The leading representative body for the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry has embraced a UK government review into future licensing rounds as an opportunity to shine a light on how the sector is changing to support the country’s climate ambitions while still ensuring it contributes to the UK’s ongoing security of energy supply.

Speaking in response to the announced review, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie OBE called for a constructive and open discussion about how the UK will continue to meet its energy needs while delivering consumer affordability and jobs, optimising indigenous energy sources in a way that ensures the UK doesn’t offshore its emissions to other countries.
The industry is currently working with the UK Government on a North Sea Transition Deal which will look to harness the full potential of the sector in developing cleaner energy solutions including carbon capture usage and storage and hydrogen.

The announcement comes as the UK oil and gas industry marks a year since it published its response to climate commitments, Roadmap 2035, which identified over sixty actions required to support a fair and managed transition to a lower carbon future.

Commenting, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:

“The UK offshore oil and gas industry has the essential expertise to help the UK meet its climate ambitions by 2050 while at the same time providing affordable energy for households and families, supporting jobs, and creating exciting energy jobs of the future.

“This review is an opportunity to shine a light on how our industry is changing. With commitments to halve emissions in the next decade and committed investment in exciting low carbon solutions, the changing UK oil and gas industry is stepping up to the climate change challenge.

“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic we have not stopped working, and our people have continued to work in difficult circumstances to meet as much of the UK’s oil and gas needs from domestic resources. The reality is that oil and gas will continue to be part of a diverse energy mix for years to come.

“We now need a constructive and open conversation about how our oil and gas producing country can transition fairly to a lower carbon future. Working with governments, regulators and through sensible debate, we can protect jobs and affordability while being ultimately accountable for the emissions associated with the oil and gas we use.”


Do you know where your energy comes from? Take the quiz and find out more 

Commenting on the Just Transition Commission Advice for a Green Recovery report, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said:

“We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to show how we as an oil and gas producing country can successfully build a more diverse and lower carbon energy mix in a way that embraces the skills and talents of our people and our indigenous industries.

“The Just Transition Commission report is timely and welcome in that it picks up on a number of areas that we as an industry are already driving forward in support of the Scottish Government’s climate ambitions. As noted in the report, the footprint of this industry is felt not only in the North East, but across Scotland and the wider UK.

“Roadmap 2035, developed through inclusive engagement across our industry and led by organisations including the OGTC, the Oil and Gas Authority and industry skills body Opito, is a dynamic and comprehensive plan reflecting many areas that need to be and are being addressed.

“It provides a means by which we come together to ensure we meet as much oil and gas demand from domestic resources as possible while at the same time building on the skills and experience of our sector to help deliver the energy transition using homegrown enterprises. In this way we can all work together to protect jobs, continue to provide affordable energy to consumers and unlock thriving energy communities both now, and in future.”

Ends

 

As we know, the NHS and care providers across the country are in working in very uncertain times and facing unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is coupled with the ongoing demand for PPE equipment to protect not only key workers and staff, but hospital patients and care home residents.

PPE is widely used across many industries in the UK, including the UK offshore oil and gas sector. We’re supporting a grassroots campaign with TSG Marine to encourage everyone to check what they have and donate it or lend it to those that need it the most; our heroic key workers on the frontline, putting themselves at risk to keep us safe.

We know many of you are already doing this with spare or legacy inventory. We hope you can support and share the campaign, and let us know if you are donating or have already donated PPE to local NHS boards and trusts, care homes and charities.

Whether its face masks, gloves, chemical suits or shoe covers, do let us know if you can help and help spread the word.

We know of companies within the oil and gas industry already donating spare PPE equipment that they are not using and would ask that others do the same and get behind this great cause if possible. Equipment such as facemasks, goggle or other masks, are widely needed by healthcare workers across the UK and would be greatly appreciated. Other items including chemical protection suits, paper coveralls, overshoes and contact safety gloves may also be helpful to those putting their own health at risk for the good of others.

If you can share any good examples or contributions that we can highlight, we can promote positive stories of how this industry is supporting those on the frontline. Please send these to [email protected].

The government has an updated statement on appropriate PPE so it’s worth checking the latest information here.

Pass on the PPE #passontheppe

The combination of the global economic impact of the continued spread of the coronavirus, the most dramatic fall in oil price in almost 30 years and a halving of gas prices is driving an increasingly fragile outlook for the UK’s offshore oil and gas sector. Severe pressures are already building across the sector’s supply chain, with the pressures expected to significantly undermine the industry’s businesses, jobs and contribution to the economy.

The stark warning was made today by the leading representative body for the sector OGUK, in the first in a series of Business Outlook reports which will shine a light on the issues facing the sector in a challenging and dynamic business environment.

The Business Outlook: Markets and Investment report shows OGUK now expects drilling levels to fall back to the lows experienced in 2016, down more than a third on previous forecasts. The report also warns of a possible 20-30 percent decrease in capital investment for 2020 as well as the potential that the operators in the sector will experience negative cash flow this year.

While the industry was only beginning to emerge from one of the most prolonged and severe downturns in its’ history, OGUK said the supply chain had remained under significant pressure, with tight margins and relatively low activity levels.

OGUK today called for government support to ensure the sector can continue to provide security of supply in the face of these extraordinary difficulties. The body also said it was working with industry, regulators and government to understand how it can protect supply chain companies, and jobs.

OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said:

“Businesses and industries across the UK are facing extraordinary pressures but coming so soon after one of the worst downturns in our history, this report shows that this sector is now in a paper-thin position.

“The offshore oil and gas sector is part of the UK’s critical infrastructure, providing the secure and affordable energy the country needs and is  a key contributor to the economy in terms of supporting hundreds of thousands of skilled jobs, businesses and our wider economic contribution.

“Action is needed now to ensure the sector doesn’t lose the skills, experience and infrastructure it needs to meet the UK’s energy needs of today as well as help deliver its net zero ambitions in future.  We appreciate the Chancellors recent statement and OGUK is requesting urgent meetings with ministers to consider a COVID-19 Sectoral Resilience Package which would help to give some reassurance to the regions, businesses and jobs this industry supports.

“We’re already working with our members to understand the challenges businesses are facing in these unique and extremely worrying times.”

OGUK Market Intelligence Manager Ross Dornan said of the report:

“The first week of March saw the most dramatic fall in oil price in almost 30 years and it remains uncertain as to how the market is going to evolve in the coming months as the coronavirus impact increases each day.

“Alongside this, the gas price has more than halved in the last 12 months, and we face a situation where E&P production revenues are set to be almost 50 percent lower than they were  two years ago despite the same level of output.

“The UKCS has seen significant improvement in its competitiveness, efficiency and productivity in recent years. These improvements will help performance, however in this harsh environment we expect companies to take significant steps to preserve cash flow and ensure business continuity. This will have a very negative impact on the supply chain, which has not yet seen much recovery from the previous downturn and doesn’t have the capacity to absorb much more pain.

“Companies are increasingly diversifying into other energy sectors and across industries more generally, but many cannot diversify or are too early in their journey to provide adequate protection/buffer. At this time innovative thinking, partnerships and meaningful collaboration will be required to help as many as possible to weather the storm.”

Efforts by the sector to support decarbonisation, improve business competitiveness and develop skills for the future will be explored at OGUK’s annual industry conference in Aberdeen on Wednesday 3 June.

Nearly 500 delegates are expected to attend the conference, titled “Getting to Net Zero – Roadmap 2035” and will consider the progress being made as well as the challenges that are out there if industry is to deliver on its commitment to Roadmap 2035 that it published last year..

Coming six months ahead of the COP 26 conference to be held in Glasgow this year, the flagship industry gathering will consider the continued importance of the UK’s oil and gas industry as the UK and Scotland gears up to meet its climate ambitions.

Focusing on the sixty actions outlined in the five key themes of the sector’s Roadmap 2035: a blueprint tonet zero, delegates will hear from leading industry speakers on:

  • Deepening supply chain excellence
  • Strengthening industry competitiveness
  • Delivering a net zero basin
  • Driving technology and innovation
  • Developing skills, behaviours and culture

Launching the 2020 conference today, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said:

“With COP26 on the horizon, our 2020 conference is set to be an important milestone for the sector as we look to champion, challenge and consider our efforts in the transition to a low carbon future.

“The conference programme and exhibition will showcase how we are truly an industry in action to develop solutions, providing the energy the UK needs within the context of ever reducing emissions. The conference will provide a key platform to demonstrate how the challenge is being embraced as an opportunity by companies across the UK.

“This is a valuable event for anyone interested in the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry to understand the changing business landscape and the opportunities it could bring to businesses, jobs, people and economies.”

Ends

The need for improved digitalisation across North Sea operations and the critical role of data in delivering Roadmap 2035, the UK oil and gas industry’s blueprint for net zero, will come under the spotlight at OGUK’s Data and Digital Day on Tuesday 25 February 2020 at The Chester Hotel, Aberdeen.

