Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) announced on Friday that its chief executive Deirdre Michie will step down at the end of 2022 after almost eight years in the role.
“During her tenure, Deirdre has championed the offshore oil and gas sector and its role in the energy transition,” said OEUK.
“Together with the OEUK team, OEUK’s members and stakeholders, Deirdre 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.
“Demonstrating the sector’s willingness to stand up and be counted during COP26 and the energy transition, Deirdre also worked across the sector to successfully deliver the North Sea Transition Deal, a landmark agreement between industry and government, which supports the move to low-carbon energy.
“OEUK will now begin the recruitment process, so that Deirdre’s successor will be in position at the beginning of 2023.”
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.
“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.
“It is a real honour to represent this sector and its people – I admire their resilience and commitment to do the right thing and I thank them all for the support that they continue to give me and the team at OEUK.”
Arne Gurtner, 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.
“It is a real pleasure working with Deirdre and we will continue to do so while we recruit her successor in the coming months.”
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 humour 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.”
Ian Wood, Chairman of ETZ Ltd, said: “Under Deirdre’s leadership, OEUK has established itself as a hugely respected organisation and a trusted voice for its members and the wider energy industry, particularly across the North East of Scotland, and indeed the UK.
“The oil and gas industry, in particular, has had to navigate a period of unprecedented challenge over the last 8 years and Deirdre has represented the sector with a real sense of purpose and intent. On a personal level, it has been a privilege to work closely with Deirdre throughout this period and I wish her well for the future.
“I’m confident that OEUK, thanks in no small part to Deirdre’s efforts, will continue to make a hugely valuable contribution as we seek to capitalise on the massive opportunities that the energy transition provides.”
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 decarbonisation.
“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.
“Under Deirdre’s leadership, OEUK has advocated passionately for its members and worked to ensure Scotland’s rich energy heritage has a bright future. The Scottish Government will continue to work closely with OEUK and I look forward to building on our constructive relationship with her successor.”
UK 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 endeavours.”