Colette Cohen has been appointed as the chief executive officer of the new Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) in Aberdeen.
Ms Cohen, who has spent 25 years in the oil and gas industry and was latterly senior vice president for the UK and Netherlands region with Centrica’s upstream business, will formally take up the new post in September.
The OGTC is being established to become the “go to” global centre for developing solutions to offshore mature basin, subsea and decommissioning technology challenges. It will be outwardly focused, private sector led and driven by industry needs. Its clients and partners will be Oil & Gas UK members, the Oil & Gas Authority, the Technology Leadership Board, the supply chain and local universities.
Working through Solution Centres, local Centres of Excellence and with access to other industry technology centres in the UK and overseas, the OGTC will enable, lead, support and facilitate market-led technology programmes appropriate to the mature basin in tandem with a strong focus on subsea and decommissioning excellence. It will also facilitate, stimulate and accelerate supply chain led research and development through a Technology Accelerator with the potential to double the UK’s oil and gas supply chain exports from £16 billion to £32 billion over the next 10 years.
The OGTC is expected to secure £180 million of innovation funding from the Aberdeen City Region Deal (ACRD), which is co-funded by the UK and Scottish Governments.
This recognises that technology and innovation will be key to maximising economic recovery in the UKCS and evolving Aberdeen from an offshore operations and services centre into one of the world’s leading locations for oil and gas technology development.
Commenting on the appointment, Sir Ian Wood, chairman of the OGTC Board, said: “The OGTC is a transformational project for the oil and gas industry and Colette has the ideal combination of commitment, passion for technology, proven leadership abilities and knowledge of the industry to deliver results that will positively impact performance in the UKCS.
“With industry, government, academia and the public sector fully aligned on this project, our aim is to fundamentally change the oil and gas innovation landscape with a delivery mechanism that facilitates collaboration and accelerates the development and deployment of the technologies that addresses real industry challenges.
“The OGTC, alongside partners, will support the delivery of the UKCS maximising economic recovery agenda and help to anchor the oil and gas supply chain in the north east of Scotland for the long term. The Board and our partners look forward to working with Colette to realise this vision,” said Sir Ian.
As CEO of the OGTC, Ms Cohen will report to its Board and be responsible for agreeing the strategic direction, providing leadership to the organisation, setting the culture and delivering its vision. Key aspects of the role will be to ensure that the OGTC is a catalyst for creating strategic value, helps to deliver the UK’s MER agenda, and grows the domestic oil and gas supply chain in the UK and overseas.
Ms Cohen said: “The OGTC is an opportunity for the UK to differentiate itself within the oil and gas industry as a leader of technology development and deployment, with particular focus on mature assets, subsea and decommissioning. I am looking forward to partnering with industry, the regulators, universities and government to deliver on this vision and making OGTC the go to centre for the industry.”
Ms Cohen began her career as a petroleum engineer with BP and has worked in Aberdeen, Astana (Kazakhstan), Houston and Stavanger over the past 25 years in a variety of senior management roles with a strong technology focus. Before joining Centrica in 2013, she spent 15 years with ConocoPhillips, latterly as managing director of its Brittania Operator Limited joint venture with Chevron in the UK. She has been co-chair of the OGA’s North Sea Decommissioning Board, a member of the Technology Leadership Board and a member of the Board of Oil & Gas UK.