The inaugural event, chaired by Dr Daniel Brown, Executive Director of Common Data Access (CDA), a wholly owned subsidiary of OGUK, boasts a packed agenda with guest speakers lined up to outline the fundamental role of data and digital in enabling a competitive industry that realises its full potential within the energy transition.

Dr Brown said:

“I am delighted to host OGUK’s first data and digital day. Our impressive line-up of expert speakers will talk delegates through the digital journey of the North Sea as well as discuss the current digital themes in the sector, from data from drones to subsurface data science.

“We will also take a closer look at the role digital can play in improving the cost effectiveness of brown-field developments, with the ultimate aim of deferring decommissioning, and optimising economic recovery of the UK’s oil and gas reserves. With presentations touching on the full E&P lifecycle, we aim to highlight how digital capabilities are core to a competitive UK industry, that will continue to meet UK energy needs while earning our place in the low carbon economy.

“I hope those attending will gain a new appreciation of the range of opportunities that digitalisation can offer businesses and the industry more broadly as we look to deliver Roadmap 2035: our blueprint for net zero.”

Speakers include:

• Maja Kildedal, Head of Innovation and Improvements, Equinor UK
• David Lecore, Senior Compliance Manager, OGA
• Chris Frost, Data Analytics Lead, DataCo Global
• Adrien Bisset, Regional Manager Europe, Belmont Technology Inc
• Stuart Beatty, Managing Director, Kestrel Group
• Steve Aiken, Founder, Intelligent Plant
• Esther Diederen, Digital Transformation Lead, Spirit Energy

-Ends –

OGUK member Bethan Customs Consultancy is celebrating another productive year since its inception four years ago. The Aberdeenshire-based independent firm supports businesses across a wide range of sectors, including oil and gas, to navigate the complexities of HMRC Authorisations and customs regimes.

In 2019, 19 new clients have joined the firm, following a similar number the previous year. The Bethan team have also secured 17 Authorisation approvals for their clients, and provided support on trade compliance and HMRC audits for a further 5 clients.

Read more


The Chairman of the Oil and Gas Authority has challenged the UK oil and gas sector to respond to the energy transition. Commenting, Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive OGUK said:

“We are an industry in action. Roadmap 2035: a blueprint for Net Zero is one of the first major industrial responses to government plans to reduce or offset carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 in the UK and 2045 in Scotland.

“We will continue to work closely with all industry regulators including the OGA to deliver a safe, sustainable and competitive industry that realises its full potential in the transition to the low carbon future we all want to see.”

Ends

Commenting on news that protestors have boarded a drilling rig in Dundee harbour, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said:

“This is a dangerous and short-sighted stunt which does absolutely nothing to help provide the solutions which will be required to meaningfully deliver net zero emissions by 2045 in Scotland.

“Worse than this, we know that the premature shutdown of the North Sea would only increase reliance on oil and gas imported from across the world where we have no control over emissions and with none of the substantial benefits our indigenous industry brings with its thousands of skilled jobs, the funding of public services and energy security.

“This stunt puts both the activists and offshore workforce at risk and our industry – with its focus on safe operations – will not condone these actions.

“If Extinction Rebellion is serious about net zero then it needs to become serious about what will be required and recognise the critical contribution our industry could make if it realises its full potential to support the transition to a lower carbon and more diverse energy mix.

“Our industry is part of the solution and Roadmap 2035: a blueprint for net zero outlines our plans to reduce emissions from the operational production of oil and gas while supporting other heavy emitting sectors to reduce emissions through low carbon technologies including Carbon Capture Usage and Storage and hydrogen. This is an industry in action, and we are committed to working with anyone to find solutions and deliver the low carbon future we all want to see.”

Responding to the Labour Party Manifesto 2019, Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive OGUK said:

“The Labour manifesto talks about a windfall tax on oil and gas companies, but does not give numbers.

“Our industry supports over 270,000 highly skilled, well-paid jobs the length and breadth of the UK and delivers £24 billion of value to the UK economy. The recently published, independent report from the Committee on Climate Change confirms that oil and gas will remain an important part of the UK’s energy mix for decades to come. Any increase in tax rates affecting our UK activities will drive investors away and damage the competitiveness of the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry. This tax has the potential to affect security of energy supply for the UK and increase our reliance on imports, effectively passing the buck for production emissions to other countries. Neither do imports sustain UK jobs or the supply chain companies whose expertise we need to enable the energy transition.   

“We are an industry in action and were have been one of the first to step forward in response to the Government target of net zero with a clear plan, ‘Roadmap 2035 a blueprint for net zero’, to reduce our own emissions and help to develop the technology essential to enable the UK to achieve net zero. Our industry’s expertise and investment is needed as part of the solution. We look forward to working with the next government, whoever wins, and will play our part with others in society.”

 

-ends-

 

Safehouse, world leaders in the provision of technology-led products and services engineered to protect people working in hazardous environments, announce the introduction of its new SAFEHOUSE Habitat System.

The new system is the successor to Safehouse’s Gas Sensing Module (GSM) and ancillary equipment. It has been designed from the ground up and adds significant improvements to the functionality, aesthetics and safety performance of the habitat system. Moreover, its modular design ensures that a solution can be found for even the most demanding and niche applications.

Read more

Jo Fairley, co-founder of Green and Black’s

The co-founder of chocolatier Green & Black’s will address a packed oil and gas industry audience as part of a sell-out event being hosted by OGUK, OGTC and AXIS to spotlight diversity and inclusion across the sector.

The event, to be held at Offshore Europe on Thursday September 5, will see the very successful entrepreneur behind Green & Black’s, Jo Fairley, present a thought-provoking narrative that acknowledges the challenges and opportunities of thriving as a female leader, while sharing the lessons she has learnt throughout her career.

A high-profile line-up of speakers will discuss some of the key issues during a panel session that will be moderated by Colette Cohen, chief executive of OGTC, and includes Gretchen Haskins of HeliOffshore, John Pearson, chief operating officer at Petrofac, Ariel Flores, vice president at BP, as well as Jo Coleman, of Shell and David Isaac, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and partner at Pinsent Masons LLP.

The event will be opened by Deirdre Michie, chief executive of OGUK, who commented:

“This sector has thrived and survived because of our talented and pioneering colleagues. However, if our industry is to remain relevant in a changing and challenging environment, it will need to attract and retain a diversity of talent, skills, experience and thought, as well as ensure inclusive and collaborative ways of working.

“Fostering a diverse and inclusive working culture is a moral and business imperative that is key to ensuring a competitive and sustainable oil and gas industry that supports the UK’s transition to a net zero economy.

“Our industry supports around 270,000 skilled jobs, but with women representing only one in four of the talent pool, there is clearly still more work to be done. It’s not just about gender alone and involves diversity of race and ethnicity, as well as skills and thought.

“We look forward to welcoming distinguished speakers to the panel and are delighted to have Jo Fairley join us to provide an insight into her career – and also how other industries address the diversity challenge.”

Colette Cohen, CEO of OGTC, said: “This event provides our industry with an opportunity to raise awareness of the ongoing challenge in delivering a truly diverse workforce.  We can voice our concerns while sharing aspirations, ensuring everyone feels empowered to make a difference in their place of work.  I look forward to a lively and engaging debate with our panel, challenging everyone in the room to leave with a clear personal commitment to improving diversity – no matter what their role or seniority.”

The event will be closed by Karen Blanc, CEO of AXIS Network, who commented:

“We are passionate about supporting those working in the energy sector to thrive, and to do that we must create truly inclusive, attractive, modern workplaces. We’d like to inspire everyone who attends to commit to taking positive action to attract, retain and develop a diverse workforce.”

Louise O’Hara Murray, OGUK’s environment manager

 

The UK offshore oil and gas industry has delivered stable environmental performance whilst the sector has increased production levels, according to a flagship report published today (Wednesday, July 24) by OGUK.

The 2019 Environment Report, which analyses and interprets data gathered and monitored by the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (OPRED), considers performance across a range of areas including emissions to atmosphere, chemical discharge, waste disposal and produced water, to the end of 2018.

The insight also provides a summary of activities undertaken by OGUK groups over the last year to support the development of new legislation, whilst acknowledging the industry’s critical role in achieving a net-zero future and its integral part in transitioning to a low carbon economy.

