New UK Prime Minister Likely Good for the Oil, Gas Sector

New UK Prime Minister Could Be Good for Oil, Gas
The appointment of Theresa May as the United Kingdom's new Prime Minister is likely to be a positive development for the UK oil and gas industry. Copyright: UK Home Office

The appointment of Theresa May as the United Kingdom’s new Prime Minister is likely to be a good development for the UK oil and gas industry, according to her voting record in Parliament

The records show that May has voted to help the onshore drilling sector, such as siding against explicitly requiring an environmental permit for hydraulic fracturing activities in a vote on January 26, 2015. The House of Commons followed May’s lead on the matter, with 319 voters siding with the new PM while 224 voters sided against her.

On the same day last year, May voted not to ban the exploitation of unconventional petroleum for at least 18 months and not to require a review of the impact of such exploitation on climate change, the environment, the economy, and health and safety be carried out and published. In that vote, the majority of May’s colleagues sided with her views (307) and just 52 voted in favour of the proposed new rules.

May was also absent for a vote on an infrastructure bill focusing on the safeguards and conditions for hydraulic fracturing activities on February 11, 2015 and a vote on onshore hydraulic fracturing in protected areas on December 16, 2015.

One commentator pointed out that the appointment of a new PM so quickly after the referendum will bring much needed stability for the oil and gas sector.

“The appointment of Theresa May is good from the point of view that it’s going to create stability and hopefully unify the government - give them a clear set of policies as opposed to a situation we’ve had for the last few weeks,” said Peter Searle, CEO at energy, infrastructure and process industry workforce solutions provider Airswift.

“What’s going to be good for the recruitment market is that markets will settle down, now there is certainty about who is going to be running the government and who is going to be appointed to the position of PM. It is going to encourage people to start investing again because I think Theresa May is going to be a strong PM,” he added.

Theresa May became the Prime Minister Wednesday after David Cameron stepped down from the role following a national vote to leave the European Union on June 23. In a turnout of 72.2 percent, 51.9 percent of the UK public voted to leave the union, with 48.1 percent voting to remain.

A graduate in journalism from Cardiff University, Andreas has eight years of experience as a business journalist. Email Andreas at andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com

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John Newstead | Jul. 15, 2016
It is not likely that Theresa will be able to assist in this area. This is not particularly her fault its just that there is a large segment of UK society that is anti industry / manufacturing & particularly any thing to do with land based O&G activities. You only have to look at the Dutch model of NAM and see that land based sites can be used and landscaped to have minimal impact. The North Sea operations in Aberdeen are a dead dodo due to weak long term infrastructure investment and punitive tax rates. The lack of will power by the O&G based there and highly trained engineers required to move large operations north of the Shetlands into deep water exploration has not been encouraged or supported despite being closer to the productive Norwegian sector where they were constructing the mega facilities that are required in the 1980s. They have already drained & depleted some of Scotlands resources from their side of the maritime demarcation border years ago. Quite legally using horizontal three dimensional well paths close to the border. Reservoir drainage is no respecter of surface demarcation lines. In 2006 the company I was working for in Aberdeen to my suprise transferred a great quantity of its high tech equipment to Kazakhstan on a Russian Andropov cargo plane to support a better play there with higher payment with full support & welcome by the Kazak government despite the efforts of Sasha Baron Cohen to mock them as a bunch of simple minded no nothings with agricultural tastes. This was far from the reality with many being highly competent engineers thanks to the legacy Russian education system. So Theresa you have been lumbered with this scenario due to the arrogance of a long line of your predecessors. So I am afraid it is going to be more houses bedecked with solar panels & tulips beside white windmills & large scale carbon capture if that is realistically possible to achieve. Modern nuclear power stations would seem to be the way to go but you are looking at ten years hence unless you get the Chinese to construct them el rapido. Not all of your new subjects wish to be service / knowledge / financial sector workers both boys & girls can see that engineering across the spectrum is an interesting option for future careers. On a positive note in respect to fracking there is a less invasive technique where there is no requirement to use chemicals in some of the potential designated locations & it has been sat on the DOE desk I believe for at least a year with out any response. You will always require a chartered hydrologist to ensure water table integrity to allay quite valid concerns but I am sure you already aware of that. But why not a response surely those employed there are not that busy. In the mean time congratulations on your new posting but I do not want to have false hopes as posited by this Rig Zone article presumably based on your new enthusiasm that fracking will actually occur and provide jobs as it would seem all but impossible in the UK as it has become such a highly charged emotive issue. Best Regards John Newstead esq - ex- oily


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Andreas Exarheas
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