Change is a constant development in the North Sea – it challenges us, presents opportunities and asks us to keep thinking differently.
Over the history of the basin, we have adapted to change in many guises – from adapting to fluctuating oil prices, realising potential from discoveries, handling disappointments, managing costs, taxes, decline, rejuvenation, technology, safety, innovation, politics, market perception and climate change.
These change factors can come and go. They can stay forever or even consolidate to create new challenges.
It is fair to say that whatever change factor has been thrown into the pot – whether expected or unexpected – as an energy community and workforce we have learned to handle change.
We should take comfort from this as we face new challenges that lie ahead.
Our response to changes happening around us and those required for the energy transition question will be critical.
How can we efficiently and cleanly make the most of the resources and opportunities that we have, but at the same time, stimulate the gradual shift towards greener energy production?
The answer to this will be complex, but one thing that is certain is that the oil and gas industry will need to play an important part in the answer.
There is a long way to go, but we are starting to see larger companies in our industry lead the way in terms of diversification and communication strategies.
In oil and gas over the past few years we have seen that the North Sea upstream exploration and production (E&P) sector still holds many opportunities left to pursue.
The change of North Sea asset and corporate ownership continues to present opportunities for smaller, more nimble businesses to apply their business models in what has previously been the domain of the majors.
An increasing trend continues to develop whereby entrepreneurial smaller businesses are strategically acquiring assets or companies that are no longer deemed core by their incumbent owners. These owners are often larger organisations with their focus increasingly in other international basins.
Arguably, in the oil services sector, businesses have had to learn to adapt to face equally or more challenging changes in the business environment and their operating models.
In an ongoing business environment of prices being squeezed, margins tightened and workforces stretched, many oil services companies are not experiencing some of the same good fortunes to be found in parts of the upstream E&P sector.
On a more positive note in the oil services sector, the pure nature of adapting to change has created exciting opportunities in the development of new technology.
Where most successful, these new innovations address cost and efficiency challenges – and increasingly they help address very new challenges in the national conscious: Net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
Our reaction and interaction with change in the North Sea will continue to define us and our energy industry.
There are plenty of new business opportunities to explore that will contribute to our future – whether it is in new technology, new ideas and new business models.
Oil and gas exploration and production will continue to play a central role in meeting global energy demand for decades to come and will present opportunities for value creation and economic development.
With well-balanced support and our ability to think differently, we can make the most of the exciting energy industry that we have, across all of its sectors.
At AAB, our specialist teams offer recent hands-on experience in many aspects of North Sea energy, E&P and oil and gas services and energy transaction and transition support, integration and programme management.
Our teams consist of experts and technical specialists from accounting, tax, industry and professional services.
Services span full lifecycle accounting, tax, audit and JV audit, corporate finance, payroll and consulting services.