Key findings include:

  • There was a three per cent reduction in CO2 emissions in 2018, compared to 2017 whilst production increased by 4 per cent year-on-year
  • A total of 74 per cent CO2 emissions were from power generation
  • Upstream oil and gas operations contributed 3 per cent (14.65 million tonnes CO2e) of total UK greenhouse gas emissions
  • Produced water discharged to sea fell by 3 per cent compared to 2017
  • 2018 saw a decrease in drill cuttings discharged to sea, with 21,450 tonnes discharged
  • Just under 120,000 tonnes of waste was generated in 2018, a 22 per cent decrease on 2017
  • 39 per cent increase in decommissioning waste from 2017 – however, 72 per cent was either re-used, recycled or used for power generation
  • 73% of chemicals discharged were classed as low hazard, or PLONOR (Pose Little or No Risk to the Environment)
  •  There was a decrease in accidental oil releases compared to 2017 –there were 293 releases totalling 14 tonnes, which is the lowest annual total since 2011
  • 95% of the mass of chemicals accidently released were of PLONOR or low hazard chemicals, and less than 1kg of the highest hazard chemicals were released.

Commenting on the report findings, Louise O’Hara Murray, OGUK’s environment manager, said:

“The UK Continental Shelf is a mature and complex basin, and our report analysis shows that in 2018 we are delivering a stabilised environmental performance alongside increasing levels of production.

“Operators are making changes to processes and equipment offshore to continually improve efficiency and emissions performance. Alongside this, OGUK is actively working with its members to understand solutions to meet our commitment to the UK’s net-zero ambition by 2050 and the expectations of society whilst maintaining sovereignty of supply.

“We need a diverse energy mix in the transition to a net-zero future to maintain our security of supply. The forecast demand for oil and gas in the UK in 2050 will exceed current estimates of supply from the UK Continental Shelf, and maintaining energy sovereignty means avoiding premature cessation to UKCS production and displacement of production to other basins.

“As a major hazard and heavily regulated industry, continued engagement with the regulator, government and the sector is key in supporting efforts to reduce environmental risk and ensure continued safe operations.

“With that in mind, this annual report provides an opportunity for us to review environmental performance, reflect on the compliant practices and focus on areas where there are opportunities to drive further improvements.”

Spirit Energy employees at Grampian Pride.

Workforce diversity and inclusivity are currently major discussion points for industry. For the sector to prosper and remain competitive, a lot needs to change.

 

Diversity in oil and gas – within the workforce and across ideas – is necessary if the industry is to thrive. Vast changes are anticipated as the industry adapts in line with the energy transition and advances in technology. As a result, the existing skills gap will only grow, unless companies make the changes needed to make oil and gas an attractive destination for professionals and graduates alike.

Diversity is only possible if companies work to create an environment and culture that is inclusive. In practice, this means companies allow for all manner of personal expression from their employees without anyone fearing that bringing their whole selves to the workplace will hinder, target or ostracise them.

“Inclusion [to me] means making the industry open to everyone no matter who you are; what you identify with culturally, religiously; what your ethnicity is; what your gender is,” explains Spirit Energy director for resourcing, talent, D&I and L&D, Susan Grayson. Wireline met with Grayson to discuss diversity and inclusion in the industry and the work Spirit Energy is doing to embody these ideas.

“If we are truly inclusive, we will have diversity of thought; we’ll make better decisions as teams, we’ll be innovative as an industry and we’ll move on. If we have non-diverse and non-inclusive teams the industry will not keep up with other industries and we’ll lose talent.”

Encouraging diversity

Across the industry, diversity is appearing more frequently in company manifestos and as a talking point at events and conferences. Many organisations are striving to make the changes necessary to encourage greater inclusiveness. For many, however, not enough is being done – evidenced in recent comments made by Energy Institute president Steve Holliday, who remarked that: “The oil and gas industry is appalling. Absolutely awful. It’s pretty much the worst sector for diversity in terms of gender and ethnicity.”

Energy Voice reports that, overall, figures for the number of graduates and women joining the industry are declining and, more generally speaking, the industry performs badly when it comes to ethnic and LGBT diversity. The University of Aberdeen also reported that the oil downturn has had a negative impact on the number of women entering oil- and gas-based higher education. These numbers only highlight the choice that many young people are making in light of the downturn and the energy transition.

There are fundamental shifts that need to be made in individual perspectives and by companies as a whole; attitudes towards diversity and inclusion need to change. Some companies have already taken steps toward addressing their lack of diversity and creating a more inclusive work environment by looking at hiring practices and introducing support and development programmes for existing employees.

“If we are truly inclusive, we will have diversity of thought, we’ll make better decisions as teams, we’ll be innovative as an industry.”

Achieving diversity

There are a number of different interventions a company can adopt to improve diversity and inclusivity at their organisation. In a paper published in the journal Work Occupation in 2014, titled ‘Corporate diversity programmes and gender inequality in the oil and gas industry’, the authors interviewed female geoscientists to explore the effectiveness of different corporate strategies that exist to address the issue. Their findings also give insight into not just company attitudes to diversity, but also how recipients of diversity intervention programmes feel about them.

Hiring programmes

In some organisations, specific goals are set for the hiring and promoting of professionals from minority backgrounds, and an individual or committee is given the responsibility to oversee the achievement of these
goals. This kind of strategy has proven most effective in increasing the number of women in management but is generally met with some resistance – both from those not targeted by the programme and those who stand to benefit.

Grayson alludes to this in her own experience: “In 2013, when I worked for Centrica, our SVP Collette Cohen set up the first Women’s Network. At first, I thought: ‘Gosh, do I really want to get involved?’ Then I thought, if I could have had the help and advice from myself at this age starting out in my career it would have been easier.” This hesitation and resistance is understandable.

People can be reluctant to join anything that might set them apart from their colleagues and this specific intervention can open avenues for other people to question a person’s right to be at a company, degradingly referred to as a ‘diversity hire’. It is therefore important that people understand how diversity is also an issue of inequality, and that in order to work towards a level playing field, many systemically disadvantaged minorities need to be given a ‘leg up’, and offered space and support that they’re denied in society.

The paper’s authors report: “By holding an entity accountable for the achievement of diversity goals on-the-ground, this policy aims to subvert both organisational inertia and wilful resistance from frontline supervisors.”

“Corporate diversity discourse often frames diversity as ‘individual or group differences’ rather than addressing issues of structural inequality, like sexism and racism.”

In an industry characterised by an incredible lack of diversity, powerful measures are needed to alter the reality. One such way is for companies to embrace this unpopular measure of legally enforcing equal opportunity by, for example, targeting women for promotions and hiring black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) professionals.

“It’s not one solution fits all. You tackle the problem from school, university, graduates, and then within your organisation and working environment and then [by] bringing and retaining talent,” Grayson adds.

Mentoring programmes

Traditionally, mentoring programs exist to pair a junior employee with a more senior employee who can share their experiences and offer technical and career advice. Career progress can be hindered for individuals who do not have access to advisers that provide support and advocate for them, so many organisations choose to implement mentoring programmes to assist underrepresented employees.

Research shows that such programmes are only moderately successful at increasing diversity at the leadership level. However, this does not take away from how valuable it can be for an individual to feel supported by having the option of mentoring available to them and working in an inclusive environment. In this study, the female participants expressed that formal mentoring in their first five years at an organisation was invaluable and many missed having a mentor after this period.

Diversity training programmes

Many organisations organise compulsory training programmes to their employees, including seminars and webinars, as part of their diversity and inclusivity efforts. These are devoted to enhancing cultural sensitivity and teaching employees about issues such as unconscious bias, protected characteristics and what behaviours fall into discrimination and harassment. The goal of these training programmes is to teach individuals about the types of diversity that exist and how to be more inclusive, in the hope that participants will change their attitudes and behaviour in response to the training, paving way for a more inclusive environment.

Affinity groups and networking programmes

These groups provide a means for employees to gain social support by joining up with fellow employees that they share a common interest with or a demographic trait. Companies introduce affinity groups on the premise that these networks can help employees combat feelings of isolation. Though they have very little impact on increasing the representation of minorities in management, they do serve an individual and personal benefit by providing a safe space, emotional support and encouragement. Groups are typically open to all employees and may organise informal gatherings for socialising or formal events related to professional development.

Corporate diversity discourse often frames diversity as ‘individual or group differences’ rather than addressing the issues of structural inequality, like sexism and racism, that underpin the lack of representation.

As a result, interventions such as those described above can have the unintended consequence of absolving employers from any discriminatory intent by not addressing existing structural barriers and attitudes that reinforce inequality.

For those reasons, greater research is needed into ethnic and racial diversity within the industry. Grayson says that while there has been success in setting up affinity networks for women and for Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) professionals, others have proven more difficult to establish. “One thing we are trying to set up in Spirit now is an LGBT network. I am finding it harder for people to come forward. There is a fear of being noticed or connected with something that is important, but people feel might not be doing them any favours.”

Countering cynicism

There are individuals who are critical of the increasing emphasis that the corporate world is placing on diversity. Some deny that there is a problem at all, while others feel excluded and, though incorrectly, discriminated against. This is an unfortunate but unsurprising obstacle that leaders and those working to address diversity and inclusivity issues in an organisation have to deal with. “One of the feelings that have been building around men is ‘What about me?’ Instead of leaving them out [of the work], what Spirit has done is try and engage with that group and bring them onboard, saying: ‘Here’s what you can do to help and be a part of this’,” Grayson explains.

