Offshore Energies Magazine - Issue 55 Spring 2023
I ssue 55 Spr ing 2023 OFFSHORE E N E R G I E S The quar ter l y maga z ine for the UK of f shore energ y indus tr y
Lifting spirits Sharing in decommissioning success
Sustainable supplies Investing in the future of the UK supply chain 2022 A pivotal year for gas as Europe beco e the premiummarket for LNG
Windfall tax : Professor Alex Kemp & Arturo Regalado analyse the chilling effect on E&P OEUK conferences: • Counting the HSE gains from leading & learning • Best contractual practices for operators and the supply chain Decommissioning: Extracting more value through patents Aize’s workspace: Bringing the offshore asset on to your team's laptops Quanta EPC: Making the transition a reality while keeping supplies secure + Members' news, views & industry developments
Pub l i shed by O f f sho r e Ene r g i e s UK
Balancing the energy trilemma of security of supply, affordability and environment is becoming ever more complex, alongside the need to reimagine use of the world’s resources and reinvent our energy system.
We’re on a mission to illuminate possibilities.
© 2023 Deloitte LLP. All rights reserved.
Editorial | 4
Message from the CEO | 5
News | 5
Member news | 14
Guest column: Professor Alex Kemp & Arturo Regalado | 20 What the windfall tax means for the offshore 2o22: A pivotal year for the global gas market | 22 How Europe became the premium LNG buyer Innovation & patent protection | 26 Law firm Reddie & Grose looks at some of the side-benefits of decommissioning Digitalising data | 30 Norwegian specialist Aize visualises the complex Quanta EPC & the energy transition | 36 A number of gaps in policy and education need to be bridged
2022, Pt 2: How the majors view the world | 40 Priorities change as the world changes
Issue 55 | Spring 2023
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Welcome to Offshore Energies UK #55 T he new year has got off to a flying start for OEUK members. Our Share Fair event drew in the crowds for a day of talks about the industry and deal-making opportunities ( see p7 ) for the supply chain and its clients in Aberdeen in early February. It saw too the launch of a new report on the supply chain (s ee our website for a copy ). This work will continue, with more initiatives to invigorate buyers and sellers. We plan soon to launch an interactive supply chain roadmap which will shed more clarity on upcoming projects. Earlier sight of possible tenders helps contractors to hone their bids and in any case allows for better planning and hence the more rational outlay of resources. Companies working on bids for the Scottish wind licences (INTOG) have now been whittled down to just over a dozen as the negotiations enter their final phase ( see p10 ). And the end of March, a week before the Spring Statement, saw the publication of our annual Business Outlook . However, there is still no firm price floor below which the Energy Profits Levy would cease to apply, and the Energy Day a few days later concerned itself mostly with nuclear and carbon capture and storage (CCS) funding. While important in themselves, they do not give the exploration and production sector and all who work with it much reason for confidence in their long-term future. After all, the wholesale spot gas price has been considerably lower for some months ( see p24 ), and is nothing like as high as it was last year when the notion of a windfall tax began to gain political ground. Nevertheless, the windfall tax remains a major obstacle. Money has been taken off the table while serious thinking goes on in some of the biggest upstream boardrooms. There is little doubt that a lot of value could be lost, threatening an earlier government's plan to maximise the economic recovery of the UKCS following the 2014 publication of the Wood Report. And a number of other, greener initiatives that would unlock investment remain held up as the government has had much more urgent problems on its plate than it foresaw when it sketched out its route to net zero emissions (s ee p6 ). This is an unwelcome state of affairs for an economy the size of the UK, bearing in mind the security of supply question that is in the forefront of many people’s minds. Gas plays a very big role in domestic heating. The peak demand day in winter sees far more energy transported through the UK's pipelines than through its power cables. Industrial users all over Europe will also be considering their manufacturing future, in light of the prices on the other side of the Atlantic and the Inflation Reduction Act ( see p42 ). Given this seismic readjustment of Europe's supply-demand balance that the sanctions on Russia have occasioned and the magnified impact that events thousands of miles away now have on our gas market in particular, this quarterly magazine will broadenits horizons. But there is still much for our members to look forward to in the months ahead and celebrate: later in April there will be our technical conference on geoscience and the subsurface – the event will also cover CCS. We are also poised to launch a database on repurposing offshore equipment, a kind of exchange and mart for the by-products of the offshore decommissioning industry. Focusing on the present is a great way to anticipate the risks in the distance and a healthier way of adapting to change.
Published by Offshore Energies UK
Editorial team: William Powell David Jeffree Ross Jackson Contributors: Caroline Brown Jack French William Powell Graham Skinner
Copyright © 2023 The UK Offshore Energies Association Limited (trading as Offshore Energies UK). Offshore Energies UK 1st Floor, Paternoster House, 65 St Paul’s Churchyard, London EC4M 8AB
Contact the editorial team on firstname.lastname@example.org
Offshore Energies UK is not responsible for any loss, injury, damage or costs resulting from the use of products or services advertised or featured.
