The North Sea regulator’s supply chain and decommissioning head, Stuart Payne, will succeed outgoing chief executive Dr Andy Samuel at the end of this year.
Mr Samuel announced his impending retirement in February, weeks before the organisation unveiled its new strategy and identity as the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA)
He has served as chief executive since the NSTA’s creation as the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) in 2015.
The body emerged following the 2013 Wood Review, which recommended the creation of an independent economic regulator.
His departure “has been long agreed”, the regulator said in February.
Mr Payne also joined the NSTA in 2015 and is currently responsible for decommissioning, leading work with the supply chain and heading the HR function.
He co-chairs the industry’s Supply Chain and Exports Task Force and is a member of the Scottish Government’s Energy Transition Leadership Group.
Prior to joining the NSTA, he held a variety of leadership positions in the oil and gas industry, and was awarded a CBE for services to the sector in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2020.
He was appointed by the NSTA board following a competitive internal and external recruitment process, and will assume responsibilities on 1 January 2023.
His work will include supporting the industry on vital projects involving electrification, carbon storage, energy hubs and exploration, liaising with other organisations with interests in the North Sea and working even more closely with government and industry in light of challenging global politics.
Mr Samuel said he was “delighted” to hand over the reins to his colleague.
“Stuart has been a key part of the organisation and will do a great job. I’m proud of all my team and our achievements from bolstering security of supply, to leading the Energy Transition and enhancing economic prosperity for the UK.”
Mr Payne added: “It has been a pleasure working for Andy who has made such a big difference in our sector and it is a great honour and privilege to take over the leadership of the NSTA.
“There are exciting times ahead and I look forward to working with the Board and talented colleagues throughout the organisation, as well as government and industry to achieve our aims of helping the UK increase energy security and reach net zero.”
The news was also welcomed by minister of state Greg Hands, who congratulated Mr Payne on the role.
Many congratulations Stuart Payne.
The @NSTAuthority has a vital role to play in the coming years.
✅ ensuring our energy security.
✅ decarbonising offshore energy production – particularly electrification of platforms.
✅ more offshore renewables. https://t.co/O6fq6J4kHj
— Greg Hands (@GregHands) July 13, 2022
NSTA chairman Tim Eggar said Mr Payne was “absolutely the right fit” to carry on the work of his predecessor.
“The sector is going through a period of rapid change and Stuart has the right skills, experience and personality to guide the NSTA and the industry through this crucial time,” he added.