Offshore Energies UK appoint Whitehouse as CEO

David Whitehouse

Giant trade association Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) has appointed David Whitehouse as its new chief executive, starting on January 1, 2023.

OEUK represents 400 companies involved in producing energy from UK waters via oil, gas and offshore wind.

Whitehouse most recently led operator Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) International, where he spent two decades as managing director and vice president of development operations.

His appointment follows a competitive recruitment process by OEUK’s board, which paid tribute to outgoing chief executive Deirdre Michie, confirming her departure at the end of December 2022.

“As an established industry leader with 30 years of experience, David has been a longstanding champion of OEUK, the leading trade association for the UK’s integrating offshore energies industry,” said OEUK.

“Its membership includes over 400 organisations with an interest in offshore oil, gas, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and wind.

“From operators to the supply chain and across the lifecycle from production to decommissioning, they are safely providing cleaner fuel, power and products to the UK.

“Working together with its members, OEUK is a driving force supporting the UK in ensuring security of energy supply while helping to meet its net zero ambitions.

“It works on behalf of the sector and its members to inform understanding with facts, evidence and data, engage on a range of key issues and support the broader value of this industry in a changing energy landscape.

“David is respected across the sector for his strategic and hands-on leadership in the North Sea and around the world, including the USA, Netherlands and Philippines.

“His passion for energy, engineering and innovation is built on a PhD in Theoretical Chemistry from Cambridge University and a first-class degree in Chemistry from Manchester University.

“He is currently studying at the University of Aberdeen for a Masters in Renewable Engineering, an area of key growth and interest for OEUK and its members.”

OEUK board co-chair and Equinor senior vice president Arne Gurtner said: “David brings a wealth of experience and a passion for nurturing our industry and its people.

“He brings inspirational leadership skills and deep industry expertise that will connect with government, our stakeholders and our growing membership across all parts of the offshore energy landscape.

“David will provide strong and influential direction as OEUK continues to safeguard UK energy security and power up the energy transition.”

Sian Lloyd Rees, OEUK board co-chair and managing director, Mainstream Offshore, said: “On behalf of the board and OEUK members, I’d like to thank Deirdre for her years of dynamic service to this industry.

“She has led OEUK with enormous skill and built a first-class team. Deirdre has become the face of our industry in the UK and she leaves a rich legacy.

“She has helped OEUK build its reputation as the leading representative body for our industry, which is founded on its world class membership services and resources together with world-class information, reports and events. We wish her all the very best for the future.”

Whitehouse said: “It’s a great honour and I can’t wait to get started. Offshore Energies UK is our industry’s champion and I will be proud to lead it into a very exciting future.

“The UK has a world-class energy sector that is changing as we work towards a fair energy transition whilst ensuring the UK has the energy security it needs to drive growth and productivity.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to Deirdre Michie, who is deeply respected across our industry.

“Her leadership has been fantastic to behold and I know she will be missed by the OEUK team.

“She has passed on invaluable advice about the challenge ahead, which I am excited to meet with the excellent OEUK team and its members.

“This is also a time of enormous opportunity for our industry, which I’m sure we can all shape and take together.”