UK trade body on the lookout for new boss as current one prepares for exit after 8 years

The UK’s representative body for the offshore energy industry, Offshore Energies UK (OEUK), is starting the search for a new chief executive as its current one will be stepping down from the role at the end of the year.

Offshore Energies UK – former Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) – informed last Friday that Deirdre Michie will hand over the reins at the end of 2022 after almost eight years as chief executive of OEUK. 

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

Deirdre has “championed” the offshore oil and gas sector and its role in the energy transition during her tenure and 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, elaborated the UK trade body.

Sir Ian Wood, Chairman of ETZ Ltd, stated: “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 eight 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.”  

OEUK explained that Deirdre also worked across the sector to successfully deliver the North Sea Transition Deal – a landmark agreement, agreed at the end of March 2021, between industry and government, which supports the move to low-carbon energy – demonstrating the sector’s willingness to stand up and be counted during COP26 and the energy transition.

UK trade body on the lookout for new boss as current one prepares for exit after 8 years
Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive, OEUK; Courtesy of Offshore Energies UK (OEUK)

Commenting on her decision, Deirdre 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.”

Offshore Energies UK disclosed that it will start the recruitment process now, so that, Deirdre’s successor will be in position at the beginning of 2023.  

Scottish government’s Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Michael Matheson, pointed out: “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.”