The Case for Responsible Upstream Investment on the UK Continental Shelf

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The UK Exploration Task Force (XTF) is a collaborative structure between industry and regulator (OGA), under the umbrella of the OGA’s North Sea Transition Forum, which is the body that provides senior government and industry leadership for the offshore oil and gas industry. The XTF comprises exploration leaders in the oil, gas and emerging carbon storage sectors. Its purpose is to maintain UK exploration and appraisal activity, making the most of the UK’s own energy resources in support of the transition to a net zero carbon future and beyond.

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The attached Exploration Task Force Investment Pack was produced by the Exploration Task Force (‘XTF’), an industry leadership group working under the Oil and Gas Authority’s Energy Transition Forum. The pack will be the basis of this talk, augmented with new material being generated through the XTF’s ongoing advocacy of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) as an uncommon opportunity for responsible upstream investment. The investment case draws together the strands of a fast-changing UKCS context to bring the audience up-to-speed with the growing ESG differentiation of the UKCS from most other producing basins and in particular the impact of the new regulatory regime, which aligns exploration, appraisal, new field developments and legacy producing assets on a measurable trajectory to net zero by 2050. The OGA’s new strategy and the North Sea Transition Deal lead to unprecedented industry, regulatory and government alignment towards a growing and potentially very substantial role of the UKCS in national decarbonisation.

Four key themes are highlighted; emissions reduction of offshore oil and gas production, development of carbon storage, blue hydrogen manufacture and closer integration with offshore renewables. Investment in increasing the sustainability of local oil and gas supply, for example via offshore electrification, could allow UK production to meet up to around 60% of UK demand, limiting net imports to a still very substantial 7 Billion barrels of oil equivalent by 2050.

The integral role of the upstream industry to UK decarbonisation is underlined by the OGA’s computation that the UKCS could meet up to around 60% of UK net zero abatement needs, with supply chain, upstream technology, assets and skills providing the common thread to the four main energy transition opportunities mentioned above.

Our Speakers - Graham Goffey

Graham Goffey is a member of the Exploration Task Force (‘XTF’) and was lead author on its investor information pack. He has worked in the upstream industry since 1985, in roles ranging from geoscientist to managing director and has been employed by companies including Conoco, LASMO, Paladin Resources and PA Resources. He founded and runs his own North Sea exploration company, Soliton Resources, working in partnership with Equinor to progress a low risk Central North Sea prospect to drilling.  He is a past chair of the Geological Society’s Petroleum (now Energy) Group and was a Trustee and Treasurer of the Geological Society from 2014 to 2021. He has co-edited several geoscience publications, most recently including the weighty Geological Society Memoir 52 on UK Oil and Gas Fields. He is a Chartered Geologist and a director of the UK Oil and Gas Independents Association (OGIA). His 35+ year career has been spent in technical, asset/general management and director roles in North Sea and international exploration and production, including periods living and working in both Pakistan and Indonesia. 

Our Speakers - Nick Terrell

Nick Terrell is Chair of the UK Exploration Task Force (XTF), a joint industry and regulatory organisation comprising exploration leaders in the oil and gas and emerging carbon storage sectors. The XTF is one of several UK Task Forces within the UK North Sea Transition Forum, the tripartite body which provides senior government and industry leadership for the offshore oil and gas industry. Nick has c. 20 years of broad industry leadership experience in a range of upstream energy focused roles. He is co-founded of Carbon Catalyst, an independent company focused exclusively on reducing CO₂ emissions via Carbon Capture & Storage. He is also UK Country Manager for Finder Energy, an oil and gas exploration company based in Perth, Australia, and recent new entrant to the UK North Sea. Previously, he was Managing Director and co-founder of North Sea operator Azinor Catalyst, which he sold to Finder Energy in 2020. Prior to this he was Exploration Director at US independent Endeavour Energy, board member of OGUK and President of the PESGB. Nick has a MSc in Petroleum Geoscience from Imperial College London.


5.50pm Webinar Opens

6.00pm – 7.00 pm  Presentation with Q&A moderated by Scottish Energy forum President, John  Naismith

7.15 pm Webinar closes