OEUK Chief Executive to Step Down

OEUK Chief Executive to Step Down
Deirdre Michie will be stepping down.

Industry body Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) has announced that its chief executive, Deirdre Michie, will step down at the end of 2022.

OEUK outlined that the organization has begun the recruitment process, so that Michie’s successor will be in position at the beginning of 2023. Michie was appointed chief executive of OEUK, then named Oil and Gas UK, in May 2015.

The outgoing OEUK chief executive has extensive experience as a senior business leader in the energy industry, both in upstream and downstream, and was awarded an OBE for her services to the oil and gas industry in the Queen’s Birthday Honors 2018, OEUK’s website highlights.

In a statement accompanying news of Michie’s career decision, OEUK noted that, during her tenure, Michie has championed the offshore oil and gas sector and its role in the energy transition. Together with the OEUK team, OEUK’s members and stakeholders, Michie has represented the industry through two downturns, seeking to encourage investment, activity, and jobs back into the basin while leading an aligned industry response to the Covid pandemic, OEUK outlined. Michie also worked across the sector to deliver the North Sea Transition Deal, “a landmark agreement between industry and government, which supports the move to low-carbon energy”, OEUK noted.  

Commenting on her departure from OEUK, Michie said, “it has been an extraordinary privilege to represent this industry through some of the most challenging times that it has had to deal with in its history”.

“Working with the team at OEUK, our members and our stakeholders, I consider we have raised the bar in the way this industry and OEUK have continued to evolve, embracing the energy transition while at the same time helping to underpin the UK’s security of energy supply,” Michie added.

“Given my length of tenure and the evolution of the sector and of OEUK, it is important that I hand over to someone who can ensure a multi-year commitment to OEUK’s progress within what will continue to be a very dynamic environment,” Michie continued.

Michie went on to say that “it is a real honor to represent this sector and its people”, adding that she admires “their resilience and commitment to do the right thing”.

Arne Gurtner, the senior vice president UK and Ireland offshore at Equinor and OEUK board co-chair said, “on behalf of OEUK’s board and our members, I’d like to thank Deirdre for her excellent leadership that has been central to her successful championing of the sector through its ups and downs”.

“Delivering the ground-breaking North Sea Transition Deal, driving cross sector collaboration, raising the bar on diversity and inclusion and ensuring industry’s aligned response to the Covid 19 pandemic have all been key deliverables for Deirdre, OEUK and the sector,” Gurtner added.

“It is a real pleasure working with Deirdre and we will continue to do so while we recruit her successor in the coming months,” Gurtner continued.

Sian Lloyd Rees, UK MD Aker Offshore Wind and OEUK board co-chair said, “I would like to echo Arne’s remarks and it has been a privilege to work with Deirdre over the years”.

“Deirdre’s leadership and relentless drive, coupled with humor and a highly inclusive approach during a challenging period for our industry, has been key to the success we have achieved. We will continue to push forward positive change for our industry and Deirdre leaves a strong foundation upon which we can build,” Rees added.

Business and Energy Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, said, “Deirdre has served the industry with distinction and has been a steadfast supporter of strengthening Britain’s energy security in these uncertain times”.

“She was integral to our landmark North Sea Transition Deal, championing a bright future for our offshore energy sectors, supporting countless jobs and securing highly valuable investment across the United Kingdom.  I want to thank Deirdre for her work and I wish her the very best in future endeavors,” Kwarteng added.  

Scottish government Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Michael Matheson, said, “I would like to thank Deirdre Michie for her significant contribution to public policy on behalf of the energy industry, including through participation in the Scottish Energy Advisory Board and the Oil and Gas and Energy Transition Strategic Leadership Group”.

“Her eight-year tenure as CEO has steered the industry body through a significant period of turbulence and transition. The change from Oil and Gas UK to Offshore Energies UK typifies the commitment Deirdre brought to ensuring the energy industry can adapt and take advantage of the economic opportunities of decarbonization,” he added.

“Her contribution extends beyond the energy sector where she has promoted diversity and inclusion and acted as an inspiring role model for young women and girls, especially those considering a career in science and engineering,” Matheson continued.

In a statement posted on the North Sea Transition Authority’s Twitter page, the organization’s CEO, Andy Samuel, said, “Deirdre is widely recognized for doing a tremendous job at OEUK during a period of significant change and challenge for the industry”.

“She has been a privilege to work with and I wish her well for the future,” Samuel added in the statement.



To contact the author, email andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com

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