Offshore Energies UK responds to HSBC’s energy policy and announces new CEO

World Oil Staff December 14, 2022

(WO) — HSBC published its new energy policy outlining its plans “to support the transition to a net zero global energy future” on Dec. 14.

The HSBC policy makes clear that continuing oil and gas production will be essential to global energy security but states, “We will no longer provide upstream finance (through lending or capital markets) for the specific purposes of new oil and gas fields and related infrastructure.”

Offshore Energies UK (OEUK), which represents 400 companies involved in producing energy from UK waters, in the form of oil, gas and offshore wind, said the UK got 75% of its total energy from oil and gas.

It warned that the declining output from the UK’s existing fields meant continued exploration - and financing - were vital for the UK’s energy security.

Francesca Bell, OEUK’s senior investor relations advisor, said, “The UK government’s British Energy Security Strategy made clear the need to support the production of North Sea oil and gas, alongside the deployment of offshore wind, solar and hydrogen.

“We support that strategy. At the moment our members produce nearly 40% of the nation’s gas. We can only maintain that kind of output through constant investment. In the future, we want to move to supplying low-carbon energy. But that will need investment too. This is a multi-decade project.”

“During those decades, energy security will be also key. The Ukraine conflict and resulting energy shortages show that ongoing exploration in our waters is critical to ensuring reliable supplies of domestically produced energy as clean a way as possible.

“The key point is that delivering UK energy is expensive – providing energy now and building the low carbon systems of the future will cost billions of pounds a year. That means support from the government and ongoing commitment from banks are essential. We want them to work with us, not against us.”

OEUK announces David Whitehouse as new CEO ​

This response comes shortly after OEUK’s announcement that David Whitehouse has been appointed as its new Chief Executive starting Jan. 1, 2023. As an established industry leader with 30 years of experience, David has been a longstanding champion of OEUK.

David is respected across the sector for his strategic and hands-on leadership in the North Sea and around the world, including the U.S., Netherlands and Philippines. His passion for energy, engineering and innovation is built on a Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry from Cambridge University and a first-class degree in Chemistry from Manchester University.

His appointment follows a highly competitive recruitment process by OEUK’s Board, which today paid tribute to outgoing Chief Executive Deirdre Michie OBE, confirming her departure at the end of December 2022.

David Whitehouse said, “It’s a great honor 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.”

“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.”

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