Opinion

Opinion

North Sea Transition Deal: watch out for the sting in the tail

The North Sea Transition deal, announced on March 24, has given industry a clear statement of intent for the coming decade and beyond, but the energy sector would do well to prepare itself for the inevitable legal and regulatory consequences that follow.

Opinion

Big tests are looming in offshore wind

It’s several decades since I first wrote about the Crown Estate and its enormously influential hold over Scotland’s coastal waters.  At that time, it was a virtually unknown subject. Today, it is more relevant than ever.

Opinion

Ideology shot us in the foot

I spent a few weeks in the mid-70s blowing up glacial boulders on the Norwegian Statfjord field in preparation for the arrival of the Statfjord Alpha platform.

Opinion

Transition through innovation for UK oil and gas sector

The UK has just become the first G7 country to agree a landmark deal to support the oil and gas industry’s transition to clean, green energy while supporting some 40,000 jobs. Patent expert Tomas Karger from IP firm Marks & Clerk, who specialises in energy, wireless power and telecoms, reflects on the North Sea transition deal.

Opinion

Energy infrastructure: The Achilles’ heel of Ukraine’s energy transition

The upcoming energy transition will change approaches towards constructing power systems and their topology. Developing renewables is becoming increasingly critical as the transition away from big energy facilities based on using fossil fuels will lead to the redesign of our energy infrastructure, notably distribution grids.

Opinion

Shaping the future of HSE

This year has been incredibly tough for everyone. Covid-19 has created enormous uncertainties in every aspect of our lives that will reverberate for years. And my strong suspicion is that our society and our industry cannot go through upheavals of this nature, and simply return to life as it was before.

Opinion

Now more than ever, business leaders must get ESG reporting right

Recently I was briefing one of my fellow colleagues at KPMG ahead of a meeting with a Government Minister. He asked me about ESG reporting and as I marshalled my thoughts it came home to me just how critical reporting really is to progressing this agenda.

Opinion

Is the age of the oil and gas expat coming to an end?

The upheaval of 2020 accelerated a number of trends that were already in motion, some slower in motion than others: flexible working, digital communication and employee wellbeing to name but a few.

Opinion

Change to North Sea licensing regime ‘long overdue’

News that the UK government is pondering a North Sea exploration ban has been met with howls of protest – mostly from those who’ve talked a good energy transition but haven’t done very much about it. But re-focusing the sector via progressive change to the licensing regime isn’t “virtue signaling”, as one industry insider put it. It’s downright essential - and long overdue.

Opinion

Digital energy networks are the missing piece in our journey to net zero

From heat pumps to electric vehicles (EVs), recent months have seen a flurry of pledges from the government geared towards decarbonisation of the energy system. The latest came in the Chancellor’s Budget, which included increases in spend on energy innovation and high-tech projects and prototypes. While this level of ambition is welcome, the reality is that even if the entire UK population shifted to electric heating and EVs, our outdated energy networks could not meet this new level of demand for electricity. If the UK is serious about speeding up the decarbonisation of transportation and domestic energy use, the digitisation of networks should be at the top of the to-do list.

Opinion

Big Oil: Time for a spin-off?

With Covid-19 continuing to impact the profitability of the supermajors, Ano Kuhanathan, sector advisor at trade credit insurer, Euler Hermes, argues that now is the time for the supermajors/Big Oil to start spinning off their renewables divisions.

Opinion

Capturing a golden opportunity for Scotland

Since 1980, Peterhead Power Station, in the North East of Scotland, has played an essential role in keeping the lights on across the country. This has rarely been more evident than over the last year, with our critical workers ensuring the station continues to provide the energy needed throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Opinion

Who wants North Sea CCS, and why?

The idea of an energy transition itself is not new. We have been experiencing it for decades already in the search for reliable, affordable, and less-polluting sources of energy. However, the need to get to net-zero quickly in response to a growing climate emergency is taking us all through uncharted territory.

Opinion

IR35: What next for the PSC ‘one-man company’?

For many years in the North East of Scotland, the personal service company (PSC), otherwise referred to as a one-man company, has become a fairly standard way to provide services, particularly in the oil and gas sector, due to a mixture of employment law and tax law.

Opinion

Mintra: 365 days of WFH – and a seismic shift in thinking

On this day exactly one year ago, Mintra asked our staff to pack up their desks and make their home space their new office space. We knew that the Covid-19 stay at home order would be coming – it was only a matter of time – and that we needed to act swiftly to keep our team both safe and operational, even before governments made working from home mandatory for non-key workers.

Opinion

Financing developments driving growth of renewables

Like so many other parts of the economy, Scotland’s renewable and alternative energy sector has not avoided the impact of the global pandemic. The recent UK Budget set out a variety of key climate and environment measures that, alongside other political and market developments, may re-energise the sector following the recent difficulties.

Opinion

Addressing the Great Crew Change for oil and gas

The skills deficit in energy is a source of concern that has increased rapidly for employers. With global authorities cementing their commitment to reaching net zero targets by 2050 at the latest, the pressure is on for energy companies to deliver against substantial sustainability targets. But a dearth of trained resources has the potential to hinder this growth.