Telephone: 020 7802 2400 www.oeuk.org.uk
Cover image: Wind, by Nick Baker Haste Copyright © 2022 AIS Survivex
ISSN 2053-5392 (Print), ISSN 2053-5406 (Online)
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Message from our CEO
Security and the transition: OEUK briefs the minister
David Whitehouse CEO, Offshore Energies UK
Operators and contractors working on the UK continental shelf have shown exemplary resilience. Despite enormous economic challenges the UK faces, the sector continues to demonstrate that it is a responsible and trusted partner to the country’s economy. Delivering the energy transition does not come down to a simple choice between oil and gas on the one hand and renewables on the other: both are needed as society’s demand for energy shows little sign of abating. Our industry is proud to have provided the UK with a sustainable energy supply for the last 50 years and all political parties must be open about the major and long-term role oil and gas could play in the energy transition. In this time, the sector has also contributed almost £400bn in taxes and supported hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country. It could go on to provide much more. However, the Energy Profits Levy poses a serious risk. A predictable tax regime is key to ensuring UK energy security and the energy transition as our Business Outlook shows. The cast in our documentary film The Time is Now exemplify the new approach to ensure we decarbonise efficiently and diversify smoothly. The fruits of their endeavours save time, emissions and money while putting safety first. Critically, we need the same supply chain for both existing and new technologies and we are working to keep it healthy: once lost, it will be difficult to rebuild it. In this regard, Our Share Fair Conference in February highlighted best practice in contracting and how the sector can enable more collaborative behaviours. We hope we can count on your participation in our next Working as One survey. Our exploration and subsurface event in April offered those present new investment opportunities in a Dragon’s Den-style event. And as always, our forums and workgroups continue to add value, collaborating on technology, safety and the growing geopolitical threats. Thank you for reading this magazine and feel free to provide any feedback.
OEUK appoints new board members Alan Bruce from Ithaca replaced Jose Luis Muñoz from Repsol in January. Mr Bruce has 20 years of oil and gas experience. He joined Ithaca Energy in August 2021 as COO. In January 2022 he became CEO. OEUK CEO David Whitehouse (left) and DESNZ minister Graham Stuart (3rd from left) at Noble's facilities, Aberdeen. After, Mr Whitehouse said: "Our message is clear: the UK’s oil and gas sector is essential for energy security and working with government, it can deliver the net zero revolution here in the UK – less imported energy and a home-grown transition."
Offshore Energies UK appointed several new board members early this year. CEO David Whitehouse said the experience and knowledge of the new appointees would be a great asset as the sector strives to deliver energy security and the energy transition. He said: “A range of perspectives will be needed to deliver the sector’s climate goals whilst remaining a reliable energy partner to Europe – especially during these times of unprecedented energy costs and supply disruptions. We thank all the departing board members for their valued contribution and support.” Sarah Moore, who has worked with Peterson since 2009 and was appointed the company’s CEO in January 2022, brings considerable experience in energy logistics and internationalisation, alongside a strong commitment to carbon neutrality and the transition towards sustainable sources of energy production. She joined in February. The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA)’s 33rd upstream round received 115 bids from 76 companies, following its October invitation to compete for offshore acreage. NSTA’s exploration head Nick Robertson said the response "exceeded application levels compared with previous rounds. We will now be working hard to analyse the applications with a view to awarding the first licences from Q2 2023."
Nicolas Payer from TotalEnergies succeeds Jean-Luc Guiziou, who is stepping down as a result of his move to a new role in Paris. Mr Payer has been with TotalEnergies since 1992. Neil McCulloch, CEOof Spirit Energy, has taken on the Operator Chair role from Equinor's Arne Gurtner; and Doris Reiter of BP has filled Mr McCulloch’s previous role as vice chair. Scott McGinigal will be replaced by CNOOC's Jianq Qing. Meanwhile, four other members have now stepped down from the board: Andy Hessell, of Kellas Midstream; Mikki Corcoran, of SLB; Kenny Dey, of Archer; and Russell Alton, of New European Offshore. We thank those leaving the board for their service. Included in the acreage are four priority areas, which have known oil and gas and or are near export infrastructure and therefore could be brought on stream in less than two years. There are several necessary consents after licensing and before production to ensure these developments are compliant with the 2015 Paris Agreement. That committed the UK and the many other signatories to become carbon neutral by 2050.
NSTA pleased with E&P round interest
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Flaring down again as newmeasures bite
In light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the then-minister for climate and energy, Graham Stuart, said it was "fantastic to see such interest from industry in this round." He added that the licences would play "an important role in boosting domestic energy production and securing the UK’s long-term energy security of supply." OEUK said: " These applications reflect long-term thinking by companies which will invest many millions of pounds in the North Sea to search for new reserves, with no guarantee of success." The round exceeded the 32nd round in 2019 which received 104 applications for 245 blocks and part-blocks. In 2019 a total of 768 blocks and part-blocks were offered, compared with 931 this year. The Deltic Pensacola discovery, in the gas rich southern basin ( see p17 ) will have fuelled hopes. The NSTA is also consulting on how to quicken the transaction process to allow buyers to take over assets from sellers more easily – another route to faster output growth. Offshore carbon team set up The NSTA has set up a dedicated carbon transportation and storage team. It will oversee the delivery of offshore developments, following successful exploration and appraisal, it said February 1. The government has set a target to capture 20-30mn tonnes/yr of CO₂ by 2030 as part of the plan to make the UK carbon neutral by 2050. Additionally, a successful CCS industry could support an estimated 50,000 jobs and enable further low-carbon technologies, such as blue hy drogen – producing hydrogen from natural gas while capturing and storing the CO₂. The UK’s first-ever carbon storage licensing round was launched in June last year, offering 13 areas for which 26 bids were made. It is expected that licences will be offered for award in the coming weeks. This round is expected to be the first of many: the UK might need up to 100 separate storage sites.
