As we come towards the end of the year, it’s always a good time to pause and reflect on the last 12 months and set our sights on the year ahead.
Our industry continues to emerge from one of the most testing downturns in our history, and while challenges remain, we are closing 2018 in a more positive place.
2018 saw more projects approved than over the past three years combined. These will add more than 400 million barrels of oil equivalent to UK Continental Shelf reserves and over £3.2bn capital expenditure. Its key that this investment accelerates into activity to provide our supply chain with some much needed opportunities and also to help sustain production levels post 2020.
Across industry we are also seeing some great examples of cultural change being embedded and companies and industry as a whole appreciating the benefits. However none of the progress made to date can be taken for granted and as we look to 2019 we must stay the course and continue to focus on improving the competitiveness of our sector while, of course, relentlessly ensuring safe operations.
As the leading representative body for the industry, OGUK is proud to champion Vision 2035, our ambition to add a generation of productive life to the UK Continental Shelf and grow supply chain opportunities at home, internationally and into other sectors. Vision 2035 will also be a key focus for us next year along with the need for oil and gas to make a critical contribution to the lower carbon economy.
Our ability to navigate a fast-changing world will be crucial to our industry’s continued success, with the energy transition and the challenge of climate change becoming more and more relevant.
We will continue to champion the industry through evidence and facts, working across the political spectrum. We will provide leading industry insights through the latest market intelligence and provide quality networking opportunities with our highly valued events programme and forums.
Vision 2035 will also be a key theme at our conference in June where we will focus on the topic.
In 2019 we will build on our Energy Transition Report published earlier this month. The report, the first of its kind from OGUK, demonstrates industry’s key role in the energy transition and reinforces that Vision 2035 is critical in achieving the balance between delivering our climate change targets and ensuring security of energy supply.
Underpinning all of the above will be an increased focus on diversity and inclusion to help position this as an attractive industry that skilled people want to remain in and keen to join. With a diverse workforce comes a range of thoughts and ideas, critical to the problem-solving nature of our pioneering industry.
So as we use this time to reflect on the year and look to the future, it is clear our industry remains key to the UK: critical for security of energy supply, supporting hundreds of thousands of highly skilled jobs, and contributing billions to the economy.
I look forward to our sector enjoying a safe, successful and focused 2019.