Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) (Formerly OGUK)

InfluenceMap Score
for Climate Change
Performance Band
Organisation Score
London, United Kingdom
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Offshore Energies UK (OEUK), formerly Oil & Gas UK appears to have a mixed position on climate change policy in the UK. Although OEUK has clearly supported the UK’s target of net-zero emissions by 2050, it does not appear to fully support a transition of the energy mix that is aligned with this goal as it continues to support an increase in oil and gas exploration.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: OEUK’s top-line messaging on climate policy appears broadly positive. CEO Deirdre Michie stated support for the UK’s target of net-zero by 2050 in September 2021. Furthermore, OEUK appears to show top-line support for government policy to achieve this target, with Deirdre Michie calling for “strong legislation” to help deliver net zero ambitions in a January 2021 press release.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: OEUK’s engagement with specific climate-related regulations appears mixed. In April 2021, OEUK signed an open letter to EU and UK policymakers supporting the linkage of the UK and EU Emission Trading Schemes. However, OEUK’s support for a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) appears to come with exceptions; in a consultation response from October 2020, OEUK appeared to support the continuation of existing protections for energy intensive industries alongside any potential CBAM. However, in June 2021, OEUK’s “Methane Action Plan 2021” appeared to support methane emissions reduction targets and flaring regulation as part of the North Sea Transition Deal agreed between OEUK and the UK government.

Positioning on Energy Transition: OEUK does not appear to be fully supporting the transition of the energy mix. OEUK has consistently advocated for continued exploration and development of unexploited oil and gas reserves in the North Sea, for example, in an op-ed written by CEO Deirdre Michie in July 2021 strongly supporting the Cambo oil and gas project off the coast of Shetland. Likewise, in a March 2022 press release, OEUK supported and increase in UK oil and gas production, and suggested oil and gas is desirable in the UK’s long-term energy mix. In March 2021, OEUK appeared to oppose a proposed ban to new offshore oil and gas exploration licenses in the UK, with Sustainability Director Mike Tholen stating “Any curtailment of activity by licencing constraints risks impeding the UK’s ability to deliver a net-zero future”. This is despite the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero by 2050 roadmap that states that no new exploration or development of new oil and gas fields should occur if the world is to reach net-zero by 2050. OEUK appears to have dispute this, with Sustainability Director Mike Tholen stating in May 2021 “stopping such investment" in exploration/development "would be a major drawback for the energy transition underway”.

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