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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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The UK government has today announced (Wednesday, 24 March) that it will deliver a transformational deal in partnership with the UK oil and gas industry to tackle climate change and deliver key aspects of their ten-point plan.

The deal is the first of its kind by any G7 country, setting an example of how oil and gas producing countries can move fairly towards a lower carbon future in a way which supports the economy, jobs, and energy communities across the UK.

Developed in partnership with the leading representative body for the sector, OGUK, the North Sea Transition Deal outlines over 50 government and industry actions to accelerate moves towards the government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050.

Key commitments in the North Sea Transition Deal include:

  • The sector setting early targets to reduce emissions by 10% by 2025 and 25% by 2027 and has committed to cut emissions by 50% by 2030.
  • Joint government and oil and gas sector investment of up to £16 billion by 2030 to reduce carbon emissions. This includes up to £3 billion to replace fossil fuel-based power supplies on oil and gas platforms with renewable energy, up to £3 billion on Carbon Capture Usage and Storage, and up to £10 billion for hydrogen production.
  • By 2030, the sector will voluntarily commit to ensuring that 50% of its offshore decommissioning and new energy technology projects will be provided by local businesses, helping to anchor jobs to the UK.
  • The appointment of an Industry Supply Chain Champion who will support the coordination of local growth and job opportunities with other sectors, such as Carbon Capture Usage and Storage and offshore wind.

The deal will help to:

  • Unlock up to £16bn in investment over the next decade in crucial low carbon solutions including CCUS and hydrogen
  • Support the creation of up to 40,000 new energy jobs in industrial heartlands across the UK
  • Cut UK emissions by 60 million tonnes, with 15 million tonnes of reductions from industry production by 2030 - the equivalent of annual emissions from 90% of the UK’s homes
  • Boost the world-leading infrastructure – carbon capture – the Committee on Climate Change says is necessary to tackle climate change
    • Kickstart hydrogen here in the UK, building a platform to provide an alternative for heating, heavy industry, and transport
  • Ensure energy communities like Aberdeen and Teesside can successfully transition, retaining jobs and skills and creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce
  • Reduce reliance on imported oil and gas – and be accountable for associated emissions

It comes after the sector published Roadmap 2035: a blueprint for net zero, in 2019, and was one of the first industry responses to the government’s climate change commitments.

The deal has been agreed between Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng on behalf of the UK Government and OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie on behalf of industry.

Commenting, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:

“The North Sea Transition Deal is a transformative partnership which will harness the expertise of the UK offshore oil and gas industry to urgently meet the country’s climate ambitions of net zero emissions by 2050.

“It will unlock billions of pounds of investment and see government and industry work together to deliver a homegrown energy transition, realising innovative low carbon solutions that can be exported globally.

“The Deal will safeguard UK energy security, providing affordable energy to millions of households, secure tens of thousands of jobs in industrial heartlands across the country and support the UK economy. It is the first deal of its kind by any G7 country and a striking example of the UK showing global leadership on climate change ahead of COP26.”

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:

“Today, we are sending a clear message around the world that the UK will be a nation of clean energy as we build back better and greener from the pandemic.

“We will not leave oil and gas workers behind in the United Kingdom’s irreversible shift away from fossil fuels. Through this landmark sector deal, we will harness the skills, capabilities and pent-up private investment potential of the oil and gas sector to power the green industrial revolution, turning its focus to the next-generation clean technologies the UK needs to support a green economy.

“At every step on the path to net zero emissions, we will create the right conditions for new green industries to base themselves in the UK and create new high-value employment opportunities, while future-proofing existing businesses to secure the long-term viability of jobs in our industrial heartlands.”

Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

“We need to urgently end our reliance on fossil fuels and through our pioneering North Sea Transition Deal we will do so without putting our economy and communities at risk.

“While the future oil and gas sector will look very different to how it does today, the industry, businesses and supply chains it supports will have a new mission to help the UK decarbonise and develop the clean technologies of the future, as we lead the green industrial revolution.”

UK Government Minister for Scotland David Duguid said:

“The oil and gas industry has already made great strides towards a greener, more sustainable future and the North Sea Transition Deal, agreed between the UK Government and industry, takes those ambitions a step further.

“The North East of Scotland has long been seen as a centre of excellence in the oil and gas industry – there’s no reason why it can’t now be seen as a global centre of excellence for energy transition.

“This is not just about making the transition from hydrocarbons to renewables. It’s about a transition of jobs, skills and expertise as well.

“The UK Government has worked consistently and intensively with the industry, and we will continue to do so, to make progress on a scientific, data and evidence-led basis.”

Chief Executive of the Oil & Gas Authority, Dr Andy Samuel said:

“This deal marks an exciting new chapter for the North Sea, confirming energy transition in action. It is the culmination of a lot of work between government, industry and the OGA. As long as oil and gas remain part of the UK’s energy mix, they must be produced more cleanly and in line with net zero.

“Our role includes monitoring and holding industry to account on its emissions reduction performance. The recent funding for a number of energy transition projects is very timely. We are happy to be supporting projects like Acorn, Hynet, Net Zero Teeside and Zero Carbon Humber, along with the Energy Transition Zone and the Global Underwater Hub.

“Our studies show how the UK Continental Shelf can provide 60% of the UK’s overall carbon reduction requirements to meet Net Zero 2050, through electrification, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and offshore wind.”

Commenting today on the recommendations published in the Just Transition Commission’s final report which said the Scottish Government should create a “skills guarantee” to help workers make the leap from oil and gas to low-carbon sectors, OGUK’s workforce engagement and skills manager, Dr Alix Thom said:

“Oil and gas workers have a key role to play in an inclusive and sustainable transition to a low-carbon future and a cross-energy alliance of trade associations, skills bodies, governments and academia is already working to create an integrated all-energy career proposition for a net-zero industry in the UK. There is a high level of transferability of skills between oil and gas and other energy sectors as well as new sectors critical to decarbonisation such as CCUS and hydrogen, so any support to top up the skills required is welcome news for our industry’s workforce.”

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Following bp’s announcement today (March 18) that it proposes to develop the UK’s largest hydrogen project in Teesside, Mike Tholen, OGUK’s Sustainability Director commented:

“This is a brilliant example of how OGUK members such as bp are pioneering low-carbon energy innovations which will transform our economy and accelerate the UK’s drive to net zero.

“The North East of England has long been a major hub for the energy industry and has huge engineering capabilities with decades of UK offshore expertise which will help decarbonise one of the UK’s industrial heartlands. Expertise in developing cleaner energy systems in the UK will be in great demand as other countries around the world follow where we lead to address the challenge of climate change.”