For International women’s Day 2019, the company’s EVP technical & operated production Neil McCulloch, penned an article for Energy Voice on the value of gender equality for businesses and how efforts to achieve gender balance are not an attack on men. “Viewing gender imbalance as a women’s issue and leaving it to women alone to ‘fix’, means that any failures will rest at the feet of women instead of being identified as systemic deficiencies. The fact is that in most businesses both the human and financial resources are controlled by men,” McCulloch wrote.

In 2016, OGUK introduced a new award category for ‘Diversity and Inclusiveness’ at its annual industry awards. The award, last year sponsored by Spirit Energy, ‘recognises a company that drives improved business results through recognising and promoting the value of diverse teams and inclusive behaviours.’ The most recent winner of this award was BP, whose efforts in this area have been extensive and led to real improvements in its workforce.

At the heart of this effort are its Business Resource Groups (BRGs), employee-led business groups that raise awareness, educate employees and initiate policy changes on everything from ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation to more flexible ways of working. Crucially, each network has an executive sponsor to help them grow and line managers support staff who want to get involved in a BRG alongside their day job.

BP is deeply committed to creating an environment where diversity and inclusion are valued, celebrated and integrated within its business strategy – and it’s working. Around a third of BP’s North Sea employees are actively engaged in one or more BRGs. It was also the first company in the North Sea to support Grampian Pride.

In the US the company has introduced recruitment, development, advancement and inclusion programmes to achieve specific ethnic minority recruitment goals. BP’s gender balance is also steadily improving, with women representing 34% of BP’s global population in 2018, up from 32% in 2015. This kind of work never stops but what BP has achieved so far deserved recognition.

One step organisations can take to hold themselves more accountable and be more attractive to women is by being transparent with their employee pay scales. Both BP and Spirit have made their gender pay gap figures public and are actively addressing this discrepancy.

Ultimately, the ‘argument’ for diversity and inclusivity in the workplace is not up for debate. “There’s no competition in this for the industry, we’ve all got to do it because we have got to attract people to work in our industry and if we don’t do that, we fail,” Grayson states. It is equally important for executives and leaders to display their commitment making diversity and inclusivity a priority. “Leadership need to be visible and ‘walk the walk, talk the talk’. You need to be authentic, immersed and engaged in the issue.”

Spirit Energy employees celebrate Grampian Pride

Spirit Energy employees celebrate Grampian Pride.

Problem Statement   

Client had identified performance issues with safety critical pipeline valves.

Aims

CONSUB undertook review of the safety critical valve operating data to identify root cause for performance issues and to identify solution to maximise safety critical valve availability

Method

A condition monitoring software platform was developed to analyse available SCADA data allowing safety critical valve performance trending to be established.

Impact

The development and implementation of the valve condition monitoring software platform allowed CONSUB’s valve specialist to trend the data and identify root cause for the safety critical valve performance. This allowed implementation of a condition based maintenance plan to coincide with planned shutdown.

The development of the condition monitoring platform also resulted in the implementation of a revised spares strategy that resulted in a significant reduction in repair durations for unplanned shutdowns of around 80% with an estimated saving of 360 days over the design life of the facilities.

Total Savings Anticipated 

360 days saved

 

LAUNCHING SEPTEMBER 2019

In a unique communications partnership, Oil & Gas UK and ITN Productions are producing a news and current affairs-style programme exploring the importance and value of the oil and gas industry in the UK.

From super majors to large contractor businesses and from independent oil companies to SMEs working in the supply chain, ‘Energy of the Future’ will bring to life the importance of the oil and gas industry, not only to the UK economy but local communities, wider society and jobs. With the oil and gas industries underpinning modern society, this programme will provide those within the sector the opportunity to  tell their story and share their vision for the future.

‘Energy of the Future’ will also explore how the industry is addressing big challenges of the 21st century such as energy security, sustainability and moves to a low carbon economy. The programme will speak to the next generation of workers, apprentices and leaders who will tackle these challenges to build an even more globally competitive oil and gas industry in the UK.

Drawing upon ITN’s 60-year heritage and expertise in storytelling, the news-style piece will be anchored by Natasha Kaplinsky to combine key interviews and reports with sponsored editorial profiles from leading organisations.

Premiered in September and trailed at Oil & Gas UK’s conference in June, the programme will form part of an extensive communications campaign featuring Oil & Gas UK members, industry leaders, government partners, as well as relevant journalists, writers and bloggers.

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive, Oil & Gas UK said: ”As the leading representative body for the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry, we are proud to champion our vital sector to key industry stakeholders.

“In changing times, this partnership with ITN Productions is a fresh and exciting opportunity to tell our story, benefitting from their extensive broadcasting heritage. This will prove to be a valuable communications tool in our efforts secure a competitive sector for many decades to come.”

Vicki Clubley, Head of Industry News, ITN Productions, said: We’re delighted to be partnering with Oil & Gas UK to produce a programme exploring the vital oil and gas sector in the UK. We want to bring to life the challenges and opportunities the sector presents and what is being implemented to create a globally competitive oil and gas industry in the UK.’

For more information, or to participate in the programme, please contact James Linden, Head Programme Director at ITN Productions, on 0207 430 4228 or [email protected].

ITN Productions Industry News produces bespoke creative and commercial content for broadcasters, businesses, brands, rights holders and digital channels. Industry News forms part of this offering and is a communications tool for leading industry bodies and national associations produced in a broadcast news-style programme format, including interviews, news items and sponsored editorial profiles.

For more information, or to participate in the programme, please contact James Linden, Head Programme Director at ITN Productions Industry News , on 0207 430 4228 or [email protected]

Problem Statement 

Customer challenged to reduce plant OPEX without compromising safety and production efficiency. Currently spends $100k+ on critical system maintenance.

Aims

Implement Risk based inspection to reduce maintenance spend and ultimately reduce operating costs.

Method

Completed system assessment (materials, geometry, temp, flow, pressure etc).

Identified corrosion loops. Determined Probability and Consequence of Failure

Agreed risk classification with client

Updated recommended inspection frequency, location and technique

Impact

Reduced system maintenance cost by $46k annually

Validated engineering approach to industry standards to reduce risk (API 571/ 580)

 

Problem Statement  

OEM recommended that gas turbine was at end of life based on operational history and needed to be retired from service, compromising viability of offshore facility.

Aims

  • Perform independent assessment of compressor/ turbine condition and residual life.

Method

  • Reviewed operation and maintenance record
  • Completed detailed assessment of asset including metallography
  • Reversed engineered 2 blades
  • FEA modelled steady state and transient loads

Impact

  • Verified design life at full and reduce loads
  • Validated 6 years continued operation
  • £5M capex avoidance
  • Mitigated premature CoP

 

Problem Statement 

Oil producer in Caspian Sea wanted to maximise recovery factor from reservoir and prevent premature decommissioning liabilities

Aims

Demonstrate the viability of existing producing asset jacket in order to extend life and maximise recovery.

Method

  • Assessed 1 year and 100 year environmental loads on jacket
  • Determined maximum annual wave height.
  • Calculated reserve strength ratio and Probability of Failure.

Impact

  • Assets deemed fit for 10 years further operation
  • Minor structural strengthening recommended
  • Identified regular maintenance and further inspections necessary when max wave reached

 

Problem Statement  

Geoscience data is complex to manage, and huge in volume. Industry practice in sharing this data was massively inefficient, expensive, and insecure.

Aims

Enable geoscience information to be shared between UKCS Licence partners quickly, securely, and inexpensively.

Method

CDA established UKOilandGasData, an internet-based platform to which technical well and seismic information could be loaded, securely shared with partners and the regulator, and transferred between companies following M&A activity.

Impact 

Eliminated cost through secure, centralised storage, preservation, and sharing of critical geoscience information

Eliminated regulatory burden through automatic compliance with data reporting regulations

Eliminated data breach risk by avoiding manual distribution of confidential data to Partners

Enabled secure, discrete access to released geoscience data in support of M&A activity

Simplified and speeded up secure transfer of technical data after asset sales

Facilitated the preservation and curation of industry-critical data for generations to come

Total Savings Anticipated

>£300 MILLION

Government licensing review is opportunity to shine a light on changing industry

The leading representative body for the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry has embraced a UK government review into future licensing rounds as an opportunity to shine a light on how the sector is changing to support the country’s climate ambitions while still ensuring it contributes to the UK’s ongoing security of energy supply.

Speaking in response to the announced review, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie OBE called for a constructive and open discussion about how the UK will continue to meet its energy needs while delivering consumer affordability and jobs, optimising indigenous energy sources in a way that ensures the UK doesn’t offshore its emissions to other countries.
The industry is currently working with the UK Government on a North Sea Transition Deal which will look to harness the full potential of the sector in developing cleaner energy solutions including carbon capture usage and storage and hydrogen.

