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UK Aims To Stem Decline Of North Sea Oil And Gas Production

Andy Samuel, chief executive of the newly formed UK Oil & Gas Authority, met with potential investors in at the Offshore Technology Conference. OTC, Houston’s largest annual convention, opened Monday at NRG Park.


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NRG stadiumNRG Park. Image credit: flickr/by Ron Kikuchi

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) is now underway at NRG Park.

Among the international visitors to Houston meeting with potential investors is Britain’s newly appointed top regulator for oil and gas, Dr. Andy Samuel.

Samuel spent twenty years in the private sector with exploration and production company BG Group. Since January 1, he’s served as the first chief executive of the newly formed UK Oil & Gas Authority. The British government formed the authority as part of an effort to halt the decline in production in the North Sea.

“One of the frustrations for many people has been the commercial, legal complexity,” Samuel says, “that therefore translates through into difficult behaviors, where it’s often easier for companies to find reasons not to do stuff — with lawyers and commercial complexity — than actually to do it, and that’s particularly frustrated some of the more agile companies that are used to doing stuff quickly and making a discovery and tying it into infrastructure.”

The hope is that the new authority will be able to rein in operating costs, in order to attract new investment and prolong the life of the North Sea fields. The effort also includes cuts to corporate and petroleum revenue taxes. 

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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