The current post-holder – London-based Malcolm Webb – is standing down next year. The association is seeking to recruit a replacement for the £250,000 a year job – but is not sure whether she/he will be based in London or Aberdeen.
Yet Andy Samuel – the new chief executive of the UK Government’s Oil and Gas Authority – is based in Aberdeen. The ruling SNP-controlled Scottish Government had lobbied for more than 20 years for such a UK post to be based in Aberdeen.
Historically, the post of UKOG chief executive has been based in London – close to the UK decision-makers in the UK Treasury and the DTI (and where major international oil companies such as Shell and BP have their UK head offices)
However – particularly in light of the recent UK government decision to base its Oil and Gas Authority in Aberdeen and especially in light of the continuing northwards ‘direction of travel’ from Westminster to Holyrood in devolution of energy powers to the Scottish Parliament and Government – there is a growing expectation that UKOG must base its senior official in Scotland.
Yet last night UKOG said it was undecided as to whether its new chief executive would be based in Aberdeen. Or London.
It is not known whether the UKOG chief executive has ever been based in Aberdeen and Malcolm Webb, its London-based chief executive, who is due to retire next year, said the role could be based either in Scotland – and/or London.
Meanwhile, the London-based recruitment agency hired by Oil and Gas UK stipulates that the OGUK chief executive must be able to ‘build relationships with media at a local and national level’ – among other requirements.