North Sea flaring has halved following four consecutive years of reductions, the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) said March 9. Offshore flaring fell 13% in 2022 to 22bn ft³ of gas, down from 44bn ft³ in 2018. Last year’s reduction alone was equivalent to the gas demand of a town the size of Dundee and the saved gas contributed to UK energy security and net-zero emissions ambitions, the NSTA said. This was despite a 17% rise in gas production. The offshore regulator has introduced fines for flaring under some circumstances, incentivising operators to invest in new equipment. One approach has been to install flare gas UK technology and entrepreneurialism will need government backing if the country is to reap the potential reward from the energy transition, the latest and perhaps longest report on net zero emissions says. Author Chris Skidmore, who signed the UK's net zero pledge into law while minister of state for innovation in 2019-20, says this country is lagging behind as continental Europe and the US move ahead. There are the EU Fitfor55 programme, the France 2030 investment programme and the US Inflation Reduction Act, a $369bn package to promote US decarbonisation technology. His 300-plus page report calls for an over-arching government financing strategy by the end of 2023, giving long term clarity to business and investors and ensuring that the UK can capitalise on its industrial strengths. He observes that over 90% of global GDP is covered by a net zero target for carbon emissions and that businesses of all sizes have recognised that net zero can help them grow. Consultancy McKinsey estimates a global market of £1 trillion for UK businesses by 2030 and the government estimates that the transition could support 480,000 jobs in 2030. Further propelling its mission,
the UK enjoys a comparative advantage over other advanced economies in several key areas – notably in offshore wind, carbon capture and storage potential and green finance. Some estimate the UK would see about 2% additional GDP growth through new jobs, increased economic activity and reduced fossil fuel imports. There is also the opportunity cost of not acting, which would run so clearly counter to the prevailing expectations of business and global trends. Mr Skidmore warns: "None of this will happen without a step change in the government’s approach to delivering net zero." He said many respondents are frustrated by "the lack of long-term thinking, siloed behaviour from government departments and uncertainty over the length of funding commitments." Welcoming the report, the-then secretary of state for BEIS Grant Shapps said the report "offers a range of ideas and innovations for us to consider as we work to grasp the opportunities from green growth." BEIS said: "Other countries such as the US with the Inflation Reduction Act are moving quickly, and we must do the same." ( See p42. ) But for new developments routine flaring will be prohibited and routine flaring is to end altogether by 2030. Flaring accounts for about a fifth of emissions from North Sea oil and gas production activities. But some is unavoidable for safety and operational reasons. recovery units, each estimated to save up to 22 tonnes/day of flared gas, the NSTA said. The NSTA has also worked with operators to improve procedures to reduce flaring associated with platform restarts. Some of the reduction has been incidental, such as cessation of operations at older platforms.
Net zero 'needs more state support'
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'Share Fair' awards celebrate commercial collaboration & integrity between buyer and supplier, plus openness to innovations introduced by the supply chain. L-R: Pauline Innes (NSTA); Nick Gorten (Spirit Energy); Claire Phillips (Baker Hughes); Michael Hume (Dana Petroleum); Julie McWilliam (Equinor); Roy Chaudry (Petrofac); Katy Heidenreich (OEUK).
OEUK marked the return of Share Fair with an inaugural awards ceremony in Aberdeen, early February. The prizes recognised the efforts of companies who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to strengthening business relationships with their supply chain. The North Sea Transition Authority was also present at the flagship business development event. The regulator encourages early engagement between suppliers and key industry buyers to help them identify opportunities to work collaboratively on energy projects. Gold Awards were presented to Equinor, Spirit Energy, Baker Hughes, Dana Petroleum and Petrofac ( see photo ) at the event that saw more than 450 people gather to share intelligence about business opportunities. Silver award-winners include CNOOC Petroleum Europe, CNR International, Harbour Energy, NEO Energy, Neptune E&P, SLB and Serica Energy. The companies that earned a Bronze award were Apache North Sea, EnQuest, Ithaca Energy, Shell, TAQA, Total Energies E&P, Wood and Worley. Based on OEUK’s Working as One survey, the Supply Chain Principles awards celebrate companies demonstrating positive business behaviours when procuring goods and services from their suppliers. A total of 20 companies encompassing operators and major contractors earned awards with those in the gold category recognised for excellent performance in priority areas including prompt payment of invoices, fair allocation of risk and reward
OEUK’s Supply Chain & People Director Katy Heidenreich said: "We are grateful to the companies who have participated in our Working as One survey. It gives us an invaluable tool for assessing how our industry is treating its supply chain. The health and prosperity of our supply chain, and its ability to serve the evolving low carbon energy mix, depends on sustainable contracting and collaborative behaviours. Congratulations to the Gold Award winners whose suppliers have rated their performance so highly and to all those businesses whose awards reflect their commitment to driving improvement in their supply chain procurement performance. "These inaugural Supply Chain Principles Awards provide us with a benchmark for measuring progress, helping us to encourage other firms to aim for these high levels of attainment." The Working as One survey is an annual poll. The NSTA's Director of Supply Chain and Decommissioning Pauline Innes, who presented the Gold Awards, said: "Well done to all of the companies who have been honoured today for their commitment to improving behaviours and treating suppliers fairly. "Only by displaying the right attitudes and collaborating can we sustain a strong supply chain capable of delivering the energy transition. It is important that industry does not rest on its laurels, and instead keeps pushing to raise standards even higher. Everyone should go for gold."
