The UKCS has recently been attracting significant renewed interest, leading to an influx of investment from private equity (PE). What is required to maintain the pace of positive change?
Yes, the UKCS has undergone substantial change and is now enjoying a period of increased production, production efficiency and lower costs. Together with a highly competitive fiscal regime, these improvements have created the right conditions for increased investment, including a good number of high value opportunities. Industry must now sustain efficiencies and operational performance as we collectively drive innovation and deliver the 3.7 billion extra barrels added to our forecast in recent years.
In your tenure at the Oil & Gas Authority so far, what has been the greatest challenge you have faced?
Early in my tenure we performed urgent work with government and others to respond to the low oil price. All at once, we were establishing the new regulator, helping to get everyone used to who we were and how we were going to work, as well as navigating through one of the toughest and most enduring downturns the sector has seen. When I reflect on the volume and pace of work, including the numerous measures we’ve successfully put in place to implement MER UK (Maximising Economic Recovery), such as introducing a new flexible licensing system, and making major improvements to our asset stewardship system, it never ceases to amaze me.
What does the UK Oil & Gas Authority wish to achieve in 2019?
To keep up the good work and continue delivering value through the right conditions for industry to maximise economic recovery. We’re keen to see more exploration drilling get over the line. We’ll be announcing the results of our 31st Licensing Round in new exploration ‘frontier’ areas and will be launching the 32nd ‘Mature’ Licensing Round later in the year. Area Plans remain a priority and we’re working closely with operators, licence holders, service companies and other parties to develop value-adding partnerships across the oil and gas lifecycle. We are also excited to launch the UK’s first Oil and Gas National Data Repository in Q1, providing stakeholders with a rich resource of valuable and trusted data which will be used to unlock the huge prize of the UKCS’s potential 10-20 billion barrels. I see this as most timely as the industry looks to embrace the full benefits of digital technologies.
What question or industry issue are you looking forward to hearing about at the World Energy Capital Assembly?
Technology has a key role in delivering MER UK and I’m keen to hear more on digitalisation and new innovations. I’m also looking forward to discussions on the global energy transition.
Describe yourself in 5 words
Authentic leader, learner, father, surfer!
About Andy Samuel
Previously Andy was President and General Manager of the US EXCO Appalachia Joint Venture operating Marcellus shale gas production and developments. Prior to this he was Chief Operating Officer, BG Trinidad and Tobago and a Board Member of Atlantic Liquefied Natural Gas. Earlier in his career he held leadership roles in Egypt and the UK as exploration manager. He holds a BA from University of Cambridge and PhD from University of London. Andy lives in Aberdeen with his wife and two sons.
Andy Samuel will be presenting on the North Sea panel at the upcoming World Energy Capital Assembly (WECA) in London, 3-4 December 2018.