The new chief executive of the Aberdeen-based UK Oil and Gas Authority officially starts his new job today – because the email inbox for Andy Samuel will be bursting its public-sector IT-file-size limits as the North Sea industry struggles with a near-halving of wholesale oil prices.
The establishment of the OGA was an integral part of the recommendations made by Sir Ian Wood as part of the review into maximising the UK’s offshore oil and gas resources. The UK government fast tracked the recommendations of the Wood Review to maximise the potential of the North Sea and make sure the whole of the UK benefits.
The Wood Review stated that full and swift implementation of its recommendations could lead to an additional 3-4 billion barrels of oil equivalent being produced over the next 20 years.
Samuel’s early priorities include: establishing the OGA and equipping it with the right people, skills and culture that it will require to perform its role effectively; identifying UK delivery priorities for the first year of activities and forming a strong partnership with Government and industry.
Samuel said: “I am excited to officially start this role and I remain confident that there is a strong future for the UK’s oil and gas industry, recognising the current challenging times. From the outset, the OGA will need to work very closely with industry and Government as we work to make a rapid start on maximising economic recovery for the UK.”
Samuel previously held a number senior positions within the oil and gas industry, most recently as Managing Director of BG Group PLC’s Exploration and Production in Europe.
Last night, UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “The Government continues to implement the Wood Review recommendations as quickly as possible, and Andy taking up this role is another important step forward in ensuring we make the most of our domestic oil and gas resources and bolster the UK’s energy security.”