Scots woman appointed as new head of UK Oil and Gas

Deirdre Michie
Deirdre Michie

UK Oil and Gas has appointed Shell procurement expert Deirdre Michie as its new chief executive as the industry grapples with the economic fall-out from the collapse in crude oil prices and rampant cost-inflation.

The trade body is currently spearheading industry collaboration on cost reduction and efficiency initiatives as well as leading discussions with the UK Government on tax and regulatory reform, playing a vital role in the implementation of the Wood Review recommendations on maximising economic recovery of the UK’s oil and gas offshore resource.

Michie – the first woman appointed to this post – will be based in Aberdeen and formally takes up her new role in May.

In a 30 year career in senior UK and global upstream and downstream management positions at Shell, she has a background in contracts, procurement, commercial negotiation and communications.

She said: “This is a hugely challenging time for the industry that will require us all – industry, government and the new regulator – to work co-operatively and collaboratively to ensure we address the issues that face us.

“Oil & Gas UK has a crucial role in helping the industry to emerge from the current downturn on a stronger, fitter and more sustainable footing that will see the UK producing oil and gas from its offshore areas for decades to come.”

A Dundee University law graduate, Michie joined Shell in 1986, moving to Shell Exploration and Production UK as Senior Commercial Negotiator where she was responsible for commercial and legal negotiations including acquisitions and divestments. 

She subsequently moved into external affairs where, as Business Advisor, she played a leading role in a pan-industry group developing codes of conduct for commercial, contracting and procurement activity. Following four years as Head of Communications for the UK with Shell Europe Upstream, she was appointed Contracting and Procurement Manager for Europe in 2007, where she was responsible for a multi-billion annual contracting and procurement strategy across Shell’s European exploration and production business. 

From 2011 to 2014, Michie managed a global team to deliver a business plan and significant savings in relation to a multi-billion annual strategic sourcing programme for Shell International Petroleum Company Limited. In 2014, she developed and implemented a revised sustainable operating model for Shell’s UK upstream operations, heading up a multi-disciplinary team.

She is a council-member of Aberdeen chamber of commerce, chairman of Aberdeen Science Centre and a Board member of North East of Scotland College.

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