The announcement comes as the UK oil and gas industry marks a year since it published its response to climate commitments, Roadmap 2035, which identified over sixty actions required to support a fair and managed transition to a lower carbon future.

Commenting, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie OBE said:

“The UK offshore oil and gas industry has the essential expertise to help the UK meet its climate ambitions by 2050 while at the same time providing affordable energy for households and families, supporting jobs, and creating exciting energy jobs of the future.

“This review is an opportunity to shine a light on how our industry is changing. With commitments to halve emissions in the next decade and committed investment in exciting low carbon solutions, the changing UK oil and gas industry is stepping up to the climate change challenge.

“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic we have not stopped working, and our people have continued to work in difficult circumstances to meet as much of the UK’s oil and gas needs from domestic resources. The reality is that oil and gas will continue to be part of a diverse energy mix for years to come.

“We now need a constructive and open conversation about how our oil and gas producing country can transition fairly to a lower carbon future. Working with governments, regulators and through sensible debate, we can protect jobs and affordability while being ultimately accountable for the emissions associated with the oil and gas we use.”


Do you know where your energy comes from? Take the quiz and find out more 

Green Recovery report underlines once in a lifetime opportunity to drive transition

Commenting on the Just Transition Commission Advice for a Green Recovery report, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said:

“We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to show how we as an oil and gas producing country can successfully build a more diverse and lower carbon energy mix in a way that embraces the skills and talents of our people and our indigenous industries.

“The Just Transition Commission report is timely and welcome in that it picks up on a number of areas that we as an industry are already driving forward in support of the Scottish Government’s climate ambitions. As noted in the report, the footprint of this industry is felt not only in the North East, but across Scotland and the wider UK.

“Roadmap 2035, developed through inclusive engagement across our industry and led by organisations including the OGTC, the Oil and Gas Authority and industry skills body Opito, is a dynamic and comprehensive plan reflecting many areas that need to be and are being addressed.

“It provides a means by which we come together to ensure we meet as much oil and gas demand from domestic resources as possible while at the same time building on the skills and experience of our sector to help deliver the energy transition using homegrown enterprises. In this way we can all work together to protect jobs, continue to provide affordable energy to consumers and unlock thriving energy communities both now, and in future.”

Ends

Blog: Pass on the PPE

 

As we know, the NHS and care providers across the country are in working in very uncertain times and facing unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is coupled with the ongoing demand for PPE equipment to protect not only key workers and staff, but hospital patients and care home residents.

PPE is widely used across many industries in the UK, including the UK offshore oil and gas sector. We’re supporting a grassroots campaign with TSG Marine to encourage everyone to check what they have and donate it or lend it to those that need it the most; our heroic key workers on the frontline, putting themselves at risk to keep us safe.

We know many of you are already doing this with spare or legacy inventory. We hope you can support and share the campaign, and let us know if you are donating or have already donated PPE to local NHS boards and trusts, care homes and charities.

Whether its face masks, gloves, chemical suits or shoe covers, do let us know if you can help and help spread the word.

We know of companies within the oil and gas industry already donating spare PPE equipment that they are not using and would ask that others do the same and get behind this great cause if possible. Equipment such as facemasks, goggle or other masks, are widely needed by healthcare workers across the UK and would be greatly appreciated. Other items including chemical protection suits, paper coveralls, overshoes and contact safety gloves may also be helpful to those putting their own health at risk for the good of others.

If you can share any good examples or contributions that we can highlight, we can promote positive stories of how this industry is supporting those on the frontline. Please send these to [email protected].

The government has an updated statement on appropriate PPE so it’s worth checking the latest information here.

Pass on the PPE #passontheppe

OGUK warns industry position is paper thin in face of oil price and coronavirus pressures

The combination of the global economic impact of the continued spread of the coronavirus, the most dramatic fall in oil price in almost 30 years and a halving of gas prices is driving an increasingly fragile outlook for the UK’s offshore oil and gas sector. Severe pressures are already building across the sector’s supply chain, with the pressures expected to significantly undermine the industry’s businesses, jobs and contribution to the economy.

The stark warning was made today by the leading representative body for the sector OGUK, in the first in a series of Business Outlook reports which will shine a light on the issues facing the sector in a challenging and dynamic business environment.

The Business Outlook: Markets and Investment report shows OGUK now expects drilling levels to fall back to the lows experienced in 2016, down more than a third on previous forecasts. The report also warns of a possible 20-30 percent decrease in capital investment for 2020 as well as the potential that the operators in the sector will experience negative cash flow this year.

While the industry was only beginning to emerge from one of the most prolonged and severe downturns in its’ history, OGUK said the supply chain had remained under significant pressure, with tight margins and relatively low activity levels.

OGUK today called for government support to ensure the sector can continue to provide security of supply in the face of these extraordinary difficulties. The body also said it was working with industry, regulators and government to understand how it can protect supply chain companies, and jobs.

OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said:

“Businesses and industries across the UK are facing extraordinary pressures but coming so soon after one of the worst downturns in our history, this report shows that this sector is now in a paper-thin position.

“The offshore oil and gas sector is part of the UK’s critical infrastructure, providing the secure and affordable energy the country needs and is  a key contributor to the economy in terms of supporting hundreds of thousands of skilled jobs, businesses and our wider economic contribution.

“Action is needed now to ensure the sector doesn’t lose the skills, experience and infrastructure it needs to meet the UK’s energy needs of today as well as help deliver its net zero ambitions in future.  We appreciate the Chancellors recent statement and OGUK is requesting urgent meetings with ministers to consider a COVID-19 Sectoral Resilience Package which would help to give some reassurance to the regions, businesses and jobs this industry supports.

“We’re already working with our members to understand the challenges businesses are facing in these unique and extremely worrying times.”

OGUK Market Intelligence Manager Ross Dornan said of the report:

“The first week of March saw the most dramatic fall in oil price in almost 30 years and it remains uncertain as to how the market is going to evolve in the coming months as the coronavirus impact increases each day.

“Alongside this, the gas price has more than halved in the last 12 months, and we face a situation where E&P production revenues are set to be almost 50 percent lower than they were  two years ago despite the same level of output.

“The UKCS has seen significant improvement in its competitiveness, efficiency and productivity in recent years. These improvements will help performance, however in this harsh environment we expect companies to take significant steps to preserve cash flow and ensure business continuity. This will have a very negative impact on the supply chain, which has not yet seen much recovery from the previous downturn and doesn’t have the capacity to absorb much more pain.

“Companies are increasingly diversifying into other energy sectors and across industries more generally, but many cannot diversify or are too early in their journey to provide adequate protection/buffer. At this time innovative thinking, partnerships and meaningful collaboration will be required to help as many as possible to weather the storm.”

Flagship industry conference to reinforce oil and gas delivery in a net zero context

Efforts by the sector to support decarbonisation, improve business competitiveness and develop skills for the future will be explored at OGUK’s annual industry conference in Aberdeen on Wednesday 3 June.

Nearly 500 delegates are expected to attend the conference, titled “Getting to Net Zero – Roadmap 2035” and will consider the progress being made as well as the challenges that are out there if industry is to deliver on its commitment to Roadmap 2035 that it published last year..

Coming six months ahead of the COP 26 conference to be held in Glasgow this year, the flagship industry gathering will consider the continued importance of the UK’s oil and gas industry as the UK and Scotland gears up to meet its climate ambitions.

Focusing on the sixty actions outlined in the five key themes of the sector’s Roadmap 2035: a blueprint tonet zero, delegates will hear from leading industry speakers on:

  • Deepening supply chain excellence
  • Strengthening industry competitiveness
  • Delivering a net zero basin
  • Driving technology and innovation
  • Developing skills, behaviours and culture

Launching the 2020 conference today, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said:

“With COP26 on the horizon, our 2020 conference is set to be an important milestone for the sector as we look to champion, challenge and consider our efforts in the transition to a low carbon future.

“The conference programme and exhibition will showcase how we are truly an industry in action to develop solutions, providing the energy the UK needs within the context of ever reducing emissions. The conference will provide a key platform to demonstrate how the challenge is being embraced as an opportunity by companies across the UK.

“This is a valuable event for anyone interested in the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry to understand the changing business landscape and the opportunities it could bring to businesses, jobs, people and economies.”

Ends

Digitalisation critical to delivery of Roadmap 2035

The need for improved digitalisation across North Sea operations and the critical role of data in delivering Roadmap 2035, the UK oil and gas industry’s blueprint for net zero, will come under the spotlight at OGUK’s Data and Digital Day on Tuesday 25 February 2020 at The Chester Hotel, Aberdeen.

