Lessons from the North Sea: A ‘just transition’ plan for a low-carbon future

POP UP POLICY with with Colette Cohen, CEO of the Aberdeen-based OGTC, Sian Lloyd-Rees, UK Country Manager for Aker Solutions, Keith Halliday, Director, BCG Centre for Canada’s Future, and moderator Marla Orenstein, Director, Natural Resources Centre, Canada West Foundation

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

The United Kingdom government recently announced a “landmark deal” – the North Sea Transition Deal for the offshore oil and gas sector.

Key elements of the deal include:

  • early reductions in offshore production emissions of 10% by 2025; 25% by 2027; and 50% by 2030, to meet the sector’s aim of creating a net zero basin by 2050.
  • investment of up to £14-16 billion by 2030 in new energy technologies,  supported by business models to enable CCUS and hydrogen at scale
  • a voluntary industry target of 50% local UK content across the lifecycle for all related new energy technology projects by 2030, as well as in oil and gas decommissioning. This will be supported by the appointment of an industry supply chain champion who will support the coordination of opportunities with other sectors
  • support for up to 40,000 direct and indirect supply chain jobs in decarbonising UKCS production and the CCUS and hydrogen sectors.

But getting to this point hasn’t been without challenges.

What does the North Sea Transition Deal mean for the U.K. oil and gas industry? What can Canada learn from the experience? Where might there be opportunities for collaboration moving forward?

Join Colette Cohen, CEO of the Aberdeen-based OGTC, Sian Lloyd-Rees, UK Country Manager for Aker Solutions, Keith Halliday, Director, BCG Centre for Canada’s Future, and moderator Marla Orenstein, Director, Natural Resources Centre, Canada West Foundation, for a virtual Pop up Policy event.

This event is presented by the Canada West Foundation, British Consulate General in Calgary and the Government of Scotland.


Colette Cohen

Colette Cohen is the Chief Executive Officer for OGTC, an organisation committed to the research and development of technology to accelerate the Oil and Gas industry’s transition to an affordable net zero future. Colette has worked in the industry for more than 25 years, both in the UK & Internationally for BP, ConocoPhillips & Centrica E&P, where she was the regional VP for the UK & Netherlands before joining OGTC. Colette has a degree in Chemistry from Queens in Belfast, a masters in Project Management & Economics from CERAM in France and an honorary PhD from Aberdeen University. Colette was also awarded the Order of the British Empire by the Queen for services to the Oil and Gas industry.

She is the Chair of the National Composites Centre and sits on the boards of OPITO, NORECO and the Lloyds Advisory Board. She is also a Commissioner for the Just Transition Commission for Scotland, a Trustee for Springer Rescue for Scotland and an ambassador for Powerful Women. Colette is an active champion for the industrial transition of the oil and gas industry to a net zero future and a committed role model for women in industry.

Keith Halliday

Keith Halliday is the Director of the Boston Consulting Group’s Centre for Canada’s Future, the firm’s thought-leadership lab in Canada. His recent work includes Canada’s energy transition including The Carbon Capture Opportunity for Canadian Business as well as post-Covid recovery and competitiveness. Previously, Keith led the firm’s global Corporate Banking expert team and has 20 years of experience advising clients in North America, Europe and Asia. Prior to BCG, Keith served as a Canadian Foreign Service Officer and served as Executive Assistant to the Premier of the Yukon.

Sian Lloyd-Rees

In a career spanning more than 25 years, Sian has extensive business experience as a senior leader in both energy and IT industries, having held a number of leadership roles in both blue chip and start-up companies.

The domain knowledge and global focus gained in the energy industry, coupled with the pace of evolving digital strategies and entrepreneurship encouraged in the IT industry, have both contributed to a proven track record in developing new and profitable business opportunities. She is the UK country manager and SVP Europe & Africa for Aker Solutions, a global provider of solutions and services across the broad energy sector.

Sian is co-chair on the Board of Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) which has successfully negotiated the North Sea Transition Deal worth £18billion to the industry. In addition, she sits on the Deepwind Steering Board and CCSA Supply Chain Advisory Group. Prior to this she was co-chair for the OGA MER Supply Chain & Exports Steering Group and sat on the board of the Aberdeen Cyrenians.

Marla Orenstein

Marla Orenstein is Director of the Natural Resources Centre at the Canada West Foundation.. She spends most of her time looking at how Canadian business can prosper as the world transitions to cleaner forms of energy, and the policy and regulatory contexts that support or hamper development, commercialization and success. Marla is also President-Elect and Past President of the International Association for Impact Assessment and a Fellow of the Energy Futures Lab.