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OEUK's HSE conference: Leading & Learning
OEUK CEO David Whitehouse and HSE & Operations Director Mark Wilson, TotalEnergies HSE Director Mhairi Finnie and Xodus’ Strategic Director Peter Tipler launched the OEUK Health & Safety Conference in late March. With all tickets sold, the Aberdeen event drew over 300 industry personnel as well as representatives from the regulatory and safety agencies. The conference theme was Leading & Learning, with Mr Whitehouse acknowledging the challenges the industry faces while reiterating the commitment to delivering a harm free UKCS. In doing so he pointed to the sustained trend of prioritising and improving safety performance: • Emissions from the production of oil and gas were down 20%: we are on track to meet the NSTD 2027 target. • There were no work-related fatalities and offshore helicopter operations were accident-free. • Continuing safety measures still yield results. Ms Finnie described how vital good leadership is, when things don’t go according to plan. She explained how TotalEnergies took ownership of a recent, high-potential incident and in doing so showed it had the confidence to share lessons with the wider industry. Communication is a vital part of leadership. Sharing these lessons with elected safety representatives and industry enables all to improve safety. Mr Tipler stressed the importance of directing the workforce towards a level of competence that is fit for-purpose throughout the energy transition. This was highlighted by the X-Academy. The X-Academy is a global initiative that is innovative, transformative and focused on diversity and inclusion as a cornerstone of a sustainable approach to transitional skills.
The conference ran parallel sessions on safety and the environment with the focus of the environmental sessions on innovation and regulatory compliance. It also saw the launch of the Mutual Aid Framework Agreement ( see separate article ). OEUK environment manager Caroline Brown said: "The regulatory compliance session was an invaluable opportunity for members to hear directly from the regulators on their ambitions for net zero, along with subject-matter experts discussing a wide range of legislative challenges and solutions across all offshore energies." The event pivoted around the restatement of the Principles of Process Safety Leadership which were refreshed with the latest signatories. In an emotional discussion session, the value of learning from serious incidents such as Piper Alpha and leadership in the area of process safety was affirmed by Steve Rae, executive director of Step Change in Safety; Mr Whitehouse; Ken Robertson, a member of the HSE board; and Tom Child, the CEO of offshore regulator OPRED. The maintenance backlog was highlighted as a key focus area. The panel sessions focussed how to apply the principles of process safety, allowing delegates to get under the skin of a complex topic ensuring impactful learning. The finale of the conference was an energetic call for action led by Mr Wilson and featuring voices from the offshore workforce, elected safety representatives, lawyers, and the next generation. This was a strong reminder of why we do things and a timely challenge on how we do things. OEUK's HSE team along with the events team have been gathering much useful feedback and are already planning the 2024 conference. This will feature, in addition to the topics covered this year, health and personal safety; and how to elevate D&I and the voice of the offshore workforce.
Delegates exchanging views at the HSE conference, Aberdeen
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UK 'must manage rate of change'
Analysis by business consultancy EY has challenged the Scottish government’s plea for the northeast – and Aberdeen – to accelerate the end of the offshore oil and gas industry. Commissioned by the government as part of its energy strategy and Just Transition plan, the report shows that Scotland’s emissions will rise and jobs and prosperity tail off if the country pushes ahead as fast as it has planned. The oil and gas industry added £16bn of gross value to the northeast, equivalent to 9% of total Scottish GDP in 2019. EY's analysis shows the Scottish economy would lose £11bn/yr under the existing transition plans Nearly all the jobs in the sector – 25,000 or 98% – are in Aberdeen, meaning any decline would affect that city far sooner and harder than anywhere else. OEUK said the new analysis reaffirms the ongoing need for domestic production as Scotland decarbonises its energy. "Increasing reliance on imports would be bad for Scottish jobs, the economy, and our climate goals, because, as this report shows, imports tend to be associated with a higher carbon footprint," it said. "Our brilliant skilled people, world class expertise, and unrivalled capabilities mean we are well placed to realise a successful offshore energy future for Scotland," OEUK added. "We are reviewing this paper in full with our members and look forward to responding to the consultation. The new analysis reaffirms the ongoing need for domestic production as Scotland decarbonises its energy. "Increasing reliance on imports would be bad for Scottish jobs, the economy, and our climate goals, because, as this report shows, imports tend to be associated with a higher carbon footprint," it said. Separately, EY estimates that it will be 2025 before Scotland’s GVA is expected to finally climb above where it was before the pandemic struck. 'Go slower,' EY advises Scotland
London's Energy Institute (EI) is now the publisher of BP's annual Statistical Review of World Energy . The annual data-set that gives country-by-country and region-by region breakdowns of production, consumption, reserves and trade in all the different kinds of energy was first published by BP in 1952. The news coincided with the February 28 start of International Energy Week – formerly IP Week – in London. Not all links with the report are severed though: BP will provide continuing support for the review. The The energy transition will become unaffordable if the UK moves too hastily from oil and gas production to decarbonised energy, the CEO of the North Sea Transition Authority Stuart Payne told this year’s International Energy Week in London late February. "Turning off the taps today will not deliver a clean, resilient energy system tomorrow. There is a fantastic new industrial revolution available to us, anchored around the energy transition." he told the event, formerly International Petroleum Week ( see below ). On the other hand, he said, "if we can overcome the policy, technical and financial challenges, the UK and the North Sea has the opportunity to play a massive role in this revolution." He warned that industry is operating in a polarised external environment which could result in these capabilities being lost before the opportunities of the new technologies are sufficiently scaled up. "It is not just the skillset of the current workforce we need for the transition but those of the future workforce too. We need the next generation to see the North Sea as a viable place for a career," he said. The UKCS is resource rich in offshore wind; it has 6bn barrels of oil and gas to be produced; there is a huge network