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Commenting on the launch of the UK Government’s Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy announced today (17 March) OGUK’s Sustainability Director, Mike Tholen said:

“Many of our members are already active in decarbonisation projects and committed to bringing carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and offshore floating wind projects to life across the UK. This industrial decarbonisation strategy will help accelerate progress in net-zero incubator projects as well as enabling our world-class supply chain to develop new low carbon solutions.

“Around the UK, our members are involved in industrial clusters of low carbon projects including Net-Zero Teesside, Peterhead’s Acorn Carbon Capture and Storage, Offshore Wind on Dogger Bank and Hywind in the North Sea to help deliver the UK’s net zero ambitions. In the future, their essential expertise in developing cleaner energy systems will be in great demand as other countries around the world seek to address the challenge of climate change.”

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

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

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

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

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

OGUK chief executive Deirdre Michie said:

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

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

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

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

The full report can be downloaded here.

In response to a story published today in The Sunday Telegraph which suggests Ministers are considering declaring the beginning of the end for the North Sea oil industry with a ban on new exploration licences.

Commenting on the story, OGUK Sustainability Director Mike Tholen said:

“The UK’s offshore oil and gas industry recognises the urgent need for change and was one of the first sectors to commit to be a net-Zero industry by 2050, setting demanding interim targets to halve its own emissions by 2030.

“By working together, we can help deliver the energy transition, providing the oil and gas the UK will need for decades to come while cutting the impact on the environment.  Any curtailment of activity by licencing constraints risks impeding the UK’s ability to deliver a net-zero future, damaging our domestic supply chain and increasing energy imports whilst exporting the jobs and skills.

“Our industry is leading the way on green technologies including the switch to hydrogen and long-term storage of CO2. Achieving this through UK companies will require significant investment and we continue to work constructively with government to show this industry has the essential expertise and commitment to ensure delivery”.

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The UK oil and gas industry has welcomed some of the measures announced by the Chancellor in today’s Budget, adding that now close cooperation with the sector is essential to maximise its world-leading expertise and assure a successful green energy transition.

The leading representative body for the sector OGUK said the combination of taxation and investment measures offers a potentially strong route to transition energy and employment ahead of the much anticipated and crucial North Sea Transition Deal that we are negotiating with Government.

OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie, said:

“We welcome the measures around supporting green energy innovation set out by the Chancellor in his Budget Statement today.

“We look forward to engaging with his department on the review of Research & Development tax relief, which can be a key driver of success in the field of green technology.

“The investment towards the Aberdeen Energy Transition Zone, Global Underwater Hub and Hydrogen Hub in Anglesey are encouraging starts to this country’s journey to a low-carbon future that also supports climate goals, employment and energy security.

“Central to all of this is the North Sea Transition Deal reaffirmed by the Chancellor today. Having powered the country for over 50 years, the UK’s oil and gas sector’s energy expertise is crucial to developing the green innovation required to see the UK achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

“Designed properly, the Deal should be an exciting blueprint to meeting that goal, whilst creating tens of thousands of high-quality jobs and attracting billions of pounds of investment into parts of the country that need it most. We look forward to successfully implementing it in partnership with the Government and making the UK a global hub for green energy technology.”

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The UK’s offshore oil and gas industry has today welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement that Scottish businesses are set to receive a boost to their green energy transition and further investment to create local jobs in key sectors with a more than £57 million investment in tomorrow’s Budget (Wednesday 3 March).

The leading representative body for the sector, OGUK said its world-class supply chain has the expertise to deliver secure and affordable energy while driving low carbon solutions.

Deirdre Michie, OGUK’s chief executive, said:

“This is an exciting announcement by the Chancellor that will create jobs and help position the UK as a global hub of green energy.

“The UK’s world-leading supply chain is at the heart of this country’s ability to transition to a net zero economy, so the timely announcement of these new investments is welcome, recognising the positive role this sector has to play in our energy future.

Our workforce has the talent, expertise and skills to accelerate the delivery of the low carbon solutions of the future including CCUS, hydrogen and decarbonisation projects with huge potential for our expertise to be exported around the world.

“This funding will help create employment opportunities in new technologies, support the reduction of emissions from production and enable our industry to become part of a new low carbon energy community. Key to this will be the North Sea Transition Deal which we look forward to working closely and quickly with government to finalise.”

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The leading representative body for the UK oil and gas industry, OGUK, has announced that tickets are now live for its first-ever wholly digital Health, Safety & Environment Conference. As we follow on from the tumultuous events of 2020, this year‘s conference asks the question, ‘Where next for our industry?’

The event, titled ‘Looking back to move forward – where next for HSE?’ will be held on 24-25 March 2021. OGUK is once again moving beyond the confines of a traditional conference, providing a digital platform for ideas and discussion about the future of oil and gas.

Over the two-day event, OGUK will be joined by leading voices and world-class experts in the fields of health, safety, and environment to reflect on the impact of the past 12 months, as well as looking forward to 2021 and beyond, asking what industry must do to continue improving our HSE performance.

Keynote speakers include Deirdre Michie (OGUK), Sarah Newton (Chair, HSE), Fuzzy Bitar (BP), Steve Hunt (Stork), and Dr Martin Valenti (Scottish Enterprise). OGUK are also delighted to announce that they will be joined by Sir David Spiegelhalter OBE FRS, British statistician and Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk in the Statistical Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.

OGUK Health, Safety & Environment Director, Trevor Stapleton commented:

“After a year like no other for our industry, this year’s HSE Conference provides us with a unique opportunity to gather leading industry voices to take stock on the past 12 months and to discuss what HSE looks like for our sector as we navigate toward a post-pandemic world.

“We’re delighted to be joined by some of the industry’s pioneering and expert thinkers on the topic of HSE, and I look forward to welcoming colleagues from across the sector to this event.”

To book your place, or to view sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please visit https://ogukhseconference.co.uk/

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

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

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

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

5 February 2021

The leading representative body for the UK oil and gas industry has today announced the appointment of a new co-chair to its board, as the sector focuses on the industry’s recovery whilst meeting net-zero targets for 2021.

Arne Gürtner, Senior Vice President UK & Ireland Offshore at Equinor has now assumed this role bringing with him a wealth of industry experience. In this capacity, Arne will work with Contractor Co-chair, Phil Simons, VP North Sea & Canada, Subsea 7.

