are still being remembered and respected by the industry. The service is an opportunity to commemorate all those no longer with us.

“Thirty years on from the Chinook crash may seem like a long time but the memories are still vivid for those who lost their loved ones suddenly and tragically. The pain may be more manageable but there will still be times when the loss is felt deeply.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:
Any members of the media wishing to attend the service should contact Jennifer Phillips, Communications Adviser, Oil & Gas UK – [email protected] / 01224 577279.

Click on the links for more information about Remembrance Day Service and the Chaplaincy’s Book of Remembrance.

 

Remembrance service for the UK oil and gas industry

Those who have lost their lives while working in the UK offshore oil and gas industry over the years will be remembered at a special church service taking place in Aberdeen on Saturday (5 November).

The UK Oil & Gas Chaplaincy’s service of remembrance, which is held annually, will take place from 11am at The Kirk of St Nicholas Uniting in Union Street.

This years’ service will be particularly poignant as it takes place the day before the 30th anniversary of industry’s worst aviation accident where 43 passengers and two crew died when a British International Helicopters’ Boeing 234LR Chinook helicopter crashed while approaching Sumburgh Airport.

A large candle will be lit for all the men and women who have died offshore since the industry began some 50 years ago. A candle will then be lit for each of the four men who lost their lives in 2016. The Chinook tragedy will be remembered with the lighting of additional candle.

The Reverend Pauline Nixon, whose husband was killed in the 1986 Chinook crash, will deliver a short address.

The Act of Remembrance will open with a lone piper playing a lament, followed by the names read aloud of those who have died offshore during the last year.  It will close with a minute’s silence.

The Reverend Gordon Craig, Chaplain to the UK offshore oil and gas industry, is officiating. He said: “It is really important for families to realise their loved ones are still being remembered and respected by the industry. The service is an opportunity to commemorate all those no longer with us.

“Thirty years on from the Chinook crash may seem like a long time but the memories are still vivid for those who lost their loved ones suddenly and tragically. The pain may be more manageable but there will still be times when the loss is felt deeply.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Any members of the media wishing to attend the service should contact Jennifer Phillips, Communications Adviser, Oil & Gas UK – [email protected] / 01224 577279.

Click on the links for more information about Remembrance Day Service and the Chaplaincy’s Book of Remembrance.

 

 

First Minister meets oil and gas industry leaders

Scotland’s First Minister today (19 September) heard at first hand the steps the UK oil and gas industry is taking to navigate its way through the downturn.

Nicola Sturgeon MSP met with senior industry leaders of Oil & Gas UK’s board at the trade body’s Aberdeen offices this afternoon.

The First Minister said: “I was delighted to meet with the Board of Oil & Gas UK today, which continues our close engagement with the industry to overcome the challenges it currently faces.

“While last week’s Oil and Gas Production statistics demonstrate that the industry is adapting to the current period of low prices, I am under no illusions about the significant challenges that remain. We must be ready to capitalise when the upturn comes, and it is encouraging that companies like Statoil are continuing to invest in the North Sea.

“We are doing all we can to support the industry, and I am pleased to say that Scottish Government is delivering on the support announced earlier this year, with over 600 people having their applications for support approved through our 3-year Transition Training Fund, and separately, we’ve committed £1.1 million to projects to boost business resilience. I’m also pleased to confirm that around 70 innovation projects with a total project value of around £16 million have benefited from £7 million of Scottish Government support to help firms reduce the risks associated with research and development.”

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, added: “We appreciated the First Minister taking time to come and speak with us in Aberdeen. We were able to give her an update on the performance of the UK offshore industry and an overview of what industry is doing to manage its way through one of the toughest times it has ever had to deal with.

“Industry has worked hard to significantly improve efficiency and lower its costs and we gave some examples as to what has been achieved under the leadership of the industry-led Efficiency Task Force.

“Our sector has had good support from the Scottish and UK Governments and we sincerely hope that this will continue in the coming months.”

The First Minister’s visit comes just ahead of Oil & Gas UK publishing its flagship Economic Report – the definitive guide to the current health and future prospects of the UK offshore oil and gas industry.

The report is being launched at a business breakfast in Aberdeen on September 27, a lunch briefing in Norwich also on September 27, as well as an event in Teeside on September 28 and in London on September 29.

To book your place contact the events team at [email protected]

Media are also welcome to attend.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:
Photographs are available of the First Minister meeting Oil & Gas UK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie and industry leaders. Contact Oil & Gas Communications Adviser Jennifer Phillips to arrange on 01224 577279 / [email protected]

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.

Oil & Gas UK response to Oil and Gas Production Statistics 2015-16

Adam Davey, market and intelligence manager, Oil & Gas UK said:

“The production increase we can see from today’s figures is the result of not only the hard work industry has done to improve efficiency, but also the massive boost of investment we have seen in recent years, which peaked at a record £14.8 billion of capital investment in 2014.

“While the efficiency drive by industry has helped to reduce the cost of doing business in the region, more needs to be done to ensure the UK Continental Shelf is an attractive investment proposition for those looking to undertake new exploration and develop assets.

“Oil & Gas UK’s flagship Economic Report, due out later this month, will provide more evidence on why industry, governments, HM Treasury and the Oil and Gas Authority must work together to create a low tax, high activity province which can continue to support the important supply chain based here and position our sector in the best place to take advantage of any potential upturn.”

ENDS
Notes to Editors
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.
Issued by Lucy Coleman, Communications Manager, Oil & Gas UK – contact [email protected] and tel: 01224 577343.

X
- Enter Your Location -
- or -