UK major will also have a place on the new advisory board. And as the EI’s new partners, KPMG and Kearney have also committed funding and sector expertise. BP chief economist Spencer Dale said the "the Energy Institute was the perfect new custodian." EI president Juliet Davenport OBE HonFEI said the review would continue to provide the vital data and insights needed by the industry, its workforce and wider society. Data compilation will continue to be undertaken by Heriot-Watt University . opportunities on the site including 12 capex projects that have been added in the past three months, alongside two opex projects in the same time period. Initially launched as anoil and gas portal in 2010, Pathfinder has been regularly updated to meet changing needs and now extends to decommissioning campaigns, offshore wind and carbon capture and storage opportunities. of pipelines and infrastructure already in place on and offshore; and there is up to 78 GT of carbon storage (CCS) potential. And the NSTA is keen to see as much of the resources recovered as possible: licensees that it suspects of dragging their feet with exploration work, such as shooting seismic, have been fined. There is potentially up to £220bn of expenditure in the North Sea between now and 2030 alone, split between oil & gas, offshore wind, CCS and hydrogen. 'Pathfinder' oils the wheels Business opportunities in the North Sea are getting increasingly easy to access, the NSTA has said. Its Energy Pathfinder update shows that the crucial subscriber base rose 43% in 2022 and now boasts over 1,700 active users from both operators and the supply chain. There are 136 live contract
EI takes on BP's Statistical Review
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Crown Estate Scotland has offered exclusivity agreements to 13 of the 19 companies that originally applied in December for seabed licences. This is the second stage of its first-of-a kind Innovation & Targeted Oil & Gas (INTOG) offshore wind round, it said March 24. The original entrants were split roughly equally between the two categories: oil and gas infrastructure projects accounted for nine and would enable the decarbonisation of hydrocarbon production. The other ten were for innovative wind projects of up to 100 MW each. Of the 13 offers that have been made, however, eight are for oil and gas related projects. If all 13 progress to maturity, Scotland will earn around £262mn in applicant fees, with more to come from rent payments. Crown Estate Scotland said: "Today’s results for this very distinctive and targeted leasing round are extremely encouraging. INTOG provides a range of practical ways to support innovation, reduce North Sea carbon emissions and encourage technical and commercial innovation in the offshore renewables market." Reacting, OEUK said: "The projects selected in today’s announcement will play a big part in the transformation of the North Sea – providing low carbon electricity to power oil and gas installations and help decarbonise the sector." The 13 companies include such big hitters as BP (in the IN category) and Harbour Energy, Caerulean Wind and Flotation Energy (in the TOG category). The more advanced scheme, ScotWind, has 20 projects totalling 27.6 GW of capacity. As of last November, Scottish spending commitments add up to £28.8bn, indicating an average investment in Scotland of £1.4bn/project built and £1bn/GW of capacity built. But there are threats to the total achievable. These include bottlenecks in both construction and the transmission needed to carry the power south. Scotland offers 13 INTOG licences
Scottish National Party picks Yousaf as head
recognised the need to rapidly scale up renewable electricity, strengthen Scotland’s energy security, and ensure we support our brilliant skilled workforce to reap the benefits of an expanding and competitive offshore energy sector. "As we build that future there is no simple choice between oil and gas or renewables. To keep the lights on and grow our economy, we need both. "By the mid 2030s, oil and gas will still provide for 50% of our energy needs. This is why the Scottish Government’s final energy strategy must acknowledge the continuing role of oil and gas in Scotland’s economy and encourage investment in the homegrown production needed to avoid costlier, less secure, and higher carbon imports. This will support the infrastructure we need to make cleaner, more affordable energy in Scotland in a way that retains the economic contribution, jobs and expertise here." In his address to parliament April 18, Mr Yousaf confirmed his support for the draft Energy Strategy, for Scotland's 'just transition' to net zero emissions and for business growth.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) narrowly selected Humza Yousaf as its new head in late March, following Nicola Sturgeon's resignation announcement February 15. The later years of her premiership had been dominated by Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic, the mounting cost of living crisis and a series of bids to hold a referendum on Scottish independence. The choice between the two front runners, Mr Yousaf and Kate Forbes, was as narrow as a few thousand votes, with a 70% turnout. Defeated, Ms Forbes turned down Mr Yousaf's offer of a cabinet position, preferring instead to retire to the back benches. OUEK's director for external relations Jenny Stanning had already met Mr Yousaf, catching up with him on the campaign trail with a visit to Wartsila's premises in Aberdeen ( see image ). Following the meeting, OEUK welcomed the engagement and restated the offer to all candidates as well as Scotland’s political parties to come and meet with the companies driving Scotland’s offshore energy ambitions. Ms Stanning commented afterwards: ""We’re pleased Humza Yousaf
Humza Yousaf and Jenny Stanning, flanked by Wartsila's Jim Duncan, Sales; and Tim Burnett, Innovation (Oil & Gas) .
