2 March 2016 Oil & Gas UK and East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) have today (Wednesday 2 March 2016) signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with the aim of developing a closer relationship which better serves and promotes the interests of the organisations members and the UK oil and gas industry in general, while recognising the independent and autonomous authorities of each entity. The Memorandum was signed in front of over 500 delegates from across the industry and supply chain at EEGR s flagship Southern North Sea conference at Norfolk Showground in Norwich. The two organisations have worked together for many years, arranging joint events, providing speakers for public platforms and sharing information.
This MoC recognises that Oil & Gas UK and EEEGR can together be more effective voices for UK oil and gas business interests through a more formalised cooperation arrangement. Speaking at the conference, Oil & Gas UK s chief executive, Deirdre Michie, commented: The businesses in this area and the region itself are important to the success of the UK oil and gas industry as a whole. Not only do they make a really important contribution to the operations in the Southern North Sea their considerable expertise supports a healthy export market.
However, we are an industry with serious challenges to address if we are to have a sustainable future. Signing a Memorandum of Cooperation is our commitment to work together in the interests of all our members to increase the visibility of the contribution of East of England oil and gas businesses to the industry, the region and the wider UK economy. I believe we are also an industry which will survive, despite a very difficult business environment.
Working together with EEEGR, building on the expertise here in the Southern North Sea, we will be better placed to meet the challenges ahead. Simon Gray, chief executive of EEEGR, said the MoC was in the interests of EEEGR s more than 400 member companies: Energy Secretary Amber Rudd s energy reset in November announced up to 50 new gas fired power stations would be built. The gas has to come from somewhere and, from the point of view of energy security; we want that gas to come from our own waters and our own offshore reserves rather than being imported.
So, from what the future looks like, the SNS gas basin has never been so strategically important to the UK. Gas is going to be the interim fuel of choice for the next 15-20 years whilst we await the construction of the offshore wind farms and nuclear power stations to generate the country s electricity requirements as we stop burning coal, which has to cease totally by 2025. Whilst we see difficult times ahead in the oil and gas sector, a strategic close cooperation with Oil & Gas UK is something we see as being essential and it also recognises the importance of our region, the diversity of the supply chain, skills and training facilities and the innovations that can be found in the East of England.
We are delighted that part of the cooperation is to have the opportunity to hot desk with Oil & Gas UK, which will provide facilities in Great Yarmouth for Oil & Gas UK and facilities in London and Aberdeen for EEEGR. The main purposes of the Memorandum of Cooperation are to: Develop and sustain links between the East of England and other oil and gas industry hubs in the UK, including the North East of England, Aberdeen and the rest of Scotland; Increase visibility of the contribution of East of England oil and gas businesses to the industry, the region and the wider UK economy; Promote greater two-way communication to enhance alignment on and action towards common goals; Identify new and existing opportunities to jointly promote transformational change across the industry. Deirdre Michie spoke at the event about the potential of the industry in the East of England: There are up to three billion barrels still to recover from the waters off East Anglia a substantial opportunity that can continue to provide jobs; a return on investment, and the supply of gas this country will benefit from.
Also, in excess of 1.5 billion will be spent on decommissioning between 2015 and 2024, according to Oil & Gas UK s Decommissioning Insight Report which could become a managed opportunity to the region.
The ingenuity and scale of the world-class companies and projects here in East Anglia, and the determination and drive of those leading and working in the industry, is truly impressive.
With over 50 years experience creating a unique supply chain; the southern North Sea has the right ingredients to become a centre of excellence for the UK and to develop that into a robust global export market.