The inaugural event, chaired by Dr Daniel Brown, Executive Director of Common Data Access (CDA), a wholly owned subsidiary of OGUK, boasts a packed agenda with guest speakers lined up to outline the fundamental role of data and digital in enabling a competitive industry that realises its full potential within the energy transition.

Dr Brown said:

“I am delighted to host OGUK’s first data and digital day. Our impressive line-up of expert speakers will talk delegates through the digital journey of the North Sea as well as discuss the current digital themes in the sector, from data from drones to subsurface data science.

“We will also take a closer look at the role digital can play in improving the cost effectiveness of brown-field developments, with the ultimate aim of deferring decommissioning, and optimising economic recovery of the UK’s oil and gas reserves. With presentations touching on the full E&P lifecycle, we aim to highlight how digital capabilities are core to a competitive UK industry, that will continue to meet UK energy needs while earning our place in the low carbon economy.

“I hope those attending will gain a new appreciation of the range of opportunities that digitalisation can offer businesses and the industry more broadly as we look to deliver Roadmap 2035: our blueprint for net zero.”

Speakers include:

• Maja Kildedal, Head of Innovation and Improvements, Equinor UK
• David Lecore, Senior Compliance Manager, OGA
• Chris Frost, Data Analytics Lead, DataCo Global
• Adrien Bisset, Regional Manager Europe, Belmont Technology Inc
• Stuart Beatty, Managing Director, Kestrel Group
• Steve Aiken, Founder, Intelligent Plant
• Esther Diederen, Digital Transformation Lead, Spirit Energy

-Ends –

Bethan Customs Consultancy’s 2020 vision

OGUK member Bethan Customs Consultancy is celebrating another productive year since its inception four years ago. The Aberdeenshire-based independent firm supports businesses across a wide range of sectors, including oil and gas, to navigate the complexities of HMRC Authorisations and customs regimes.

In 2019, 19 new clients have joined the firm, following a similar number the previous year. The Bethan team have also secured 17 Authorisation approvals for their clients, and provided support on trade compliance and HMRC audits for a further 5 clients.

Read more

OGUK responds to OGA energy transition challenge


The Chairman of the Oil and Gas Authority has challenged the UK oil and gas sector to respond to the energy transition. Commenting, Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive OGUK said:

“We are an industry in action. Roadmap 2035: a blueprint for Net Zero is one of the first major industrial responses to government plans to reduce or offset carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 in the UK and 2045 in Scotland.

“We will continue to work closely with all industry regulators including the OGA to deliver a safe, sustainable and competitive industry that realises its full potential in the transition to the low carbon future we all want to see.”

Ends

OGUK condemns dangerous and short-sighted stunt

Commenting on news that protestors have boarded a drilling rig in Dundee harbour, OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said:

“This is a dangerous and short-sighted stunt which does absolutely nothing to help provide the solutions which will be required to meaningfully deliver net zero emissions by 2045 in Scotland.

“Worse than this, we know that the premature shutdown of the North Sea would only increase reliance on oil and gas imported from across the world where we have no control over emissions and with none of the substantial benefits our indigenous industry brings with its thousands of skilled jobs, the funding of public services and energy security.

“This stunt puts both the activists and offshore workforce at risk and our industry – with its focus on safe operations – will not condone these actions.

“If Extinction Rebellion is serious about net zero then it needs to become serious about what will be required and recognise the critical contribution our industry could make if it realises its full potential to support the transition to a lower carbon and more diverse energy mix.

“Our industry is part of the solution and Roadmap 2035: a blueprint for net zero outlines our plans to reduce emissions from the operational production of oil and gas while supporting other heavy emitting sectors to reduce emissions through low carbon technologies including Carbon Capture Usage and Storage and hydrogen. This is an industry in action, and we are committed to working with anyone to find solutions and deliver the low carbon future we all want to see.”

OGUK response to Labour Party Manifesto 2019

Responding to the Labour Party Manifesto 2019, Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive OGUK said:

“The Labour manifesto talks about a windfall tax on oil and gas companies, but does not give numbers.

“Our industry supports over 270,000 highly skilled, well-paid jobs the length and breadth of the UK and delivers £24 billion of value to the UK economy. The recently published, independent report from the Committee on Climate Change confirms that oil and gas will remain an important part of the UK’s energy mix for decades to come. Any increase in tax rates affecting our UK activities will drive investors away and damage the competitiveness of the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry. This tax has the potential to affect security of energy supply for the UK and increase our reliance on imports, effectively passing the buck for production emissions to other countries. Neither do imports sustain UK jobs or the supply chain companies whose expertise we need to enable the energy transition.   

“We are an industry in action and were have been one of the first to step forward in response to the Government target of net zero with a clear plan, ‘Roadmap 2035 a blueprint for net zero’, to reduce our own emissions and help to develop the technology essential to enable the UK to achieve net zero. Our industry’s expertise and investment is needed as part of the solution. We look forward to working with the next government, whoever wins, and will play our part with others in society.”

 

-ends-

 

Safehouse introduce new ATEX and IECEx certified habitat system

Safehouse, world leaders in the provision of technology-led products and services engineered to protect people working in hazardous environments, announce the introduction of its new SAFEHOUSE Habitat System.

The new system is the successor to Safehouse’s Gas Sensing Module (GSM) and ancillary equipment. It has been designed from the ground up and adds significant improvements to the functionality, aesthetics and safety performance of the habitat system. Moreover, its modular design ensures that a solution can be found for even the most demanding and niche applications.

Read more

Green & Black’s co-founder to share career learnings with offshore oil and gas industry

Jo Fairley, co-founder of Green and Black’s

The co-founder of chocolatier Green & Black’s will address a packed oil and gas industry audience as part of a sell-out event being hosted by OGUK, OGTC and AXIS to spotlight diversity and inclusion across the sector.

The event, to be held at Offshore Europe on Thursday September 5, will see the very successful entrepreneur behind Green & Black’s, Jo Fairley, present a thought-provoking narrative that acknowledges the challenges and opportunities of thriving as a female leader, while sharing the lessons she has learnt throughout her career.

A high-profile line-up of speakers will discuss some of the key issues during a panel session that will be moderated by Colette Cohen, chief executive of OGTC, and includes Gretchen Haskins of HeliOffshore, John Pearson, chief operating officer at Petrofac, Ariel Flores, vice president at BP, as well as Jo Coleman, of Shell and David Isaac, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and partner at Pinsent Masons LLP.

The event will be opened by Deirdre Michie, chief executive of OGUK, who commented:

“This sector has thrived and survived because of our talented and pioneering colleagues. However, if our industry is to remain relevant in a changing and challenging environment, it will need to attract and retain a diversity of talent, skills, experience and thought, as well as ensure inclusive and collaborative ways of working.

“Fostering a diverse and inclusive working culture is a moral and business imperative that is key to ensuring a competitive and sustainable oil and gas industry that supports the UK’s transition to a net zero economy.

“Our industry supports around 270,000 skilled jobs, but with women representing only one in four of the talent pool, there is clearly still more work to be done. It’s not just about gender alone and involves diversity of race and ethnicity, as well as skills and thought.

“We look forward to welcoming distinguished speakers to the panel and are delighted to have Jo Fairley join us to provide an insight into her career – and also how other industries address the diversity challenge.”

Colette Cohen, CEO of OGTC, said: “This event provides our industry with an opportunity to raise awareness of the ongoing challenge in delivering a truly diverse workforce.  We can voice our concerns while sharing aspirations, ensuring everyone feels empowered to make a difference in their place of work.  I look forward to a lively and engaging debate with our panel, challenging everyone in the room to leave with a clear personal commitment to improving diversity – no matter what their role or seniority.”

The event will be closed by Karen Blanc, CEO of AXIS Network, who commented:

“We are passionate about supporting those working in the energy sector to thrive, and to do that we must create truly inclusive, attractive, modern workplaces. We’d like to inspire everyone who attends to commit to taking positive action to attract, retain and develop a diverse workforce.”

Industry delivers stable environmental performance alongside increased production

Louise O’Hara Murray, OGUK’s environment manager

 

The UK offshore oil and gas industry has delivered stable environmental performance whilst the sector has increased production levels, according to a flagship report published today (Wednesday, July 24) by OGUK.

The 2019 Environment Report, which analyses and interprets data gathered and monitored by the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (OPRED), considers performance across a range of areas including emissions to atmosphere, chemical discharge, waste disposal and produced water, to the end of 2018.

The insight also provides a summary of activities undertaken by OGUK groups over the last year to support the development of new legislation, whilst acknowledging the industry’s critical role in achieving a net-zero future and its integral part in transitioning to a low carbon economy.