Across the UK, Equinor has a broad energy portfolio of oil, gas, offshore wind and low carbon projects. Based in Equinor’s UK operations headquarters in Aberdeen, Arne leads the organisation supporting Equinor’s UK and Ireland upstream activities, which includes the Mariner development and Rosebank, one of the largest undeveloped resources on the UKCS.

Gürtner has held a broad variety of leadership roles across Equinor, including his previous position of Vice President for Technical Excellence in a global business function, and brings experience from project development, integrity management and process safety in operations from the UK and Norwegian Continental Shelves, as well as global research and technology development. Gürtner also currently holds the position of OGA Asset Stewardship Task Force Co-Chair.

Arne Gürtner takes over from Phil Kirk, who is stepping down from the role.

Deirdre Michie, OGUK’s chief executive, commented:

“We’re delighted to have Arne step into the role as co-chair of the OGUK board. The industry experience he has will be vital as we seek to manage our way successfully through the challenges brought by the pandemic while seeking to deliver our net-zero ambitions.

“I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank Phil Kirk for all of his support. His insight, steer and guidance has been invaluable, and we are delighted that he will remain on the board.

“We value the different perspectives from across the industry, in our work to deliver Roadmap 2035. This diversity in thought is key to finding solutions for low carbon oil and gas production, whilst doing everything we can to support our world-class but fragile supply chain and protect the skills of our people for the future.”

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Following the publication today (1 February) of Greenpeace’s Unearthed unit’s report looking into emissions from venting and flaring on the UKCS, OGUK’s emissions improvement manager, Louise O’Hara Murray said:

“We know that there is more work to be done and we’re already in action to ramp up our response as an industry. As one of the first industrial sectors to set out our roadmap to net zero, the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry has committed to clear sector-wide targets to halve all our emissions by the end of this decade before reaching net zero in 2050.

“We’re working with members on a specific action plan to tackle methane emissions which will drive action to reduce routine flaring and venting across the basin. We look forward to publishing this in spring this year as another important milestone for our changing sector.”

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Enhancing collaborative culture within the offshore oil and gas industry is not only key to maximising the potential of its existing world class supply chain but could also unlock future activity in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) and be key to delivering a successful Net-Zero future.

Improving commercial models which support cost reduction whilst incentivising the supply chain could re-energise collaboration, according to the findings of the annual Deloitte and OGUK Collaboration Report, published today (January 28).

Deloitte and OGUK’s industry-wide Collaboration Index (CI), which measures the effectiveness of companies as partners in projects, is part of the annual UKCS upstream supply chain collaboration survey. The report showed a slight increase in the collaboration index to 7.1 in 2020 from 7.0 in 2019, highlighting the flexibility and support the supply chain showed during an exceptionally challenging year.

On top of this, collaboration success rates hit a record high in 2020 with more than 50 per cent of survey respondents saying over half of their efforts were successful. In what also marked a first in the survey’s six-year history, the overall proportion of ‘successful’ efforts was higher than ‘unsuccessful’ ones.

However, while COVID-19 saw many businesses work together to address the challenges, respondents said the pandemic and consequent economic downturn also led to disadvantageous commercial behaviours such as cancelled or modified contracts.

OGUK Supply chain and Operations Director, Katy Heidenreich, said: “OGUK has been encouraging industry to do business in a sustainable way to protect the supply chain. This includes finding innovative ways of working that deliver value for both sides, ensuring that industry has the skills and resources needed when activity rebounds, as well as using the Supply Chain Principles as a mechanism to improve behaviours.

“We redesigned the questions in our 2020 Collaboration survey to understand how well these Principles have been embraced since we launched them.

“Greater collaboration will be a key factor in unlocking future industry developments and to strengthening our basin, our versatility, and our resilience. The ability to work together well across companies, industry and the wider energy sector will be critical to delivering a successful energy transition which supports jobs and the communities we work in. Collaboration needs to be part of our DNA; while it is not a silver bullet, it is good for business.”

OGUK will issue a call to action to promote adherence to its Supply Chain Principles and to communicate the benefits after the survey received a broad mix of views.

Deloitte’s Office Senior Partner (Aberdeen), Graham Hollis, said: “In what is an extremely challenging environment, the industry must assess new opportunities and challenges as it addresses the year ahead. Organisations need to reimagine their businesses and models and focus on the right set of collaborative behaviours because as the report highlights, working closely with suppliers and customers to support one another will be vital.

“As part of this, Deloitte has produced a Framework for Action which details six building blocks that organisations should consider helping develop and continue building successful collaborative relationships – ones which deliver greater value for both operators and suppliers.”

Deloitte’s Framework for Action supports the OGUK Supply Chain Principles, and both will be key to stimulating collaborative behaviours. OGUK will also be issuing a call to action to promote adherence to its Supply Chain Principles and to communicate the benefits after the survey received a broad mix of views.

With the Supply Chain Principles, energy transition and internal collaboration being new themes explored in this year’s survey, almost two-thirds of operator respondents said they were making some progress to meet their energy transition objectives – in line with the OGUK’s Roadmap 2035: a blueprint for net zero – compared with 49 per cent of suppliers.

While some operators showed best practice in sharing the risks and rewards of working relationships appropriately, there are still opportunities to improve.

OGA’s Head of Supply, Bill Cattanach, said: “Successful project delivery is more predictable where there is a fair and equitable partnership between operator and supplier.

“There are encouraging signals, as shown in the report, that the industry is leaving old approaches behind and embracing the expertise which exists within the supply chain in a collaborative manner. However, there is still room for improvement, and collaboration should remain a key focus for industry going forward.”

The report can be viewed here .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OGUK Chief executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

OGUK chief executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:

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

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

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

 

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The leading representative body for the UK offshore oil and gas industry is appointing two directors to lead its newly created External Relations and Communications directorates aimed at supporting the current and evolving needs of OGUK’s members as the sector transitions towards a low carbon future.

Natalie Coupar takes up the role of Communications Director and Jenny Stanning will be OGUK’s External Relations Director, both with effect from 1 January 2021.

Natalie Coupar

Jenny Stanning

With extensive stakeholder and communications expertise, Natalie will lead the teams delivering the organisation’s media relations, editorial, design and digital strategy. Prior to her new role, Natalie was OGUK’s Communications Manager.

Before joining OGUK in 2017, Natalie developed broad and diverse communications experience in technology, the third sectors and politics.

As External Relations Director, Jenny will be responsible for leading OGUK’s external affairs, events and membership teams. In this new role her responsibilities include working with Governments, Parliaments, industry leaders, business and industry organisations and regulatory bodies to ensure that members’ interests are well represented.

