Plenary Speakers and Panellists

We are thrilled to announce the following speakers will present during the conference.

Deirdre Michie OBE

Deirdre was appointed CEO of OEUK in May 2015. She has an LLB Hons in Scots Law and has extensive experience as a senior business leader in the oil and gas and energy industry, covering upstream, downstream and globally. Having held a number of Board positions, Deirdre is currently a Non-Executive Board member of Scottish Water and a Board Member of Opportunity North East. Deirdre is a member of the UK Government’s North Sea Transition Forum; HMT’s Oil and Gas Industry Fiscal Forum; the Scottish Government’s Energy Advisory Board, and the Women’s Business Council, a UK Government body focused on increasing women’s contribution to economic growth.

Deirdre was awarded an OBE for her services to the Oil and Gas Industry in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2018, an Honorary Degree from Robert Gordon University and a fellowship from the North East of Scotland College. Deirdre is also a Burgess of Aberdeen.

Linda Cook
Chief Executive Officer
Harbour Energy

Linda Z. Cook was named Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Harbour Energy plc on 1 April 2021.

Prior to this, Linda was Chairman of the Board of Chrysaor Holdings Ltd, and a member of the Investment and Executive Committees of EIG Global Energy Partners (EIG), positions she held since 2014.

She retired from Royal Dutch Shell plc in 2010, at which time she was a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee. During her 29 years with Shell, she held positions including CEO of Shell Gas and Power (London); CEO of Shell Canada Limited (Calgary); Executive Vice President Strategy and Finance for Global Exploration and Production (The Hague); and various US exploration and production management, operational and engineering roles.

She remains an advisor to EIG and is currently a Trustee for the University of Kansas Endowment Association, a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, and a Non-Executive Director on the Board of BNY Melon.

She received a B.S. degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Kansas in 1980.

Andy Samuel
Chief Executive
North Sea Transition Authority

Andy works with leaders to create meaningful change and has been Chief Executive of the UK Government’s North Sea Transition Authority (formerly called the Oil & Gas Authority) since 2015.

He was brought in to set up the new organization and maximize value with industry and the government. In a short space of time, the NSTA created a new vision for the UK Continental Shelf and has delivered on its strategies through agile and collaborative workstreams.

Andy is passionate about the urgency and opportunities presented by the global energy transition. The NSTA strategy now fully incorporates net zero and the NSTA’s energy integration work highlights the massive carbon abatement potential of the North Sea,  including carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and offshore wind.

Andy serves on a number of boards and co-chaired the Aberdeen Maggie’s cancer charity for five years. Andy held a variety of executive and leadership roles at BG Group over 20 years, including Managing Director Europe Exploration and Production. Andy holds an MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and a PhD from London University and is an accredited coach through Meyler Campbell Mastered executive coaching.

Following an international career, he recently moved to a North Devon coastal farm that he is rewilding with his wife. He loves to surf and hike with his two sons.

Simon Sjøthun
Partner and Head of London Office
Rystad Energy

Simon is a consulting partner with extensive experience on topics covering the North Sea basis with particular focus on various gas infrastructure assignments. He has also worked extensively on infrastructure related projects in Europe, North Africa and North America with top tier infrastructure funds, government entities and oil Majors. Simon is currently leading Rystad Energy’s London office.

Mavriky Kalugin
Naftogaz of the Ukraine

Biography to follow shortly!



Ellis Renforth
Senior Vice President, Upstream

A chartered engineer and leader with more than 20 years of experience, Ellis Renforth leads Wood’s upstream operations business for the UK and Europe – a position he has held since joining Wood in 2019. Ellis has held several senior leadership roles within the oil and gas industry, including eight years with Aker Solutions as Operations Manager and, latterly, three years with CNOOC International as Senior Project Manager, supporting the subsea development for the largest oil discovery in the UK North Sea of the past two decades.. With a focus on working with energy clients to help their offshore assets run better, cleaner and smarter for longer, Ellis leads a high-performing business that is laser-focused on unlocking enhanced value through the delivery of integrated and smart operations solutions.

Nathalie Thomas
Energy Correspondent
Financial Times

Biography to follow shortly!