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New licensing rounds, profits & security pique public interest most in 2022 Most of last year's headline news in the national press was about the net-zero emissions target, seen through the twin lenses of new field developments and the higher profits tax
From the UK energy desk editor's point of view, last year was crammed with UK oil and gas events – and with many strong opinions about those events. The cost of living crisis, Russia's invasion of Ukraine and energy security vied with the national and global problem of combating climate change – an expensive proposition on top of the high prices induced by energy scarcity. Against that background, decisions about new field licences, the consequences of improbably high retail prices, how to tax profits upstream and national energy security were all big – and often emotionally charged – stories over the course of last year, according to analysis by media monitoring agency Vuelio. For some media outlets, they were all signs that the UK should rely less on fossil fuels and accelerate the transition. For others, security of supply was the crucial angle: it was a sign the UK had to minimise the consequences of the war, likely to last years, by preparing more thoroughly. "Support UK jobs, economy and skills" was the most visible key message of 2022. The more significant prominence came in the second half of the year, as OEUK’s criticisms of the tax and the need to boost domestic production of oil and gas came across loud and clear in this message in the first half. This would mean tighter environmental management, better asset stewardship, and less carbon-intensive production.
Key Message Penet rat ion ey message p netration
UK jobs, economy and skills
Secure and reliable energy Committed to safe operations The safe and responsible decommissioning of… Sustainable energy Technological and scientific leadership Diversity and inclusion
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
May was OEUK’s most successful month in terms of both reach and volume of citations, with 2bn impressions recorded as a result of 3,000 articles ( see glossary ). Leading the fray to this day is the UK government's windfall tax, which Rishi Sunak, as chancellor, had initially ruled out under the Boris Johnson premiership. That won him plaudits from the North Sea Transition Authority’s chair, a former Conservative energy minister, Tim Eggar. But it is now a fact of life – and with Jeremy Hunt the incumbent in Number 11, at a higher rate than ever. OEUK achieved headline prominence in wide-reaching media channels last year, including BBC Online, as it campaigned against the Energy Profit Levy. CEO Deirdre Michie wrote an open letter to the business secretary saying the tax would put investment at risk, endanger thousands of supply chain jobs and undermine energy security targets. Further comments from Ms Michie on eco activists undermining investor confidence and hindering the progression to net zero also resulted in headline coverage. September saw a second spike for reach in 2022, as the number of impressions neared May's at 19.9bn, despite almost 60% fewer articles. Coverage of offshore wind achieved high levels of syndication in articles with high reach. This surge focused on OEUK calls for the government to "rapidly accelerate" investments in the North Sea by speeding up production and expanding offshore wind. Articles also
Top Publ icat ions (Reach and Volume) o p li r v
Mail Online BBC Online MSN Ireland BBC Scotland News… MSN UK The Independent Express (Online) Telegraph (Online) MSN Greece msn TradingView
Reuters Online MSN Venezuela MSN Español MSN LatinoAmerica MSN Spain Sky News (Online) Yahoo! News UK & Ireland
1 1 1 1 13 120 21 7
The Times (Online) MSN New Zealand
Glossary Reach : Total number of people who see your content. Better understood as opportunities to see and hear. Volume : Total number of pieces of news articles, be they online content, newspaper articles or broadcast pieces. Sentiment : How positive or negative the news article was about OEUK/industry Prominence : Where the story appeared in the article, from "Headline" down to "passing mention" .
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mentioned OEUK’s annual Economic Report in September and the subsequent comments from the interim CEO, Mike Tholen. He said there are still 15bn barrels of oil equivalent under the UKCS. March saw the third-highest spike of the year, with the second-highest volume and third-highest reach figure at 11.7bn. This was the result of coverage of Shell’s decision to pull out of the Cambo oil field project, where OEUK was widely quoted. OEUK also achieved headline coverage in March following warnings on the UK’s growing oil and gas import dependency. Without investment, we said, the UK would be wholly dependent on exports by 2037. These articles included comments from Ms Michie, by then back in the driving-seat once more, stating that energy security was an "absolute priority" following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
OEUK’s top outlet by reach in 2022 was Mail Online, having achieved a reach of 19.3bn from a result of 53 articles. BBC Online was next, with a reach of 18.5bn from just 29 articles. OEUK achieved what the analysis describes as "prominence", where ‘substantial mentions’ made up the largest proportion of coverage at 43%, followed by headline mentions at 22% as a result of comments made by OEUK spokespeople. But not all the coverage was reactive: OEUK's internally generated, "business as usual" activities also drew favourable coverage. These included a string of regular conferences covering topics such as on decommissioning and health & safety, and business breakfasts surrounding the launch of new research. As much as 98.6% of the coverage was comprised of positive and neutral articles. The remaining 1.4%were articles that were tagged as negative, which included some criticism of the OGUK-OEUK re-brand at the start of the year.