Prior to joining OGUK, Jenny worked in politics and stakeholder management for 15 years including some time working in the Scottish Parliament.

In their new roles, Jenny and Natalie will build on the significant progress achieved by OGUK’s former Stakeholder and Communications Director Gareth Wynn, who leaves the representative body to take up a leadership role overseas, after three years as OGUK’s stakeholder and communications director.

OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie commented:

“By any measure, this year has been incredibly challenging for all communities, yet the people in our industry have continued to demonstrate incredible resilience, applying their essential expertise to help support a fragile supply chain and its move towards a sustainable green recovery. Both Natalie and Jenny have great vision, commitment and drive and their experience will enable us to maintain this momentum, and help ensure we’re doing all we can to support our members.”

“I’m also grateful to Gareth for his invaluable contribution to OGUK and to the industry and wish him every success for the future.”

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The UK is set to lead the way in demonstrating how oil and gas producing countries can successfully and fairly transition towards a net zero future, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie OBE has said in a message to members today.

In an end of year message to over 400 member organisations based across  the UK, Deirdre Michie said the stage is now set for 2021 to bring about truly transformational change for the sector to support the country’s net zero ambitions.

Last week the sector’s regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), published its revised strategy, which will look to support companies to reduce emissions and encourage progress on carbon capture and storage and hydrogen.

This revision comes shortly after the UK government published its Energy White Paper, the Scottish Government set out its Climate Change plan and the Committee on Climate Change published its advice to government on the sixth carbon budget.

OGUK also reinforced its concerns about the current challenges facing the sector and its supply chain as they continue to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing volatility in commodity markets set against the backdrop of a potential no deal scenario at the end of the EU transition period at the end of the year.

OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:

Despite the significant challenges we have all faced operationally, economically and personally this year, we have much to proud of. We end the year with industry, government and regulator support for our sector as an enabler to a net zero future.

“In a year where our operations faced sustained challenges, we committed to a detailed emissions reduction pathway and maintained a laser focus on delivering the actions outlined Roadmap 2035. Our people and key workers worked throughout the pandemic to provide the affordable and secure energy and products needed by millions of households across the country.

“Yet, as we are all too aware, the impact of the pandemic and volatile commodity prices has come at a significant cost to many companies, with many jobs affected.

“The stage is now set for a truly transformational period for the people and companies working in our industry. 2021 will be another testing year for us all, including the energy communities and  jobs we need to continue to support. With alignment on our future and the urgent need to stimulate our sector’s recovery in support of this, it must therefore be a year in which we build on these positive developments and help translate strategy into action.

“A North Sea Transition Deal is a unique opportunity to show global leadership and demonstrate how an oil and gas producing country like the UK can successfully transition towards a low carbon future. OGUK is grateful to the many members who have supported the development of this deal  and look forward to progressing this with government early in 2021.

“While we know we don’t have all the answers, it is increasingly accepted that our essential expertise can support the development of hydrogen and carbon capture and storage. The inclusive approach between industry, governments, regulators and the communities we support will remain central to delivering a sustainable and socially accepted transition towards meeting our net zero ambitions.

“The development of a stable and supportive regulatory regime, which aligns with government ambitions is important and industry looks forward to working with the OGA to develop the underpinning guidance to its strategy proposals. We welcome recognition that the UK’s indigenous resources will be important as the country looks to reduce its reliance on imported energy and retain accountability for associated emissions.

“ So against the backdrop of a really tough year for so many, there are some positives that provide solid foundations to build upon, in terms of our contribution to the economy, jobs, energy communities and net zero ambitions. As we a look ahead to a year in which the UK will host the G7 presidency and COP26, it is this commitment to leadership and developing solutions, which will cement our position as a positive partner in the country’s energy future.”

The leading representative body for the UK oil and gas industry, OGUK, has appointed three major business leaders to its board as the sector sharpens its focus on the industry’s recovery and meeting net zero targets as it looks ahead to the new year.

Jose Luis Muñoz is CEO of Repsol Sinopec Resources UK Limited. José Luis joined Repsol in 2005 as part of the Strategy and Corporate Development team and was instrumental in the acquisition of the global operations of the former Talisman Energy business. He then went on to drive the post-merger integration of the ex-Talisman operations, ensuring a smooth transition.

Since 2017 and prior to his appointment as CEO, José Luis was Repsol representative within the Executive Committee of Repsol Sinopec Resources UK.

Andy Hessell has more than 30 years’ experience in the UK energy industry specialising in commercial, strategy and business development roles in the UK and overseas.  Over the past five years, as Managing Director, Andy has been successfully growing Kellas Midstream, an innovative independent company that owns and manages critical North Sea infrastructure.

Prior to joining Kellas, Andy enjoyed a 26-year career with BP in a variety of leadership positions including North Sea region Chief Financial Officer and Vice President Commercial Operations, North Sea & Angola.

Also joining the board is Mikki Corcoran, Managing Director of Schlumberger Europe. Prior to this role she worked in North America Offshore as General Manager Drilling, and before that, as Global Account Director for Schlumberger.

During her 20-year career in the Oil & Gas industry with Schlumberger, Mikki has held a variety of management positions, including HR, Operations, Sales & Commercial, and Supply Chain, in Norway, United States, Asia and Europe.

Deirdre Michie, OGUK’s chief executive, commented:

“The diverse experience and knowledge that José, Mikki and Andy bring to the OGUK Board will be a great asset as our industry continues to tackle a challenging landscape of low commodity prices and the coronavirus pandemic, while at the same time seeking to support the UK’s cleaner climate ambitions as we look to 2021 and the challenges and opportunities it will bring.

“This diversity of perspectives from across industry is critical as we work to deliver Roadmap 2035, finding solutions for low carbon oil and gas production while doing everything we can to revive our world-class but fragile supply chain and protect the skills of our people for the future.“

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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North Sea Transition Deal to deliver home grown transition towards government net zero targets

The UK government has today announced (Wednesday, 24 March) that it will deliver a transformational deal in partnership with the UK oil and gas industry to tackle climate change and deliver key aspects of their ten-point plan.

The deal is the first of its kind by any G7 country, setting an example of how oil and gas producing countries can move fairly towards a lower carbon future in a way which supports the economy, jobs, and energy communities across the UK.

Developed in partnership with the leading representative body for the sector, OGUK, the North Sea Transition Deal outlines over 50 government and industry actions to accelerate moves towards the government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050.

