Busy few weeks ahead in drive to champion UK’s oil industry

Oil and Gas UK chief executive Deirdre Michie
Oil and Gas UK chief executive Deirdre Michie

Today marks the start of a busy few weeks in our ongoing drive to champion the future of the UK’s oil and gas industry.

Our annual conference – opening this morning in Aberdeen –  focuses on the importance of safe operations. Thirty years on from the tragic events of Piper Alpha we look at what we have learned, how things are now and most importantly how to make them even better for the future.

Next week we address the Scottish Affairs Select Committee as it begins its investigation into the future of the UK’s oil and gas industry.

That same day we also set out our prospectus for change in a business breakfast focused on Vision 2035 and what it means for the sector.

Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, said change is the only constant in life. It’s a truism we know all too well.

In four short years we’ve navigated momentous change to our business, political, economic and social environments.

From the decision to leave the European Union to the oil price downturn, businesses have continued to assess risk and change course when required.

But as we feel a sense of determined optimism, many of our members are giving more focus to their role in the transition to a lower carbon economy.

This comes at a time when global energy requirements continue to increase, with oil and gas demand set to rise by more than 25 percent by 2035.

The best way to manage positive change is to set a course based on a sound strategy and that’s why Oil & Gas UK is turning up the volume on Vision 2035 – our shared ambition for the future of the UK Continental Shelf.

Its aim is two-fold – to add a generation of life to the UKCS through maximising economic recovery and to focus on doubling the global market share of our world-class supply chain by 2035.

In response to our members and political stakeholders – and as part of the vision – we are also ramping up visibility of what we are already doing to support decommissioning, which in a mature basin like ours, should be seen as a normal part of the lifecycle, and as an opportunity, alongside ongoing exploration, development and production.

Oil & Gas UK produces decommissioning insights, market intelligence, guidelines, conferences and networking events like our business breakfast taking place in London later this month.

We also work with key government stakeholders to ensure the business environment for decommissioning is supportive. Our focus is on ensuring a safe, efficient, technically sound and cost- effective approach to decommissioning for the whole of the UKCS.

Look out for a new set of our well decommissioning guidelines about to be published and already seen as an international benchmark. These now incorporate  technological innovations and process improvements that can be shared to drive improvements and reduce costs sector-wide.

We’re all set for a busy two weeks in what continues to be a busy year, but the steps Oil & Gas UK is taking to support and be the ‘go to’ for every stage of industry’s life cycle lay the foundations for a very bright future.