Seabed users call for regulatory alignment on the UKCS
Carmichael, Duncan Baker, David Duguid, Sir Peter Bottomley and Jacob Young. Defra's domestic marine conservation head Jen Ashworth said Defra was working very closely with the SUDG, "making sure we're sustainably using our seas. They have been really proactive in protecting the environment." Mr Aldous commented that the event "reinforced the key role that all the industries play in UK plc. The message coming out of today is that by working together, we achieve a great deal more for the benefit of the whole country." membership at no extra cost and look forward to working together with our members to enhance the safety and sustainability of the oil and gas industry in the UK." The basis of the SWIS MAFA – and now the UK MAFA – is the IPIECA/ IOGP Oil Spill Response JIP 13. MAFA formalises the intent, but not the obligation, for signatories to work together in the event of an incident. It does not relieve an individual operator of the responsibility to maintain robust emergency response processes.
As a member of the Seabed User & Developer Group (SUDG), OEUK participated in a Parliamentary Reception March 7 hosted by Peter Aldous, MP. Its representatives spoke to Rt Hon. Lord Benyon (Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) on the need for government action on regulatory alignment. The shared seabed will be central to UK energy security for many decades to come. The event showcased the scale and breadth of the UKmarine industries with The UK Mutual Aid Framework Agreement (MAFA) is now live and ready for signing – although it is hoped that it will never actually be used. The outcome of several years’ work by OEUK-led forums, it answers OPRED's concerns about operators' capability and readiness to deal with a major offshore event. A company acting alone might find it hard to source sufficient manpower to deal with a prolonged oil spill. If operators were able to share these resources, success would be likelier.
a shared commitment to sustainable devel0pment. Mr Aldous and Peter Barham from SUDG came out in solid support for the SUDG's work and its dedication to the marine environment. Other bodies representing marine industries included the Carbon Capture & Storage Association; Energy UK; Renewable UK; and the European Subsea Cables Association. Among the guests were representatives from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds; Defra; Natural England; and the MPs Alistair
UK operators reach historic Mutual Aid Framework Agreement Oil Spill Response Ltd (OSRL), an industry association, offered for the forums' consideration a MAFA that already existed for its Subsea Well Intervention Service (SWIS). It is free for members of the OSRL UKCS Aerial Surveillance contract.
Now, if a participant requests aid, the registry of other participants' emergency contact details will be provided to the requesting party. OSRL, which now administers the MAFA, said at the launch: "We are proud to offer this additional value of
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I have been blown away by the positive feedback I have received on the course to date. We have several UK offshore operators undergoing trials of the course at present so I am hopeful that the content will resonate [with] those organisations, as it did with Serica Energy." Neptune pursues UK wind... Privately-held Neptune Energy is working with two other companies on a new approach to decarbonise its energy hubs offshore, it said December 29. Offshore wind could be used to power carbon capture and storage and hydrogen production projects. A memorandum of understanding it signed with Ørsted and Goal7 will see the trio examine the potential to supply renewable electricity from Ørsted’s Hornsea offshore windfarm projects to power future Neptune-operated hubs in the UK North Sea. Goal7 will provide project management support and technical input. Neptune’s New Energy director Pierre Girard said: "The development of integrated energy hubs is an important part of Neptune’s strategy to store more carbon than is emitted from our operations and the use of our sold products by 2030." ... and Norwegian CCS Neptune is alsoworking with Norwegian producer Sval and UK infrastructure planner Storegga on a project to store CO₂ under the Norwegian North Sea. The Trudvang project has the potential to store up to 9mn tonnes/yr of CO₂, or about a fifth of Norway’s total annual emmissions. The gas would be captured from industrial sites, liquefied and shipped to the site. It said in a February 27 statement: "Trudvang could be a key contributor to Neptune's 2030 goal of storing Energy Transition
ensuring a robust competence system is first in place." Salus issues guidance on safety Salus Technical has published a potentially life-saving guidance document based on extensive research into confidential non-compliance letters that the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) sent to offshore duty holders in 2019. Using the Freedom of Information Act, the team obtained the information and used it to produce an anonymised database. That led to the creation of a guidance document grouped by inspection topic, breaking down the detail of each topic, highlighting common areas of concern and offering real, actionable advice to prevent major accidents happening in the future. Each of the non-compliances was resolved by the duty holder before the HSE released the information, "a powerful signal that the industry takes its safety obligations very seriously," Salus Technical said January 30. Founder David Jamieson led the team’s analysis of 147 non-compliance letters. The document may be downloaded free at https://salus-technical.com/hse research-2019/ Salus signs up Serica Salus Technical has won a training contract from Serica Energy, with 250 delegates signed up to complete the course. The Process Safety Awareness Course was launched in September last year. Its objective was to address the backlog of safety training requirements from energy industry professionals following the Covid-19 pandemic. Serica said: "The content allows us to set the standard for process safety and make sure that everyone understands their role in major accident prevention, whether they work in HR, accounting, engineering or in frontline operations." Mr Jamieson said: "I am delighted that Serica Energy have signed-up and