Key commitments in the North Sea Transition Deal include:

  • The sector setting early targets to reduce emissions by 10% by 2025 and 25% by 2027 and has committed to cut emissions by 50% by 2030.
  • Joint government and oil and gas sector investment of up to £16 billion by 2030 to reduce carbon emissions. This includes up to £3 billion to replace fossil fuel-based power supplies on oil and gas platforms with renewable energy, up to £3 billion on Carbon Capture Usage and Storage, and up to £10 billion for hydrogen production.
  • By 2030, the sector will voluntarily commit to ensuring that 50% of its offshore decommissioning and new energy technology projects will be provided by local businesses, helping to anchor jobs to the UK.
  • The appointment of an Industry Supply Chain Champion who will support the coordination of local growth and job opportunities with other sectors, such as Carbon Capture Usage and Storage and offshore wind.

The deal will help to:

  • Unlock up to £16bn in investment over the next decade in crucial low carbon solutions including CCUS and hydrogen
  • Support the creation of up to 40,000 new energy jobs in industrial heartlands across the UK
  • Cut UK emissions by 60 million tonnes, with 15 million tonnes of reductions from industry production by 2030 - the equivalent of annual emissions from 90% of the UK’s homes
  • Boost the world-leading infrastructure – carbon capture – the Committee on Climate Change says is necessary to tackle climate change
    • Kickstart hydrogen here in the UK, building a platform to provide an alternative for heating, heavy industry, and transport
  • Ensure energy communities like Aberdeen and Teesside can successfully transition, retaining jobs and skills and creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce
  • Reduce reliance on imported oil and gas – and be accountable for associated emissions

It comes after the sector published Roadmap 2035: a blueprint for net zero, in 2019, and was one of the first industry responses to the government’s climate change commitments.

The deal has been agreed between Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng on behalf of the UK Government and OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie on behalf of industry.

Commenting, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:

“The North Sea Transition Deal is a transformative partnership which will harness the expertise of the UK offshore oil and gas industry to urgently meet the country’s climate ambitions of net zero emissions by 2050.

“It will unlock billions of pounds of investment and see government and industry work together to deliver a homegrown energy transition, realising innovative low carbon solutions that can be exported globally.

“The Deal will safeguard UK energy security, providing affordable energy to millions of households, secure tens of thousands of jobs in industrial heartlands across the country and support the UK economy. It is the first deal of its kind by any G7 country and a striking example of the UK showing global leadership on climate change ahead of COP26.”

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:

“Today, we are sending a clear message around the world that the UK will be a nation of clean energy as we build back better and greener from the pandemic.

“We will not leave oil and gas workers behind in the United Kingdom’s irreversible shift away from fossil fuels. Through this landmark sector deal, we will harness the skills, capabilities and pent-up private investment potential of the oil and gas sector to power the green industrial revolution, turning its focus to the next-generation clean technologies the UK needs to support a green economy.

“At every step on the path to net zero emissions, we will create the right conditions for new green industries to base themselves in the UK and create new high-value employment opportunities, while future-proofing existing businesses to secure the long-term viability of jobs in our industrial heartlands.”

Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

“We need to urgently end our reliance on fossil fuels and through our pioneering North Sea Transition Deal we will do so without putting our economy and communities at risk.

“While the future oil and gas sector will look very different to how it does today, the industry, businesses and supply chains it supports will have a new mission to help the UK decarbonise and develop the clean technologies of the future, as we lead the green industrial revolution.”

UK Government Minister for Scotland David Duguid said:

“The oil and gas industry has already made great strides towards a greener, more sustainable future and the North Sea Transition Deal, agreed between the UK Government and industry, takes those ambitions a step further.

“The North East of Scotland has long been seen as a centre of excellence in the oil and gas industry – there’s no reason why it can’t now be seen as a global centre of excellence for energy transition.

“This is not just about making the transition from hydrocarbons to renewables. It’s about a transition of jobs, skills and expertise as well.

“The UK Government has worked consistently and intensively with the industry, and we will continue to do so, to make progress on a scientific, data and evidence-led basis.”

Chief Executive of the Oil & Gas Authority, Dr Andy Samuel said:

“This deal marks an exciting new chapter for the North Sea, confirming energy transition in action. It is the culmination of a lot of work between government, industry and the OGA. As long as oil and gas remain part of the UK’s energy mix, they must be produced more cleanly and in line with net zero.

“Our role includes monitoring and holding industry to account on its emissions reduction performance. The recent funding for a number of energy transition projects is very timely. We are happy to be supporting projects like Acorn, Hynet, Net Zero Teeside and Zero Carbon Humber, along with the Energy Transition Zone and the Global Underwater Hub.

“Our studies show how the UK Continental Shelf can provide 60% of the UK’s overall carbon reduction requirements to meet Net Zero 2050, through electrification, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and offshore wind.”

Just Transition Commission Report welcome news for workforce says OGUK

Commenting today on the recommendations published in the Just Transition Commission’s final report which said the Scottish Government should create a “skills guarantee” to help workers make the leap from oil and gas to low-carbon sectors, OGUK’s workforce engagement and skills manager, Dr Alix Thom said:

“Oil and gas workers have a key role to play in an inclusive and sustainable transition to a low-carbon future and a cross-energy alliance of trade associations, skills bodies, governments and academia is already working to create an integrated all-energy career proposition for a net-zero industry in the UK. There is a high level of transferability of skills between oil and gas and other energy sectors as well as new sectors critical to decarbonisation such as CCUS and hydrogen, so any support to top up the skills required is welcome news for our industry’s workforce.”

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bp’s hydrogen project a great example of low-carbon energy innovation says OGUK

Following bp’s announcement today (March 18) that it proposes to develop the UK’s largest hydrogen project in Teesside, Mike Tholen, OGUK’s Sustainability Director commented:

“This is a brilliant example of how OGUK members such as bp are pioneering low-carbon energy innovations which will transform our economy and accelerate the UK’s drive to net zero.

“The North East of England has long been a major hub for the energy industry and has huge engineering capabilities with decades of UK offshore expertise which will help decarbonise one of the UK’s industrial heartlands. Expertise in developing cleaner energy systems in the UK will be in great demand as other countries around the world follow where we lead to address the challenge of climate change.”

