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Energy Voice panel debate to focus on oil sector's 'transition'

Oil and gas sector experts will highlight the steps companies must take to safeguard their “licence to operate” at an Energy Voice event this month.

The theme for EV’s upcoming panel debate in Aberdeen picked itself; there could only be one − the energy transition.

North Sea industry chiefs are openly discussing the issue with a level of seriousness – and often passion − that would have been unimaginable as recently as one year ago.

In an indication of the topic’s predominance, Offshore Europe will feature an energy transition hub for the first time in its illustrious history.

A few days before the biennial showcase kicks off, EV is hosting a diverse panel of industry experts who will tackle the subject head-on.

More than 100 people have already signed up for EV’s Tracking Transition event, which is free to attend.

It will start at 6pm on Thursday, August 29, at the International School Aberdeen on North Deeside Road.

Law firm Burness Paull is Energy Voice’s partner for the event, whose supporters include ISA, Granite PR, AVC Immedia and Centrifuges Unlimited.

It will feature a presentation delivered by Calash on the progress that oil and gas companies are making to adjust to the demands of the transition.

The panel will be chaired by Mike Tholen, upstream policy director at Oil and Gas UK, and will include Gardiner Hill, vice president of carbon management at BP, Gunther Newcombe, operations director at the Oil and Gas Authority, Neil Smith, head of dispute resolution at Burness Paull, and Iain Gallow, senior project manager at Calash.

A tier one contractor has also agreed to participate and their panellist will be announced soon.

We’ll answer some of these important questions: Radical thinking is needed, but do oil companies have it in them? Should we even be looking to oil and gas companies for direction? Who can oil firms learn from? What are the straight-up, dyed in the wool oil exploration and production companies supposed to do? What’s Aberdeen’s place in all of this?

Mr Tholen said: “I am delighted to chair this key event which will highlight the work being undertaken across the oil and gas industry to address the energy transition challenge, and how companies are adapting to meet the UK’s net-zero ambitions.

“This sector will continue to play an integral role in ensuring the security of the country’s energy supply for decades to come, whilst continuing to support hundreds of thousands of jobs and contributing billions to the economy.

“As we move through the energy transition, the engineering expertise of our supply chain companies means that we have the skills and experience to make a net-zero future a reality.

“Employment by the oil and gas sector provides skilled labour that can move into other parts of the energy sector; helping support the UK to reach its climate change goals.”

Mr Hill said: “The energy transition is one of the great challenges of our time and requires everyone to play a part.

“At BP, we are looking at new ways to supply energy for the growing world but with less greenhouse gas emissions, using our expertise to scale up the most promising innovations in the areas of low carbon and sustainability.

“This event couldn’t be more timely and I look forward to joining the panel for what promises to be an interesting and insightful debate.”

Mr Gallow said: “The energy sector and society have reached a critical juncture. Important decisions will have to be made by businesses as they come to terms with new expectations of customers and investors.

“I look forward to sharing Calash’s insight into the current market conditions for exploration and production companies and the supply chain.”

Mr Newcombe said: “I’m really looking forward to a lively and interesting debate with a diverse panel of speakers.

“The energy transition is fully supported by the OGA. We have just completed phase one of our offshore energy integration project and are working closely with the industry and government on carbon capture and storage, so there’s lots to talk about.”

Mr Smith said: “Companies must understand the energy transition in order to plan for the future, including understanding the potential legal challenges ahead.

“These include stricter environmental regulation of operations, potential health and safety risks from action by activists and the likelihood of future legislation and taxation, all of which could impact on current approaches to doing business.”

To register, please contact info@energyvoice.com or go to the dedicated Tracking Transition page on www.eventbrite.com

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