Training & Safety AGR, AIS Survivex in training tie-up Energy-sector recruitment specialist Advance Global Recruitment (AGR) has signed a unique three-year training management service contract with AIS Survivex. They aim to create a new approach to the supply of energy industry personnel. This involves identifying and matching personnel and then delivering targeted training for a complete recruitment solution, to the benefits of employers and individuals. As part of the agreement, AIS Survivex will provide all UK training and competency delivery for AGR’s new division, as well as identify and manage training with recognised training partners outside the UK. AGR said: "We are delighted to work with AIS Survivex on this highly innovative agreement between a training provider and recruitment consultant." 3t Energy has new head trainer AIS Survivex' owner 3t Energy Group has appointed Deborah Yeats as its new training and competence Director. She will launch strategic training and competence consultancy services, systems and programmes globally for subsidiaries Drilling Systems, AIS Survivex, UCT, 3t Transform and 3t EnerMech. The appointment "further reinforces 3t’s position in striving for a safer, smarter and more efficient workforce now and in the future," the company said. Ms Yeats said she had worked with 3t on some "incredibly exciting projects already", and was looking forward to helping the company transform the future of training "through a tailored blend of traditional training methods and digital learning technologies,
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more carbon than is emitted from our operations and from use of the oil and gas products we sell." The licence is in the Norwegian North Sea, east of the Sleipner field and about 200 km from the coast. Neptune is also working on potential projects in the Netherlands and UK, as it aims to build a portfolio of assets for carbon storage linked to its core areas in the North Sea. Kent wins pre-Feed on wind project UK engineering firm Kent has won a pre–front end engineering design (Feed) study for the Morven offshore wind project, it said April 13. The client is the UK major BP and the German utility EnBW. The project will use fixed-bottom turbines in 65-75 m of water as part of the ScotWind leasing round. Investment also includes support for the regeneration of the Port of Leith and create an operations and maintenance base in Aberdeen. The pre-Feed studies are expected to last six months and culminate with design work that supports key decisions, foundation type, corrosion protection concepts as well as transportation and installation feasibility. Kent will work with trusted partner, Ternan Energy, for additional specialist geotechnical services. Petrofac, Hitachi land £11.4bn Dutch award Engineering firm Petrofac and Hitachi Energy have won a €13bn (£11.4bn) multi-year framework agreement as part of the Dutch state network operator Tennet's plans to add 2 GW offshore wind capacity in the Dutch German North Sea. The offshore platforms and onshore converter stations will accelerate the integration of bulk renewables into European power grids. Collectively, they are the biggest set of awards in
Petrofac's history, the company said in a March 30 statement. Petrofac will take care of the engineering, procurement, construction and installation of the offshore platforms and some of the onshore converter stations. Hitachi Energy will supply its high-voltage, direct-current converter stations. Each of the six projects will be executed under a standalone contract valued at over €2bn, split roughly between the two. The first of these was awarded alongside the framework. C entrica-controlled producer Spirit Energy will convert its depleted Morecambe Bay gas fields and the beach terminal at Barrow, in Lancashire, into a carbon storage cluster, it said January 31. The project needs regulatory approvals and a licence from the North Sea Transition Authority. The project is expected to support thousands of highly skilled green jobs in the northwest. It will provide a multi-billion-pound investment in the local economy, promoting growth and further investment across the region. The project has the capacity to store up to 1GT of CO₂, which is about three years’ worth of the UK's current CO₂ emissions. The gas will come by pipeline or be delivered as a liquid by ship. All the scenarios whereby the ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement is met rely heavily on capturing and using or storing CO₂. The Morecambe Bay fields in Liverpool Bay were for some decades the nation’s major swing gas facilities. Infrastructure Aberdeen Port takes giant rig... The Noble Innovator jack-up rig became the largest ever vessel to visit Port of Aberdeen when it docked February 11. It will stay at the newly expanded £400mn Spirit eyes CCS at Morecambe Bay
Aberdeen South Harbour for several months’ maintenance before heading off to decommission BP-operated rigs in the central North Sea. Noble bought Maersk in a tie-up last year so among the jobs will be painting over the old name: Maersk Innovator . Noble Corporation said: "We are excited that the new South Harbour facilities have made it possible for one of our rigs to visit Aberdeen for the first time ever." Selected vendors will supply divers, welders and scaffolders. South Harbour is scheduled to be finished this summer. It will make Aberdeen the largest berthage port in Scotland. The Port of Aberdeen said: "South Harbour’s tidally unrestricted deepwater berths, extensive laydown space and heavy lift capacity, make Aberdeen an attractive option for larger vessels." ... & hosts a sign of the times The South Harbour has also welcomed the distinctive Blue Tern jack-up installation vessel, it said March 2. The Fred Olsen Windcarrier vessel has an overall length of 151 m, a breadth of 50 m and an 800-tonne crane. Announcing the arrival, the port said offshore wind projects were its biggest growth opportunity for the coming decade and already account for a tenth of its overall vessel traffic. ScotWind, INTOG and other developments mean that proportion will rise significantly in the coming years. Port's new Chair & non-exec Roy Buchan, the former COO of Ithaca Energy, has become the Port of Aberdeen’s new Chair and Sian Lloyd Rees, co chair of Offshore Energies UK, has become a non-executive member of its board, the company said January 19. Alistair Mackenzie stepped down
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