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Government’s Industrial Decarbonisation Blueprint a key opportunity for UK supply chain says OGUK

Commenting on the launch of the UK Government’s Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy announced today (17 March) OGUK’s Sustainability Director, Mike Tholen said:

“Many of our members are already active in decarbonisation projects and committed to bringing carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and offshore floating wind projects to life across the UK. This industrial decarbonisation strategy will help accelerate progress in net-zero incubator projects as well as enabling our world-class supply chain to develop new low carbon solutions.

“Around the UK, our members are involved in industrial clusters of low carbon projects including Net-Zero Teesside, Peterhead’s Acorn Carbon Capture and Storage, Offshore Wind on Dogger Bank and Hywind in the North Sea to help deliver the UK’s net zero ambitions. In the future, their essential expertise in developing cleaner energy systems will be in great demand as other countries around the world seek to address the challenge of climate change.”

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£3bn lost investment during pandemic could threaten green recovery

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

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

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

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

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

OGUK chief executive Deirdre Michie said:

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

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

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

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

The full report can be downloaded here.

OGUK comment in response to possible ban on new exploration licences

In response to a story published today in The Sunday Telegraph which suggests Ministers are considering declaring the beginning of the end for the North Sea oil industry with a ban on new exploration licences.

Commenting on the story, OGUK Sustainability Director Mike Tholen said:

“The UK’s offshore oil and gas industry recognises the urgent need for change and was one of the first sectors to commit to be a net-Zero industry by 2050, setting demanding interim targets to halve its own emissions by 2030.

“By working together, we can help deliver the energy transition, providing the oil and gas the UK will need for decades to come while cutting the impact on the environment.  Any curtailment of activity by licencing constraints risks impeding the UK’s ability to deliver a net-zero future, damaging our domestic supply chain and increasing energy imports whilst exporting the jobs and skills.

“Our industry is leading the way on green technologies including the switch to hydrogen and long-term storage of CO2. Achieving this through UK companies will require significant investment and we continue to work constructively with government to show this industry has the essential expertise and commitment to ensure delivery”.

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Oil and gas industry welcomes Chancellors’ Budget measures to support green energy transition

The UK oil and gas industry has welcomed some of the measures announced by the Chancellor in today’s Budget, adding that now close cooperation with the sector is essential to maximise its world-leading expertise and assure a successful green energy transition.

The leading representative body for the sector OGUK said the combination of taxation and investment measures offers a potentially strong route to transition energy and employment ahead of the much anticipated and crucial North Sea Transition Deal that we are negotiating with Government.

OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie, said:

“We welcome the measures around supporting green energy innovation set out by the Chancellor in his Budget Statement today.

“We look forward to engaging with his department on the review of Research & Development tax relief, which can be a key driver of success in the field of green technology.

“The investment towards the Aberdeen Energy Transition Zone, Global Underwater Hub and Hydrogen Hub in Anglesey are encouraging starts to this country’s journey to a low-carbon future that also supports climate goals, employment and energy security.

“Central to all of this is the North Sea Transition Deal reaffirmed by the Chancellor today. Having powered the country for over 50 years, the UK’s oil and gas sector’s energy expertise is crucial to developing the green innovation required to see the UK achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

“Designed properly, the Deal should be an exciting blueprint to meeting that goal, whilst creating tens of thousands of high-quality jobs and attracting billions of pounds of investment into parts of the country that need it most. We look forward to successfully implementing it in partnership with the Government and making the UK a global hub for green energy technology.”

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Oil and gas industry welcomes job creation and recognition of its positive role in net zero economy

 

The UK’s offshore oil and gas industry has today welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement that Scottish businesses are set to receive a boost to their green energy transition and further investment to create local jobs in key sectors with a more than £57 million investment in tomorrow’s Budget (Wednesday 3 March).

The leading representative body for the sector, OGUK said its world-class supply chain has the expertise to deliver secure and affordable energy while driving low carbon solutions.

Deirdre Michie, OGUK’s chief executive, said:

“This is an exciting announcement by the Chancellor that will create jobs and help position the UK as a global hub of green energy.

“The UK’s world-leading supply chain is at the heart of this country’s ability to transition to a net zero economy, so the timely announcement of these new investments is welcome, recognising the positive role this sector has to play in our energy future.

Our workforce has the talent, expertise and skills to accelerate the delivery of the low carbon solutions of the future including CCUS, hydrogen and decarbonisation projects with huge potential for our expertise to be exported around the world.

“This funding will help create employment opportunities in new technologies, support the reduction of emissions from production and enable our industry to become part of a new low carbon energy community. Key to this will be the North Sea Transition Deal which we look forward to working closely and quickly with government to finalise.”

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OGUK Conference to discuss Health, Safety and Environment in a post-pandemic world.

The leading representative body for the UK oil and gas industry, OGUK, has announced that tickets are now live for its first-ever wholly digital Health, Safety & Environment Conference. As we follow on from the tumultuous events of 2020, this year‘s conference asks the question, ‘Where next for our industry?’

The event, titled ‘Looking back to move forward – where next for HSE?’ will be held on 24-25 March 2021. OGUK is once again moving beyond the confines of a traditional conference, providing a digital platform for ideas and discussion about the future of oil and gas.

Over the two-day event, OGUK will be joined by leading voices and world-class experts in the fields of health, safety, and environment to reflect on the impact of the past 12 months, as well as looking forward to 2021 and beyond, asking what industry must do to continue improving our HSE performance.

Keynote speakers include Deirdre Michie (OGUK), Sarah Newton (Chair, HSE), Fuzzy Bitar (BP), Steve Hunt (Stork), and Dr Martin Valenti (Scottish Enterprise). OGUK are also delighted to announce that they will be joined by Sir David Spiegelhalter OBE FRS, British statistician and Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk in the Statistical Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.

OGUK Health, Safety & Environment Director, Trevor Stapleton commented:

“After a year like no other for our industry, this year’s HSE Conference provides us with a unique opportunity to gather leading industry voices to take stock on the past 12 months and to discuss what HSE looks like for our sector as we navigate toward a post-pandemic world.

“We’re delighted to be joined by some of the industry’s pioneering and expert thinkers on the topic of HSE, and I look forward to welcoming colleagues from across the sector to this event.”

To book your place, or to view sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please visit https://ogukhseconference.co.uk/

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Shell transformation plans underline value of homegrown transition

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

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

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

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

Equinor Senior Vice-President named Co-chair of OGUK board

5 February 2021

The leading representative body for the UK oil and gas industry has today announced the appointment of a new co-chair to its board, as the sector focuses on the industry’s recovery whilst meeting net-zero targets for 2021.

