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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 [email protected] / 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.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Media are welcome to attend the conference. To arrange, contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips on  [email protected] / 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 / [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.

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 / [email protected]

 

 

 

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 [email protected] / 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 [email protected] / 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 / [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.

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 / [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.

 

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 / [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.

[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 / [email protected]

 

 

Mexico’s offshore oil and gas sector will gain insights from the UK Continental Shelf at a key event taking place today (3 October).

The British Chamber of Commerce in Mexico is hosting an Energy Day in the country – bringing together around 600 of Mexico’s leading energy professionals to discuss what’s next for the country’s sector.

Stephen Marcos Jones, Director of Business Excellence with Oil & Gas UK, is one of the key speakers at the event which comes at a defining period in the history of energy in Mexico, its connectivity to energy across North America and the ways that refined products are distributed and energy is traded.

“This is an excellent opportunity to hear more about what’s happening in Mexico following reform a few years ago which has enabled local and foreign private investment into the energy sector after decades of the industry being nationalised,” said Stephen Marcos Jones.

“I’ll be giving an overview of the UK Continental Shelf and covering issues such as the efficiency measures industry is taking to manage its way through the downturn, as well as the steps Government have taken to make the basin one of the most fiscally attractive regimes in the world,” added Mr Marcos Jones, who is also attending tomorrow’s ‘farm out’ of exploration and extraction licences.

“This is also another valuable opportunity to highlight the capabilities and expertise of our world-class supply chain which we are trying to help diversity into global markets.”

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips 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.

Commenting as the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond visits Aberdeen, Oil & Gas UK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said: “It’s good to see the Chancellor here in Aberdeen. His visit sends a strong message of support for industry and his funding announcement to help stimulate exploration – that has been particularly hard hit by the downturn – is a welcome boost.

“I look forward to meeting the Chancellor and will use this opportunity to update him on the progress industry has made in terms of improving costs and efficiency.

“The UK Government has already made some positive changes to our fiscal regime which have helped reposition the basin as globally competitive.

“Building on this, we need HM Treasury to maintain its commitment to the Driving Investment plan and also enable transferable tax history in the Autumn Budget, which we believe will further unlock the transfer market for late-life assets, encourage more investment, and delay decommissioning for as long as possible with the associated benefit to the Exchequer and the UK.

“We are also seeking a strong partnership with Government to support our world-class supply chain and help it capture a greater share of the export market.

“This is an industry that makes an extraordinary contribution to the UK economy helping meet our energy needs, making an estimated contribution of £17 billion to the UK’s balance of trade and supporting 300,000 jobs across the UK.  Our supply chain also exports almost £12 billion exports of goods and services around the globe.

“With the right support from Government, and a relentless focus on efficiency from industry, we can maximise our domestic resources, while anchoring our supply chain here in the UK for the long-term.”

Notes to Editors

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.

 

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.”

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 [email protected] / 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  [email protected] / 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 / [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.

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 / [email protected]

 

 

 

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.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips [email protected] / 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 [email protected] / 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.”

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors:

 

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips 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.

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 / [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.

 

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 / [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.

[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 / [email protected]

 

 

UK oil and gas experience and expertise shared with Mexico

Mexico’s offshore oil and gas sector will gain insights from the UK Continental Shelf at a key event taking place today (3 October).

The British Chamber of Commerce in Mexico is hosting an Energy Day in the country – bringing together around 600 of Mexico’s leading energy professionals to discuss what’s next for the country’s sector.

Stephen Marcos Jones, Director of Business Excellence with Oil & Gas UK, is one of the key speakers at the event which comes at a defining period in the history of energy in Mexico, its connectivity to energy across North America and the ways that refined products are distributed and energy is traded.

“This is an excellent opportunity to hear more about what’s happening in Mexico following reform a few years ago which has enabled local and foreign private investment into the energy sector after decades of the industry being nationalised,” said Stephen Marcos Jones.

“I’ll be giving an overview of the UK Continental Shelf and covering issues such as the efficiency measures industry is taking to manage its way through the downturn, as well as the steps Government have taken to make the basin one of the most fiscally attractive regimes in the world,” added Mr Marcos Jones, who is also attending tomorrow’s ‘farm out’ of exploration and extraction licences.

“This is also another valuable opportunity to highlight the capabilities and expertise of our world-class supply chain which we are trying to help diversity into global markets.”

Issued by the Communications Team, Oil & Gas UK. Contact Communications Manager Jennifer Phillips 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 welcomes Chancellor’s visit to Aberdeen

Commenting as the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond visits Aberdeen, Oil & Gas UK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said: “It’s good to see the Chancellor here in Aberdeen. His visit sends a strong message of support for industry and his funding announcement to help stimulate exploration – that has been particularly hard hit by the downturn – is a welcome boost.

“I look forward to meeting the Chancellor and will use this opportunity to update him on the progress industry has made in terms of improving costs and efficiency.

“The UK Government has already made some positive changes to our fiscal regime which have helped reposition the basin as globally competitive.

“Building on this, we need HM Treasury to maintain its commitment to the Driving Investment plan and also enable transferable tax history in the Autumn Budget, which we believe will further unlock the transfer market for late-life assets, encourage more investment, and delay decommissioning for as long as possible with the associated benefit to the Exchequer and the UK.

“We are also seeking a strong partnership with Government to support our world-class supply chain and help it capture a greater share of the export market.

“This is an industry that makes an extraordinary contribution to the UK economy helping meet our energy needs, making an estimated contribution of £17 billion to the UK’s balance of trade and supporting 300,000 jobs across the UK.  Our supply chain also exports almost £12 billion exports of goods and services around the globe.

“With the right support from Government, and a relentless focus on efficiency from industry, we can maximise our domestic resources, while anchoring our supply chain here in the UK for the long-term.”

Notes to Editors

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.

 

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.”