Key findings include:

  • There was a three per cent reduction in CO2 emissions in 2018, compared to 2017 whilst production increased by 4 per cent year-on-year
  • A total of 74 per cent CO2 emissions were from power generation
  • Upstream oil and gas operations contributed 3 per cent (14.65 million tonnes CO2e) of total UK greenhouse gas emissions
  • Produced water discharged to sea fell by 3 per cent compared to 2017
  • 2018 saw a decrease in drill cuttings discharged to sea, with 21,450 tonnes discharged
  • Just under 120,000 tonnes of waste was generated in 2018, a 22 per cent decrease on 2017
  • 39 per cent increase in decommissioning waste from 2017 – however, 72 per cent was either re-used, recycled or used for power generation
  • 73% of chemicals discharged were classed as low hazard, or PLONOR (Pose Little or No Risk to the Environment)
  •  There was a decrease in accidental oil releases compared to 2017 –there were 293 releases totalling 14 tonnes, which is the lowest annual total since 2011
  • 95% of the mass of chemicals accidently released were of PLONOR or low hazard chemicals, and less than 1kg of the highest hazard chemicals were released.

Commenting on the report findings, Louise O’Hara Murray, OGUK’s environment manager, said:

“The UK Continental Shelf is a mature and complex basin, and our report analysis shows that in 2018 we are delivering a stabilised environmental performance alongside increasing levels of production.

“Operators are making changes to processes and equipment offshore to continually improve efficiency and emissions performance. Alongside this, OGUK is actively working with its members to understand solutions to meet our commitment to the UK’s net-zero ambition by 2050 and the expectations of society whilst maintaining sovereignty of supply.

“We need a diverse energy mix in the transition to a net-zero future to maintain our security of supply. The forecast demand for oil and gas in the UK in 2050 will exceed current estimates of supply from the UK Continental Shelf, and maintaining energy sovereignty means avoiding premature cessation to UKCS production and displacement of production to other basins.

“As a major hazard and heavily regulated industry, continued engagement with the regulator, government and the sector is key in supporting efforts to reduce environmental risk and ensure continued safe operations.

“With that in mind, this annual report provides an opportunity for us to review environmental performance, reflect on the compliant practices and focus on areas where there are opportunities to drive further improvements.”

Industry inclusion: A change is necessary

Workforce diversity and inclusivity are currently major discussion points for industry. For the sector to prosper and remain competitive, a lot needs to change.

 

Diversity in oil and gas – within the workforce and across ideas – is necessary if the industry is to thrive. Vast changes are anticipated as the industry adapts in line with the energy transition and advances in technology. As a result, the existing skills gap will only grow, unless companies make the changes needed to make oil and gas an attractive destination for professionals and graduates alike.

Diversity is only possible if companies work to create an environment and culture that is inclusive. In practice, this means companies allow for all manner of personal expression from their employees without anyone fearing that bringing their whole selves to the workplace will hinder, target or ostracise them.

“Inclusion [to me] means making the industry open to everyone no matter who you are; what you identify with culturally, religiously; what your ethnicity is; what your gender is,” explains Spirit Energy director for resourcing, talent, D&I and L&D, Susan Grayson. Wireline met with Grayson to discuss diversity and inclusion in the industry and the work Spirit Energy is doing to embody these ideas.

“If we are truly inclusive, we will have diversity of thought; we’ll make better decisions as teams, we’ll be innovative as an industry and we’ll move on. If we have non-diverse and non-inclusive teams the industry will not keep up with other industries and we’ll lose talent.”

Encouraging diversity

Across the industry, diversity is appearing more frequently in company manifestos and as a talking point at events and conferences. Many organisations are striving to make the changes necessary to encourage greater inclusiveness. For many, however, not enough is being done – evidenced in recent comments made by Energy Institute president Steve Holliday, who remarked that: “The oil and gas industry is appalling. Absolutely awful. It’s pretty much the worst sector for diversity in terms of gender and ethnicity.”

Energy Voice reports that, overall, figures for the number of graduates and women joining the industry are declining and, more generally speaking, the industry performs badly when it comes to ethnic and LGBT diversity. The University of Aberdeen also reported that the oil downturn has had a negative impact on the number of women entering oil- and gas-based higher education. These numbers only highlight the choice that many young people are making in light of the downturn and the energy transition.

There are fundamental shifts that need to be made in individual perspectives and by companies as a whole; attitudes towards diversity and inclusion need to change. Some companies have already taken steps toward addressing their lack of diversity and creating a more inclusive work environment by looking at hiring practices and introducing support and development programmes for existing employees.

“If we are truly inclusive, we will have diversity of thought, we’ll make better decisions as teams, we’ll be innovative as an industry.”

Achieving diversity

There are a number of different interventions a company can adopt to improve diversity and inclusivity at their organisation. In a paper published in the journal Work Occupation in 2014, titled ‘Corporate diversity programmes and gender inequality in the oil and gas industry’, the authors interviewed female geoscientists to explore the effectiveness of different corporate strategies that exist to address the issue. Their findings also give insight into not just company attitudes to diversity, but also how recipients of diversity intervention programmes feel about them.

Hiring programmes

In some organisations, specific goals are set for the hiring and promoting of professionals from minority backgrounds, and an individual or committee is given the responsibility to oversee the achievement of these
goals. This kind of strategy has proven most effective in increasing the number of women in management but is generally met with some resistance – both from those not targeted by the programme and those who stand to benefit.

Grayson alludes to this in her own experience: “In 2013, when I worked for Centrica, our SVP Collette Cohen set up the first Women’s Network. At first, I thought: ‘Gosh, do I really want to get involved?’ Then I thought, if I could have had the help and advice from myself at this age starting out in my career it would have been easier.” This hesitation and resistance is understandable.

People can be reluctant to join anything that might set them apart from their colleagues and this specific intervention can open avenues for other people to question a person’s right to be at a company, degradingly referred to as a ‘diversity hire’. It is therefore important that people understand how diversity is also an issue of inequality, and that in order to work towards a level playing field, many systemically disadvantaged minorities need to be given a ‘leg up’, and offered space and support that they’re denied in society.

The paper’s authors report: “By holding an entity accountable for the achievement of diversity goals on-the-ground, this policy aims to subvert both organisational inertia and wilful resistance from frontline supervisors.”

“Corporate diversity discourse often frames diversity as ‘individual or group differences’ rather than addressing issues of structural inequality, like sexism and racism.”

In an industry characterised by an incredible lack of diversity, powerful measures are needed to alter the reality. One such way is for companies to embrace this unpopular measure of legally enforcing equal opportunity by, for example, targeting women for promotions and hiring black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) professionals.

“It’s not one solution fits all. You tackle the problem from school, university, graduates, and then within your organisation and working environment and then [by] bringing and retaining talent,” Grayson adds.

Mentoring programmes

Traditionally, mentoring programs exist to pair a junior employee with a more senior employee who can share their experiences and offer technical and career advice. Career progress can be hindered for individuals who do not have access to advisers that provide support and advocate for them, so many organisations choose to implement mentoring programmes to assist underrepresented employees.

Research shows that such programmes are only moderately successful at increasing diversity at the leadership level. However, this does not take away from how valuable it can be for an individual to feel supported by having the option of mentoring available to them and working in an inclusive environment. In this study, the female participants expressed that formal mentoring in their first five years at an organisation was invaluable and many missed having a mentor after this period.

Diversity training programmes

Many organisations organise compulsory training programmes to their employees, including seminars and webinars, as part of their diversity and inclusivity efforts. These are devoted to enhancing cultural sensitivity and teaching employees about issues such as unconscious bias, protected characteristics and what behaviours fall into discrimination and harassment. The goal of these training programmes is to teach individuals about the types of diversity that exist and how to be more inclusive, in the hope that participants will change their attitudes and behaviour in response to the training, paving way for a more inclusive environment.

Affinity groups and networking programmes

These groups provide a means for employees to gain social support by joining up with fellow employees that they share a common interest with or a demographic trait. Companies introduce affinity groups on the premise that these networks can help employees combat feelings of isolation. Though they have very little impact on increasing the representation of minorities in management, they do serve an individual and personal benefit by providing a safe space, emotional support and encouragement. Groups are typically open to all employees and may organise informal gatherings for socialising or formal events related to professional development.

Corporate diversity discourse often frames diversity as ‘individual or group differences’ rather than addressing the issues of structural inequality, like sexism and racism, that underpin the lack of representation.

As a result, interventions such as those described above can have the unintended consequence of absolving employers from any discriminatory intent by not addressing existing structural barriers and attitudes that reinforce inequality.

For those reasons, greater research is needed into ethnic and racial diversity within the industry. Grayson says that while there has been success in setting up affinity networks for women and for Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) professionals, others have proven more difficult to establish. “One thing we are trying to set up in Spirit now is an LGBT network. I am finding it harder for people to come forward. There is a fear of being noticed or connected with something that is important, but people feel might not be doing them any favours.”