Arne Gürtner, Senior Vice President UK & Ireland Offshore at Equinor has now assumed this role bringing with him a wealth of industry experience. In this capacity, Arne will work with Contractor Co-chair, Phil Simons, VP North Sea & Canada, Subsea 7.

Across the UK, Equinor has a broad energy portfolio of oil, gas, offshore wind and low carbon projects. Based in Equinor’s UK operations headquarters in Aberdeen, Arne leads the organisation supporting Equinor’s UK and Ireland upstream activities, which includes the Mariner development and Rosebank, one of the largest undeveloped resources on the UKCS.

Gürtner has held a broad variety of leadership roles across Equinor, including his previous position of Vice President for Technical Excellence in a global business function, and brings experience from project development, integrity management and process safety in operations from the UK and Norwegian Continental Shelves, as well as global research and technology development. Gürtner also currently holds the position of OGA Asset Stewardship Task Force Co-Chair.

Arne Gürtner takes over from Phil Kirk, who is stepping down from the role.

Deirdre Michie, OGUK’s chief executive, commented:

“We’re delighted to have Arne step into the role as co-chair of the OGUK board. The industry experience he has will be vital as we seek to manage our way successfully through the challenges brought by the pandemic while seeking to deliver our net-zero ambitions.

“I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank Phil Kirk for all of his support. His insight, steer and guidance has been invaluable, and we are delighted that he will remain on the board.

“We value the different perspectives from across the industry, in our work to deliver Roadmap 2035. This diversity in thought is key to finding solutions for low carbon oil and gas production, whilst doing everything we can to support our world-class but fragile supply chain and protect the skills of our people for the future.”

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OGUK responds to Greenpeace Unearthed report on emissions from flaring and venting

Following the publication today (1 February) of Greenpeace’s Unearthed unit’s report looking into emissions from venting and flaring on the UKCS, OGUK’s emissions improvement manager, Louise O’Hara Murray said:

“We know that there is more work to be done and we’re already in action to ramp up our response as an industry. As one of the first industrial sectors to set out our roadmap to net zero, the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry has committed to clear sector-wide targets to halve all our emissions by the end of this decade before reaching net zero in 2050.

“We’re working with members on a specific action plan to tackle methane emissions which will drive action to reduce routine flaring and venting across the basin. We look forward to publishing this in spring this year as another important milestone for our changing sector.”

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Oil & gas industry needs to ‘reimagine’ its business and models to maximise energy transition opportunities

Enhancing collaborative culture within the offshore oil and gas industry is not only key to maximising the potential of its existing world class supply chain but could also unlock future activity in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) and be key to delivering a successful Net-Zero future.

Improving commercial models which support cost reduction whilst incentivising the supply chain could re-energise collaboration, according to the findings of the annual Deloitte and OGUK Collaboration Report, published today (January 28).

Deloitte and OGUK’s industry-wide Collaboration Index (CI), which measures the effectiveness of companies as partners in projects, is part of the annual UKCS upstream supply chain collaboration survey. The report showed a slight increase in the collaboration index to 7.1 in 2020 from 7.0 in 2019, highlighting the flexibility and support the supply chain showed during an exceptionally challenging year.

On top of this, collaboration success rates hit a record high in 2020 with more than 50 per cent of survey respondents saying over half of their efforts were successful. In what also marked a first in the survey’s six-year history, the overall proportion of ‘successful’ efforts was higher than ‘unsuccessful’ ones.

However, while COVID-19 saw many businesses work together to address the challenges, respondents said the pandemic and consequent economic downturn also led to disadvantageous commercial behaviours such as cancelled or modified contracts.

OGUK Supply chain and Operations Director, Katy Heidenreich, said: “OGUK has been encouraging industry to do business in a sustainable way to protect the supply chain. This includes finding innovative ways of working that deliver value for both sides, ensuring that industry has the skills and resources needed when activity rebounds, as well as using the Supply Chain Principles as a mechanism to improve behaviours.

“We redesigned the questions in our 2020 Collaboration survey to understand how well these Principles have been embraced since we launched them.

“Greater collaboration will be a key factor in unlocking future industry developments and to strengthening our basin, our versatility, and our resilience. The ability to work together well across companies, industry and the wider energy sector will be critical to delivering a successful energy transition which supports jobs and the communities we work in. Collaboration needs to be part of our DNA; while it is not a silver bullet, it is good for business.”

OGUK will issue a call to action to promote adherence to its Supply Chain Principles and to communicate the benefits after the survey received a broad mix of views.

Deloitte’s Office Senior Partner (Aberdeen), Graham Hollis, said: “In what is an extremely challenging environment, the industry must assess new opportunities and challenges as it addresses the year ahead. Organisations need to reimagine their businesses and models and focus on the right set of collaborative behaviours because as the report highlights, working closely with suppliers and customers to support one another will be vital.

“As part of this, Deloitte has produced a Framework for Action which details six building blocks that organisations should consider helping develop and continue building successful collaborative relationships – ones which deliver greater value for both operators and suppliers.”

Deloitte’s Framework for Action supports the OGUK Supply Chain Principles, and both will be key to stimulating collaborative behaviours. OGUK will also be issuing a call to action to promote adherence to its Supply Chain Principles and to communicate the benefits after the survey received a broad mix of views.

With the Supply Chain Principles, energy transition and internal collaboration being new themes explored in this year’s survey, almost two-thirds of operator respondents said they were making some progress to meet their energy transition objectives – in line with the OGUK’s Roadmap 2035: a blueprint for net zero – compared with 49 per cent of suppliers.

While some operators showed best practice in sharing the risks and rewards of working relationships appropriately, there are still opportunities to improve.

OGA’s Head of Supply, Bill Cattanach, said: “Successful project delivery is more predictable where there is a fair and equitable partnership between operator and supplier.

“There are encouraging signals, as shown in the report, that the industry is leaving old approaches behind and embracing the expertise which exists within the supply chain in a collaborative manner. However, there is still room for improvement, and collaboration should remain a key focus for industry going forward.”

The report can be viewed here .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OGUK Chief executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

OGUK chief executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:

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

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

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

 

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OGUK appoints two directors to drive forward stakeholder and communications agenda

The leading representative body for the UK offshore oil and gas industry is appointing two directors to lead its newly created External Relations and Communications directorates aimed at supporting the current and evolving needs of OGUK’s members as the sector transitions towards a low carbon future.

Natalie Coupar takes up the role of Communications Director and Jenny Stanning will be OGUK’s External Relations Director, both with effect from 1 January 2021.

