David Whitehouse will take up the reins at the trade body, the leading representative body for the UK offshore energy industry, effective from January 1, 2023.
He will replace Deirdre Michie, who announced earlier this year she would be stepping down after almost a decade in charge.
A well known face
With 30 years of energy experience under his belt, Mr Whitehouse has been a “longstanding champion” of Offshore Energies UK, formerly called Oil and Gas UK.
Most recently he worked for North Sea operator CNR International, where he spent two decades as managing director and vice president of development operations.
Prior to joining CNR in 2002, Mr Whitehouse was employed by oil giant Shell where he worked in a number of roles, including as a production engineer.
OEUK says Mr Whitehouse is “respected across the sector” for his “strategic and hands-on leadership” in the North Sea.
He holds a PhD in Theoretical Chemistry from Cambridge University and a first-class degree in Chemistry from Manchester University – currently he is studying at Aberdeen University for a Masters in Renewable Engineering.
Mr Whitehouse said: “It’s a great honour and I can’t wait to get started. Offshore Energies UK is our industry’s champion and I will be proud to lead it into a very exciting future. The UK has a world-class energy sector that is changing as we work towards a fair energy transition whilst ensuring the UK has the energy security it needs to drive growth and productivity.
Tributes paid to ‘deeply respected’ predecessor
“I’d also like to pay tribute to Deirdre Michie, who is deeply respected across our industry. Her leadership has been fantastic to behold and I know she will be missed by the OEUK team. She has passed on invaluable advice about the challenge ahead, which I am excited to meet with the excellent OEUK team and its members. This is also a time of enormous opportunity for our industry, which I’m sure we can all shape and take together.”
OEUK boasts a membership of over 400 organisations, working at all levels in numerous sectors, such as offshore oil and gas, carbon capture and storage and wind.
Mr Whitehouse’s appointment as CEO follows a “highly competitive recruitment process” by the trade body’s top team.
The OEUK board also paid tribute to Ms Michie, who calls it a day at the end of 2022 after eight years at the helm.
Sian Lloyd Rees, OEUK board co-chairwoman and managing director, Mainstream Offshore said: “On behalf of the Board and OEUK members, I’d like to thank Deirdre for her years of dynamic service to this industry. She has led OEUK with enormous skill and built a first-class team. Deirdre has become the face of our industry in the UK and she leaves a rich legacy. She has helped OEUK build its reputation as the leading representative body for our industry, which is founded on its world class membership services and resources together with world-class information, reports and events. We wish her all the very best for the future.”
Arne Gurtner, OEUK board co-chairman and Equinor senior vice president, said: “David brings a wealth of experience and a passion for nurturing our industry and its people. He brings inspirational leadership skills and deep industry expertise that will connect with government, our stakeholders and our growing membership across all parts of the offshore energy landscape. David will provide strong and influential direction as OEUK continues to safeguard UK energy security and power up the energy transition.”
Industry regulator, the North Sea Transition Authority said: “We look forward to working with David Whitehouse following his appointment as CEO of OEUK. David is widely respected throughout the industry for his leadership skills – and we wish him every success carrying on the tremendous work of his predecessor, Deirdre Michie.”