Knowledge & Insight

UK Oil and Gas - a long-term future

Tue 25 March 2014

Back in 2012 Sir Ian Wood cited the urgent need for the UK oil and gas industry to attract the additional investment required to exploit hard-to-reach reserves. Production from the UK Continental Shelf has been in steady decline since 2000, and despite rising energy prices, tax revenues from oil and gas have largely mirrored this trend, delivering a significant impact on the UK Treasury coffers. So when Sir Ian stressed the need for immediate action, the government was quick to respond, and in 2013 the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change commissioned a review of UK offshore oil and gas recovery, to be led by Sir Ian. Entitled “UKCS Maximising Recovery Review”, the final report was published in February this year,

UKCS Maximising Recovery Review

The final report laid out a number of clear recommendations for the UK oil and gas industry:

  • Government and industry must work together to attract new investment and to maximise the recovery of existing reserves.
  • Government should create a new regulatory body charged with overseeing the stewardship and regulation of UK Continental Shelf hydrocarbons.
  • The new regulatory body should be given additional powers to implement the recommendations of the earlier initiative “Maximising Economic Recovery from the North Sea”.

Sir Ian also stressed the need for the industry to attract and train young people – to create the next generation of skilled engineers, petro-physicists, geologists and environmental scientists.

Overcoming diverse challenges

It’s clear that the UK oil and gas industry faces some significant challenges in the coming years. It must woo the City to attract new investment. It must continue to drive innovation in recovery techniques and extraction technologies whilst protecting the fragile environments where drilling takes place. And it must attract a new generation of talent – new graduates and technical apprentices with the energy and expertise to deliver on these challenges. This is a critical issue, because if ambitious young people see oil and gas as an industry in decline, they’re likely to look elsewhere for a rewarding career.

To survive and thrive in the long-term, the oil and gas industry will need to evolve, because however effective its recovery technologies, the day will come when reserves are exhausted. Yet as Sir Ian points out, that needn’t mean an end to the industry. By re-engineering itself, the North Sea could become an eastern hemisphere oil and gas hub that processes crude oil recovered elsewhere.

Oil & Gas executive search

To meet these challenges the oil and gas industry needs leaders with the vision to guide their companies through this changing landscape, to reshape their operations to deliver on changing requirements, to work within a new regulatory framework, and ultimately to drive the innovation that will enable economic return from hard-to-reach reserves. Recruiting such individuals requires the services of a specialist oil & gas executive search firm. Stone Executive is an experienced oil & gas executive recruitment company. Our recruitment consultants are skilled oil and gas headhunters with a professional network that spans both multinationals and niche engineering and exploration firms.


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