Nathalie will chair the closing panel session.

Sarah Cridland
Vice President Commercial & Subsea Projects UK, Mediterranean & Caspian & Country Manager UK

Originally from the Highlands of Scotland, Sarah graduated with a MEng in Manufacturing Sciences & Engineering from Strathclyde University before commencing her career with Stena Offshore in the early 1990s, where she spent over 10 years working in subsea projects in the UK, Brazil and West Africa. Sarah subsequently gained experience across all aspects of TechnipFMC’s Subsea business, in local and global roles. These included leading the Umbilical manufacturing division, a multi-geographical business with plants in the UK, US and Angola; VP Subsea Tendering with global responsibility for all Subsea commercial tendering activities; and Vice President of the company’s fleet division responsible for the (QHSES, financial and operational) performance of TechnipFMC’s global vessel fleet. Sarah took up her current role, accountable for all Subsea Commercial and Project activities across the UK, Mediterranean and Caspian, as well as overall UK Country Manager, in November 2020 and is based at the company’s Westhill Campus near Aberdeen, UK. She lives in Aberdeen with her husband, two children and dog.

Arne Gurtner
Senior Vice President UK & Ireland

Equinor is a broad energy partner to the UK. Its portfolio includes oil and gas, offshore wind and low carbon solutions, such as the H2H Saltend project potentially one of the world’s first blue hydrogen plants.

Arne Gürtner currently holds the position of Senior Vice President for Equinor’s UK and Ireland upstream operations and sits on the board of Equinor UK Ltd. Gürtner also participates actively in industry forums as OGA Asset Stewardship Task Force Co-Chair and as a member of the Offshore Energies UK Board and NSTA’s North Sea Transition Forum.

Based in Equinor’s UK operations headquarters in Aberdeen, Arne leads the organisation supporting Equinor’s UK and Ireland upstream activities. These include the Mariner development, which started production in August 2019, Rosebank, one of the largest undeveloped resources on the UKCS, UK-Norway border developments Utgard and Barnacle, and a partner-operated interest in the Corrib gas field in Ireland.

Gürtner has held a broad variety of leadership roles across Equinor, including his previous position of Vice President for Technical Excellence in a global business function, and brings experience from project development, integrity management and process safety in operations from the UK and Norwegian Continental Shelves, as well as global research and technology development.

Arne holds a degree in engineering from the University in Stavanger and a PhD in marine technology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

Claire Mack
Chief Executive
Scottish Renewables

Claire has been Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, the representative voice of Scotland’s renewable energy industry, since October 2017. She is responsible for leading the organisation’s work to grow Scotland’s renewables sector and sustain its
position at the forefront of the global clean energy industry.

Claire is a member of the First Minister’s Energy Advisory Board and is co-chair of the Renewable Energy Strategic Leadership Group. She is also co-chair of the Scottish Government Marine Energy Industry Group.

Claire is a member of SSEN’s Network for Net Zero Stakeholder Group and a member of the Centre for Work-Based Learning in Scotland Advisory Group. She was recently awarded a STELAR award for executive leadership from the University of Strathclyde.

Before joining Scottish Renewables, Claire was Director of Policy and Place at the Scottish Council for Development and Industry. She has previously worked in various roles at Ofcom in Scotland, focusing on economic regulation of telecoms, radio spectrum and the mail market while also looking at developing digital participation of individuals and businesses.

Prior to this Claire worked in retail and the construction industry as well as on regulation of regional broadcasting in the Borders and North East of England.

Gareth McQueen
Production Engineer – FPSOs
Shell U.K. Limited and OEUK Graduate of the Year 2018

Gareth joined Shell in 2015 following completion of a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from Heriot-Watt University. Since joining Shell he has completed a graduate programme in Technical Safety Engineering, held the role of Production Support Engineer for the Nelson facility and lead the Commissioning and Start-up Operations team for the Shearwater 2021 Turnaround and Replumb project. In his current role he is the Production Engineer for the Shell UK FPSOs (Pierce and Penguins) where he is responsible for day-to-day production and environmental optimisation and forecasting, well integrity and threat and opportunity management. In 2018 he was award the OEUK Graduate of the Year award.