North Sea ‘open for business’ - hundreds of delegates will hear

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Deirdre Michie
Deirdre Michie

Hundreds of delegates will today and tomorrow (June 14, 15) hear of the transition underway to secure the future of the UK oil and gas sector challenged by a downturn that has claimed thousands of jobs.

Examples of action taken to make industry more efficient in how it works will be shared with the 450-plus attending the annual conference, sponsored by PwC, organised by trade body Oil & Gas UK and taking place at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.

UK and Scottish Government Ministers plus key figures from industry, the regulators, academia and other organisations and sectors will hear of companies sharing good practice and co-operating on initiatives which are helping to bring costs down.

Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of the trade body Oil & Gas UK, said: “Last week, we confirmed the latest fall in employment numbers which certainly reinforce the fact that this industry continues to go through really challenging times. There can be no one in this industry who hasn’t seen family or friends impacted by tough decisions.
“Knowing that we can’t control the oil price, we have shown leadership and focused our energies on areas we can influence. Improving our efficiency and reducing our cost base has seen us increase production and reduce our unit operating cost by a remarkable 40%.

“Recognising that our competition is outside this basin has spurred us all on to deliver to levels I don’t think we would have considered possible 18 months ago. We are pleased with the progress that Oil & Gas UK’s Efficiency Task Force is making.”

Deirdre Michie also said industry had work constructively with UK Treasury and the Oil and Gas Authority to deliver changes – which, when coupled with cost base reductions – make the North Sea the most fiscally competitive in the world.

Amber Rudd MP, the Secretary of State for the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change and Keith Brown MSP, the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work will address the first day of the conference. There will also be a video message from Damian Hinds, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury who was unable to travel to Aberdeen.

For more about the Oil and Gas Industry: Open for Business conference which today includes sessions on cost and efficiency; exploration; asset stewardship; carbon capture and storage, late life and decommissioning; workforce engagement and skills plus a Commitment to the UK Continental Shelf question time session chaired by the broadcaster Sarah Smith see here.

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