One of the top women in oil and gas has been ousted as part of a strategy and management shakeup at the exploration and production (E&P) arm of Centrica.
Colette Cohen, senior vice-president for the UK and the Netherlands, is leaving the energy firm and its E&P leadership team, it emerged yesterday.
Centrica said it had restructured its E&P senior management under three distinct asset areas covering Morecambe Bay, the North Sea and Norway, supported by functional groups, and there was no place for Ms Cohen.
The new team – led by managing director Chris Cox – includes Fraser Weir, Andy Bevington and Dag Omre, asset directors for the North Sea, Morecambe Bay and Norway respectively, as well as subsurface and exploration director Mark Lappin and technical and health, safety and environment director Ken Robertson.
Ms Cohen, 47, started her oil and gas career as the only woman on BP’s Forties platform in the UK North Sea.
Technical and managerial roles since then include a stint in Houston and a spell heading up ConocoPhillips’ operations in the Caspian.
She joined Centrica three years ago from North Sea joint-venture Britannia Operator, where she was managing director on secondment from Conoco.
Ms Cohen is a board member at both Oil and Gas UK and the Technology Leadership Board for the UK, and chairman of the National College for Onshore Oil and Gas.
Hailing her contribution at Centrica and more generally, Mr Cox said: “I would like to thank Colette for her strong leadership … as well as her work across the sector to help make the UK oil and gas industry as competitive as possible in the current low price environment.”
Ms Cohen, whose next career step is unknown, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure leading the UK and Netherlands team for the past three years.
“It has been a challenging time for the whole industry but I am proud of everyone across our operations for the way in which they have responded.
“The team has worked tirelessly to maintain safe and efficient operations and collaborate with our partners to ensure we are successful in a low-price environment.”
Centrica’s E&P business has been producing 75-80million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) a year, from assets in the UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Canada and Trinidad & Tobago.
But the firm is now targeting a smaller production “footprint” of between 40-50million boe annually, focused on the North Sea and East Irish Sea.