Industry energy expansion reflected in new name for OGUK

The leading representative body for the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry – OGUK, is expanding to encompass the range of low-carbon offshore energy technologies that its members are developing to achieve net zero.

OGUK, is expanding from its oil and gas fossil fuel focus to encompass the range of low-carbon offshore energy technologies that its members are developing to achieve net zero.

With rapid developments in offshore wind, hydrogen production, carbon capture and storage systems, as well as other emerging technologies, OGUK rebrands to Offshore Energies UK with effect from February 14, 2022.​

Fossil fuels removed from the name not the focus

Offshore Energies UK will continue to champion the oil and gas sector but will also support those with an interest in carbon capture and storage, hydrogen production and​ offshore wind in a move that reflects the evolving nature of the industry.  

Deirdre Michie, CEO of Offshore Energies UK, said the organisation would be a unifying voice for an offshore energy sector that was undergoing rapid and positive change. After a year-long review, existing members approved the new strategic direction at their AGM in December 2021.​

A balanced and managed transition

Offshore Energies UK will continue to work with regulators, policy-makers and stakeholders to champion the offshore energy industries and help achieve a managed transition towards the UK’s climate goals. Some key elements of this work are already under way for carbon capture and hydrogen production, through the landmark North Sea Transition Deal that OGUK signed with the UK Government last March – the first deal of its kind by a G7 country.​

Deirdre Michie said: “Our members are investing in cleaner energies, boosting the technologies needed to support jobs, communities and the UK’s energy security – and to drive the transition to low-carbon energy.​

​“Following an extensive strategic review, we recognised that we too need to evolve to reflect what is happening in our sector. Working with our members, we are driving forward towards the net zero energy future we all want to see.  Our innovative companies, people and communities will add value to the UK economy as we build an integrated offshore energy sector. ​

​“This is a natural next step for our organisation, which builds on our heritage of proudly championing the UK’s oil and gas industry. ​

​“Extending our representation to include renewable and carbon cutting industries will better reflect the agile nature of the companies involved in energy production. We share the same interests, determination and ambition to deliver an integrated net-zero energy system that is cleaner and greener but also secure and sustainable.”​

​Members are already involved in some of the most cutting-edge low-carbon projects across the country, including:​

  • Acorn Hydrogen & CCS – to turn natural gas into clean hydrogen​
  • Equinor’s Dogger Bank – the world’s largest windfarm​
  • West Anglesey Tidal Energy Project -turning tides into electricity​
  • Hywind Scotland – the world’s first floating windfarm​
  • Drax Zero Carbon Humber Projects – Decarbonising the UK’s largest industrial region​
  • OGCI Climate Investments – Promoting leadership, and investment in low-carbon tech​
  • Net Zero Teesside – deploying carbon capture technologies to decarbonise Teesside​

This announcement of OGUK’s expansion follows the recent Crown Estates Scotland ‘ScotWind’ leasing round, which saw 13 member companies win leading roles in the 17 ScotWind projects. ​More member companies will be involved in the supply chains for these projects.

Expansion to champion low-carbon prompts powerful reactions

Greg Hands, the UK government’s Energy & Climate Change Minister said: “Offshore Energies UK’s new name reaffirms how important the wide range of offshore energy technologies are to reaching net zero and reflects the important role OEUK will play in the North Sea Transition Deal, which is supporting the sector’s highly-skilled workers and supply chain as we shift to a lower carbon future.”

Michael Matheson, the Scottish government’s Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport said: “Offshore energies and technologies such as carbon capture and storage, hydrogen production and offshore wind will play an increasingly important role in ensuring a just transition for the energy sector. I welcome the approach being taken by OEUK to reflect just how important these industries are in ensuring we achieve net zero by 2045.”

Oil and gas has a huge role to play in new energy success

Sir Ian Wood, chairman of ETZ Ltd, a non-profit working to create a low-carbon energy transition zone in north-east Scotland, said: “OGUK are a highly regarded organisation which has proved to be a trusted voice of its members and the wider oil and gas industry, particularly across the North East of Scotland.  The decision to rebrand is absolutely right and reflects moves across the oil and gas sector to diversify its capabilities into offshore wind, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.

“Oil and Gas still has a huge role to play if we are to succeed in new energies. Drawing upon 50 years of a world class industry – the infrastructure, people, technology, and financial capital – will be crucial if we are to achieve net zero targets. We’re confident that Offshore Energies UK will continue to make a hugely valuable contribution as we seek to capitalise on the massive opportunities that energy transition provides.”