Shell linking exec pay to climate targets shows importance of CSR


Dr Timothy King from the Kent Business School at the University of Kent comments on the news that Shell will link executive pay to carbon reduction targets, arguing this is a welcome move as shareholders’ increasingly recognise the importance of corporate social responsibility within business operations.


Transform the organisation to capitalise on digital


Across the oil and gas industry, plans to adopt new digital technologies are acknowledged as a priority, with increasing investment allocated to areas like artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain and augmented reality (AR).


Expertise to-go: The offshore off-the-shelf


There was a time when buying a high-quality suit meant having it tailor made. Though that may still be the preference for those with the luxuries of time and money to spare, for most, times have changed. Saville Row has faded; the high street has taken over and we’re accustomed to quality and variety available right off the shelf – even with rentals.


OPINION: Cutting decommissioning costs. What’s not to like?


This week Greenpeace provided written evidence to the Future of the Oil and Gas Industry, Commons Select Committee. The topic was decommissioning and the position Greenpeace presented was one of support for OSPAR 98/3.


Decommissioning – whose liability is it anyway?


The mature phase of oil and gas operations on the UK continental shelf is proving to be more complex than we could have imagined even a few short years ago. It has long been recognised that, once a reservoir was depleted and the infrastructure associated with it redundant, decommissioning would be required in accordance with the UK’s international obligations. But it is now clear that, even as some reservoirs reach that point, new discoveries are being made and their development may depend on having access to existing infrastructure which otherwise would be decommissioned. The complex decisions involved in balancing the needs of new and future projects with the expectations of companies who want to decommission infrastructure is a matter for the Oil and Gas Authority working in conjunction with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.


OPINION: It’s time to take a lead in dropped objects prevention


Ensuring the highest possible safety standards has always been a priority for Oil and Gas, particularly in drilling operations. But now, more than ever, the industry is being reminded of the importance of mitigating Dropped Object risks as stacked rigs are brought out of retirement and returned to operations.


UK Government must act to fully unlock the potential of clean energy


As clean energy emerges into its bright post-subsidy future, many within the industry were eagerly anticipating announcements within the Chancellor’s Budget designed to boost the sector into its next growth phase. In the event however, the topic was not mentioned, ceding further ground to other priorities.


Wood burners are barking up wrong tree


The “ash-for-cash” scandal in Northern Ireland has tended to be seen through the prism of politics which is not surprising since it has already brought Stormont to an 18-month halt and still threatens the position of leading political figures.


CMS: New models for old oil platforms?


Decommissioning is now a significant part of the landscape of activity in the UKCS – annual decommissioning expenditure has topped £1 billion since 2015 and may come close to £2bn when Oil and Gas UK reports its estimate for 2018 later this month.


A US privacy law would be good news for the UK oil and gas sector


The end of October was a busy spell in the world of data protection and privacy law. Facebook was fined £500,000 for data sharing with app developers in a way that wasn't transparent and secure. Morrisons was found liable in a group action raised by employees after a rogue employee stole employee data. However, controversially, the even bigger news was the speech by Apple's Chief Executive Tim Cook, praising the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and called for a US equivalent.


Wireless shift for gas detection technology truly positive


Major gas leaks remain a serious concern in the North Sea according to figures in Oil & Gas UK’s annual health and safety report, with at least two per year plus dozens of smaller category releases. The study urges the industry to invest more in improved procedures and technologies to better protect people, assets and the offshore environment.


Standing still is a risky business – even in procurement


Shrouded by opaque, inefficient and antiquated processes, the energy sector has long called for innovation to disrupt the status quo. But lacking in know-how and resources, businesses have stayed on the same procurement track, defaulting to traditional but costly methods of buying and managing their commercial energy. Till now, brokers have held all the aces in the pack, but the rise of young, disruptive companies that are harnessing technology to drive change is slowly shifting the balance. Bold and determined, these disruptors-with-a-conscience, have beefed up the competition and positioned the energy procurement sector on the precipice of a new era. Jonathan Anstey, Head of Partnerships at Open Energy Market, shares his insight on why standing still will be a risky business. Taking a birds-eye view of the state of innovation across the commercial energy sector, it’s easy to identify a clear difference between efficiency and procurement. In terms of efficiency and incentivising organisations to reduce their consumption of energy, innovation is pretty well advanced, though there’s always room for improvement.


Zen and the art of engineering analysis


Early in my career I joined a company that was pursuing a previous form of ISO 9001 certification.  One Monday morning, every inbox (the box type, not the digital) was filled with a photocopy of a quote from that great 1960s book by Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:


Fossil fuels are not against ScottishPower parent’s philosophy


As well as confirming that the vertically integrated UK energy utility model has much in common with the dodo, the Iberdrola sale of generating assets to Drax suggests that different perceptions of merchant power value are now a key strategic differentiator between energy companies.