Andy Samuel, currently Managing Director of BG Group’s Exploration and Production in Europe, has been appointed as the inaugural CEO of the newly formed independent UK regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA).
The UK government is now working with industry and others to seek views on how best to deliver the next stage of setting up the new regulator, the formation of which was one of the recommendations in Sir Ian Wood Wood Report, published earlier this year.
In a call for evidence, industry is being asked for views on the governance and scope of the new regulator, the Maximizing Economic Recovery UK strategy, the new regulatory powers of the Oil and Gas Authority and its sanctions regime, and how to fund it.
Samuel, pictured, will start his new role on 1 January 2015 under a three-year fixed term contract with a three-year extension option. It has been said the OGA is not likely to be fully functional by Spring 2016.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: “It’s vital for government to work closely with industry to maintain Britain’s energy security and Andy is superbly placed to steer the OGA to maximize the economic recovery of our oil and gas resources. We’re also asking industry for their views to make sure we implement the Wood Review recommendations in the most efficient and practical way.”
Samuel said: “I know first-hand the challenges industry currently faces and am confident that implementing the vision set out in the Wood Review will create a strong future for the UK’s oil and gas industry. I have much enjoyed my time at BG Group, with a lot to be grateful for, and am now looking forward to establishing the OGA and setting its priorities in the New Year.”
Sir Ian Wood said: “The CEO will be of fundamental importance to the establishment and effectiveness of the OGA and I have every confidence that Andy will prove to be an excellent appointment. The OGA will need to work very closely with industry over the coming years and Andy’s impressive experience and the significant credibility he holds within the industry will put him in a very strong position to encourage the industry collaboration that is needed as we enter the next phase of the UKCS.”
A statement from the government said: "Establishing the OGA was a key recommendation in the Wood Review. The OGA will be a strong, proactive and informed regulator that will be tasked with maximizing the economic recovery of our oil and gas resources, and will be established in April 2015."
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. The government fast tracked the recommendations of the Wood Review to maximize the potential of the North Sea and make sure the whole of the UK benefits.
Among Samuel's early priorities will be: establishing the OGA and equipping it with the right people, skills and culture it will require to perform its role effectively; Identifying MER UK delivery priorities for the first year of activities; and establishing a strong partnership with Government and Industry as part of the new tripartite approach.
Oil & Gas UK CEO Malcolm Webb said: “We are at a critical stage in the history of UK offshore oil and gas development and bold steps need to be taken now to ensure strong activity continues into the future. This is a mature province which urgently needs to overcome severe cost challenges and improve its fiscal competitiveness to attract investment and drive growth across the supply chain. The Wood Report called for a new well-resourced regulator to be created and to work alongside HM Treasury and the industry in a tri-partite approach to maximise economic recovery of the UK’s oil and gas resources. The government has chosen wisely in selecting Andy Samuel to take the helm at the OGA. Oil & Gas UK looks forward to working with him as he takes on this crucially important job.”