After being given a sharp dig in their corporate ribs to remind them of the importance – and presence of – the southern North Sea oil and gas industry based in Great Yarmouth – the heads of the Aberdeen-based trade association and UK regulator have now set their sat-navs south for Norfolk.
Andy Samuel, Chief Executive of the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) is making his first official visit to the region, following a recent ‘scouting-party’ visit by Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive, Oil and Gas UK.
Norfolk is rapidly moving up the UK geo-political-oil agenda as the area’s mostly Conservative MPs realise that jobs are at risk from the prolonged slump in North Sea crude oil and gas prices.
And – as exclusively revealed in Scottish Energy News last month – the East of England Energy Generating Group has signed a joint memorandum of understanding with the Aberdeen-based Decom North Sea trade body. See Scottish Energy News, 6 Jan 2015
Significantly, Decom North Sea also recently signed a ‘statement of every closer-collaboration’ with Oil and Gas UK in a move regarded by observers as a sign of corporate cost-cutting chickens coming home to roost.
Equallly significantly, Decom North Sea have neither said whether interim chief executive Karen Seath will permanently confirmed in her job, or whether the job will be ‘deleted’ in a cost-saving move.
More than 500 delegates are expected to hear about new business opportunities, industry forecasts, and strategies for weathering current and future challenges at the two-day Southern North Sea conference on March 2 and 3 at the Norfolk Showground, which is being organised by EEEGR.
Amidst the toughest times endured by the oil & gas industry to date, supply chain companies will have the chance to hear directly from Andy Samuel, chief executive of the regulator Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) and Deirdre Michie, chief executive of Oil & Gas UK, and ask questions about work underway to stimulate and re-invigorate the SNS gas basin.
The 2016 UK Oil and Gas Collaboration Conference – Aberdeen 14 April
They will take to the stage two weeks before Chancellor George Osborne’s spring budget, in which the industry is hoping to receive big tax cuts. Executives are reported to have been in talks with the Treasury since last month when David Cameron met the industry in Aberdeen.
And a forum session on how business practices in the SNS have changed as the oil and gas price downturn has taken hold and the impact on the supply chain will be held on the second day.
This event will be Samuel’s first visit to the region as chief exective of the OGA. Deirdre Michie will return following her fact-finding visit last month to supply chain companies, when she also met with political leaders and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
And – in contrast to the ‘clannish’ approach of some Scottish government’s enterprise agencies in the Central Belt and in the Highlands and also by some of Scotland’s energy trade bodies – the East of England’s unique all-energy mix will be celebrated in an extensive conference programme focusing on oil & gas, offshore wind, nuclear, ports, skills and training, decommissioning, innovation and collaboration.
For example, Jonathan Cole, Chief Executive of Scottish Power Renewables is a keynote speaker at the Southern North Sea conference – partly of a result of his company’s £26 million investment in new offshore renewable energy harbour services in Lowestoft.
See Scottish Energy News EXCLUSIVE – 20 Nov 2015
Also in the renewables sector, there will be opportunities for the supply chain to seize a “piece of the action” in UK content in offshore wind will be with Julian Brown, chair of Renewable UK, Bruce Valpy, of BVG Associates, Paulina Hobbs, of Siemens, Andy Paine, of Vattenfall and Rajnish Sharma, of Statoil.
The Decommissioning Special Interest Group will focus on legislation and life extension and will conclude the conference. Operations (LILO) model by Great Yarmouth company EPIC International, which saved an operator £12 million a year.