Natalie Coupar

Jenny Stanning

With extensive stakeholder and communications expertise, Natalie will lead the teams delivering the organisation’s media relations, editorial, design and digital strategy. Prior to her new role, Natalie was OGUK’s Communications Manager.

Before joining OGUK in 2017, Natalie developed broad and diverse communications experience in technology, the third sectors and politics.

As External Relations Director, Jenny will be responsible for leading OGUK’s external affairs, events and membership teams. In this new role her responsibilities include working with Governments, Parliaments, industry leaders, business and industry organisations and regulatory bodies to ensure that members’ interests are well represented.

Prior to joining OGUK, Jenny worked in politics and stakeholder management for 15 years including some time working in the Scottish Parliament.

In their new roles, Jenny and Natalie will build on the significant progress achieved by OGUK’s former Stakeholder and Communications Director Gareth Wynn, who leaves the representative body to take up a leadership role overseas, after three years as OGUK’s stakeholder and communications director.

OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie commented:

“By any measure, this year has been incredibly challenging for all communities, yet the people in our industry have continued to demonstrate incredible resilience, applying their essential expertise to help support a fragile supply chain and its move towards a sustainable green recovery. Both Natalie and Jenny have great vision, commitment and drive and their experience will enable us to maintain this momentum, and help ensure we’re doing all we can to support our members.”

“I’m also grateful to Gareth for his invaluable contribution to OGUK and to the industry and wish him every success for the future.”

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Revised regulator strategy confirms alignment on industry future

The UK is set to lead the way in demonstrating how oil and gas producing countries can successfully and fairly transition towards a net zero future, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie OBE has said in a message to members today.

In an end of year message to over 400 member organisations based across  the UK, Deirdre Michie said the stage is now set for 2021 to bring about truly transformational change for the sector to support the country’s net zero ambitions.

Last week the sector’s regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), published its revised strategy, which will look to support companies to reduce emissions and encourage progress on carbon capture and storage and hydrogen.

This revision comes shortly after the UK government published its Energy White Paper, the Scottish Government set out its Climate Change plan and the Committee on Climate Change published its advice to government on the sixth carbon budget.

OGUK also reinforced its concerns about the current challenges facing the sector and its supply chain as they continue to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing volatility in commodity markets set against the backdrop of a potential no deal scenario at the end of the EU transition period at the end of the year.

OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:

Despite the significant challenges we have all faced operationally, economically and personally this year, we have much to proud of. We end the year with industry, government and regulator support for our sector as an enabler to a net zero future.

“In a year where our operations faced sustained challenges, we committed to a detailed emissions reduction pathway and maintained a laser focus on delivering the actions outlined Roadmap 2035. Our people and key workers worked throughout the pandemic to provide the affordable and secure energy and products needed by millions of households across the country.

“Yet, as we are all too aware, the impact of the pandemic and volatile commodity prices has come at a significant cost to many companies, with many jobs affected.

“The stage is now set for a truly transformational period for the people and companies working in our industry. 2021 will be another testing year for us all, including the energy communities and  jobs we need to continue to support. With alignment on our future and the urgent need to stimulate our sector’s recovery in support of this, it must therefore be a year in which we build on these positive developments and help translate strategy into action.

“A North Sea Transition Deal is a unique opportunity to show global leadership and demonstrate how an oil and gas producing country like the UK can successfully transition towards a low carbon future. OGUK is grateful to the many members who have supported the development of this deal  and look forward to progressing this with government early in 2021.

“While we know we don’t have all the answers, it is increasingly accepted that our essential expertise can support the development of hydrogen and carbon capture and storage. The inclusive approach between industry, governments, regulators and the communities we support will remain central to delivering a sustainable and socially accepted transition towards meeting our net zero ambitions.

“The development of a stable and supportive regulatory regime, which aligns with government ambitions is important and industry looks forward to working with the OGA to develop the underpinning guidance to its strategy proposals. We welcome recognition that the UK’s indigenous resources will be important as the country looks to reduce its reliance on imported energy and retain accountability for associated emissions.

“ So against the backdrop of a really tough year for so many, there are some positives that provide solid foundations to build upon, in terms of our contribution to the economy, jobs, energy communities and net zero ambitions. As we a look ahead to a year in which the UK will host the G7 presidency and COP26, it is this commitment to leadership and developing solutions, which will cement our position as a positive partner in the country’s energy future.”

Trio of board appointments as OGUK looks ahead to 2021 ambitions

The leading representative body for the UK oil and gas industry, OGUK, has appointed three major business leaders to its board as the sector sharpens its focus on the industry’s recovery and meeting net zero targets as it looks ahead to the new year.

Jose Luis Muñoz is CEO of Repsol Sinopec Resources UK Limited. José Luis joined Repsol in 2005 as part of the Strategy and Corporate Development team and was instrumental in the acquisition of the global operations of the former Talisman Energy business. He then went on to drive the post-merger integration of the ex-Talisman operations, ensuring a smooth transition.

Since 2017 and prior to his appointment as CEO, José Luis was Repsol representative within the Executive Committee of Repsol Sinopec Resources UK.

Andy Hessell has more than 30 years’ experience in the UK energy industry specialising in commercial, strategy and business development roles in the UK and overseas.  Over the past five years, as Managing Director, Andy has been successfully growing Kellas Midstream, an innovative independent company that owns and manages critical North Sea infrastructure.

Prior to joining Kellas, Andy enjoyed a 26-year career with BP in a variety of leadership positions including North Sea region Chief Financial Officer and Vice President Commercial Operations, North Sea & Angola.

Also joining the board is Mikki Corcoran, Managing Director of Schlumberger Europe. Prior to this role she worked in North America Offshore as General Manager Drilling, and before that, as Global Account Director for Schlumberger.

During her 20-year career in the Oil & Gas industry with Schlumberger, Mikki has held a variety of management positions, including HR, Operations, Sales & Commercial, and Supply Chain, in Norway, United States, Asia and Europe.

Deirdre Michie, OGUK’s chief executive, commented:

“The diverse experience and knowledge that José, Mikki and Andy bring to the OGUK Board will be a great asset as our industry continues to tackle a challenging landscape of low commodity prices and the coronavirus pandemic, while at the same time seeking to support the UK’s cleaner climate ambitions as we look to 2021 and the challenges and opportunities it will bring.

“This diversity of perspectives from across industry is critical as we work to deliver Roadmap 2035, finding solutions for low carbon oil and gas production while doing everything we can to revive our world-class but fragile supply chain and protect the skills of our people for the future.“

 

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