Countering cynicism

There are individuals who are critical of the increasing emphasis that the corporate world is placing on diversity. Some deny that there is a problem at all, while others feel excluded and, though incorrectly, discriminated against. This is an unfortunate but unsurprising obstacle that leaders and those working to address diversity and inclusivity issues in an organisation have to deal with. “One of the feelings that have been building around men is ‘What about me?’ Instead of leaving them out [of the work], what Spirit has done is try and engage with that group and bring them onboard, saying: ‘Here’s what you can do to help and be a part of this’,” Grayson explains.

For International women’s Day 2019, the company’s EVP technical & operated production Neil McCulloch, penned an article for Energy Voice on the value of gender equality for businesses and how efforts to achieve gender balance are not an attack on men. “Viewing gender imbalance as a women’s issue and leaving it to women alone to ‘fix’, means that any failures will rest at the feet of women instead of being identified as systemic deficiencies. The fact is that in most businesses both the human and financial resources are controlled by men,” McCulloch wrote.

In 2016, OGUK introduced a new award category for ‘Diversity and Inclusiveness’ at its annual industry awards. The award, last year sponsored by Spirit Energy, ‘recognises a company that drives improved business results through recognising and promoting the value of diverse teams and inclusive behaviours.’ The most recent winner of this award was BP, whose efforts in this area have been extensive and led to real improvements in its workforce.

At the heart of this effort are its Business Resource Groups (BRGs), employee-led business groups that raise awareness, educate employees and initiate policy changes on everything from ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation to more flexible ways of working. Crucially, each network has an executive sponsor to help them grow and line managers support staff who want to get involved in a BRG alongside their day job.

BP is deeply committed to creating an environment where diversity and inclusion are valued, celebrated and integrated within its business strategy – and it’s working. Around a third of BP’s North Sea employees are actively engaged in one or more BRGs. It was also the first company in the North Sea to support Grampian Pride.

In the US the company has introduced recruitment, development, advancement and inclusion programmes to achieve specific ethnic minority recruitment goals. BP’s gender balance is also steadily improving, with women representing 34% of BP’s global population in 2018, up from 32% in 2015. This kind of work never stops but what BP has achieved so far deserved recognition.

One step organisations can take to hold themselves more accountable and be more attractive to women is by being transparent with their employee pay scales. Both BP and Spirit have made their gender pay gap figures public and are actively addressing this discrepancy.

Ultimately, the ‘argument’ for diversity and inclusivity in the workplace is not up for debate. “There’s no competition in this for the industry, we’ve all got to do it because we have got to attract people to work in our industry and if we don’t do that, we fail,” Grayson states. It is equally important for executives and leaders to display their commitment making diversity and inclusivity a priority. “Leadership need to be visible and ‘walk the walk, talk the talk’. You need to be authentic, immersed and engaged in the issue.”

Spirit Energy employees celebrate Grampian Pride

Spirit Energy employees celebrate Grampian Pride.

CONSUB – ESDV Condition Monitoring

Problem Statement   

Client had identified performance issues with safety critical pipeline valves.

Aims

CONSUB undertook review of the safety critical valve operating data to identify root cause for performance issues and to identify solution to maximise safety critical valve availability

Method

A condition monitoring software platform was developed to analyse available SCADA data allowing safety critical valve performance trending to be established.

Impact

The development and implementation of the valve condition monitoring software platform allowed CONSUB’s valve specialist to trend the data and identify root cause for the safety critical valve performance. This allowed implementation of a condition based maintenance plan to coincide with planned shutdown.

The development of the condition monitoring platform also resulted in the implementation of a revised spares strategy that resulted in a significant reduction in repair durations for unplanned shutdowns of around 80% with an estimated saving of 360 days over the design life of the facilities.

Total Savings Anticipated 

360 days saved

 

Oil & Gas UK presents ‘Energy of the Future’, a collaboration with ITN Productions

LAUNCHING SEPTEMBER 2019

In a unique communications partnership, Oil & Gas UK and ITN Productions are producing a news and current affairs-style programme exploring the importance and value of the oil and gas industry in the UK.

From super majors to large contractor businesses and from independent oil companies to SMEs working in the supply chain, ‘Energy of the Future’ will bring to life the importance of the oil and gas industry, not only to the UK economy but local communities, wider society and jobs. With the oil and gas industries underpinning modern society, this programme will provide those within the sector the opportunity to  tell their story and share their vision for the future.

‘Energy of the Future’ will also explore how the industry is addressing big challenges of the 21st century such as energy security, sustainability and moves to a low carbon economy. The programme will speak to the next generation of workers, apprentices and leaders who will tackle these challenges to build an even more globally competitive oil and gas industry in the UK.

Drawing upon ITN’s 60-year heritage and expertise in storytelling, the news-style piece will be anchored by Natasha Kaplinsky to combine key interviews and reports with sponsored editorial profiles from leading organisations.

Premiered in September and trailed at Oil & Gas UK’s conference in June, the programme will form part of an extensive communications campaign featuring Oil & Gas UK members, industry leaders, government partners, as well as relevant journalists, writers and bloggers.

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive, Oil & Gas UK said: ”As the leading representative body for the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry, we are proud to champion our vital sector to key industry stakeholders.

“In changing times, this partnership with ITN Productions is a fresh and exciting opportunity to tell our story, benefitting from their extensive broadcasting heritage. This will prove to be a valuable communications tool in our efforts secure a competitive sector for many decades to come.”

Vicki Clubley, Head of Industry News, ITN Productions, said: We’re delighted to be partnering with Oil & Gas UK to produce a programme exploring the vital oil and gas sector in the UK. We want to bring to life the challenges and opportunities the sector presents and what is being implemented to create a globally competitive oil and gas industry in the UK.’

For more information, or to participate in the programme, please contact James Linden, Head Programme Director at ITN Productions, on 0207 430 4228 or [email protected].

ITN Productions Industry News produces bespoke creative and commercial content for broadcasters, businesses, brands, rights holders and digital channels. Industry News forms part of this offering and is a communications tool for leading industry bodies and national associations produced in a broadcast news-style programme format, including interviews, news items and sponsored editorial profiles.

For more information, or to participate in the programme, please contact James Linden, Head Programme Director at ITN Productions Industry News , on 0207 430 4228 or [email protected]

RINA – Reducing Maintenance Spend through Risk Based Inspection

Problem Statement 

Customer challenged to reduce plant OPEX without compromising safety and production efficiency. Currently spends $100k+ on critical system maintenance.

Aims

Implement Risk based inspection to reduce maintenance spend and ultimately reduce operating costs.

Method

Completed system assessment (materials, geometry, temp, flow, pressure etc).

Identified corrosion loops. Determined Probability and Consequence of Failure

Agreed risk classification with client

Updated recommended inspection frequency, location and technique

Impact

Reduced system maintenance cost by $46k annually

Validated engineering approach to industry standards to reduce risk (API 571/ 580)

 

RINA – Asset Life Extension Through Reverification

Problem Statement  

OEM recommended that gas turbine was at end of life based on operational history and needed to be retired from service, compromising viability of offshore facility.

Aims

  • Perform independent assessment of compressor/ turbine condition and residual life.

Method

  • Reviewed operation and maintenance record
  • Completed detailed assessment of asset including metallography
  • Reversed engineered 2 blades
  • FEA modelled steady state and transient loads

Impact

  • Verified design life at full and reduce loads
  • Validated 6 years continued operation
  • £5M capex avoidance
  • Mitigated premature CoP

 

RINA – Extending life of Existing Producing Assets

Problem Statement 

Oil producer in Caspian Sea wanted to maximise recovery factor from reservoir and prevent premature decommissioning liabilities

Aims

Demonstrate the viability of existing producing asset jacket in order to extend life and maximise recovery.

Method

  • Assessed 1 year and 100 year environmental loads on jacket
  • Determined maximum annual wave height.
  • Calculated reserve strength ratio and Probability of Failure.

Impact

  • Assets deemed fit for 10 years further operation
  • Minor structural strengthening recommended
  • Identified regular maintenance and further inspections necessary when max wave reached

 

New: Common Data Access Limited – Geoscience data sharing saves £millions

Problem Statement  

Geoscience data is complex to manage, and huge in volume. Industry practice in sharing this data was massively inefficient, expensive, and insecure.

Aims

Enable geoscience information to be shared between UKCS Licence partners quickly, securely, and inexpensively.

Method

CDA established UKOilandGasData, an internet-based platform to which technical well and seismic information could be loaded, securely shared with partners and the regulator, and transferred between companies following M&A activity.

Impact 

Eliminated cost through secure, centralised storage, preservation, and sharing of critical geoscience information

Eliminated regulatory burden through automatic compliance with data reporting regulations

Eliminated data breach risk by avoiding manual distribution of confidential data to Partners

Enabled secure, discrete access to released geoscience data in support of M&A activity

Simplified and speeded up secure transfer of technical data after asset sales

Facilitated the preservation and curation of industry-critical data for generations to come

Total Savings Anticipated

>£300 MILLION