MEMBER NEWS: Offshore Energies UK announces industry veteran David Whitehouse as new CEO

December 15, 2022
MEMBER NEWS: Offshore Energies UK announces industry veteran David Whitehouse as new CEO

The leading representative body for the UK offshore energies industry has today announced David Whitehouse has been appointed as its new Chief Executive. Starting on 1 January 2023, he most recently led operator CNR International, where he spent two decades as managing director and vice president of development operations.

As an established industry leader with 30 years of experience, David has been a longstanding champion of OEUK, the leading trade association for the UK’s integrating offshore energies industry. Its membership includes over 400 organisations with an interest in offshore oil, gas, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and wind. From operators to the supply chain and across the lifecycle from production to decommissioning, they are safely providing cleaner fuel, power and products to the UK.

Working together with its members, OEUK is a driving force supporting the UK in ensuring security of energy supply while helping to meet its net zero ambitions. It works on behalf of the sector and its members to inform understanding with facts, evidence and data, engage on a range of key issues and support the broader value of this industry in a changing energy landscape.

David is respected across the sector for his strategic and hands-on leadership in the North Sea and around the world, including the USA, Netherlands and Philippines. His passion for energy, engineering and innovation is built on a PhD in Theoretical Chemistry from Cambridge University and a first-class degree in Chemistry from Manchester University. He is currently studying at the University of Aberdeen for a Masters in Renewable Engineering, an area of key growth and interest for OEUK and its members.

His appointment follows a highly competitive recruitment process by OEUK’s Board, which today paid tribute to outgoing Chief Executive Deirdre Michie OBE, confirming her departure at the end of December 2022.

Commenting on the appointment, OEUK Board co-chair and Equinor senior vice president Arne Gurtner said:

“David brings a wealth of experience and a passion for nurturing our industry and its people. He brings inspirational leadership skills and deep industry expertise that will connect with government, our stakeholders and our growing membership across all parts of the offshore energy landscape. David will provide strong and influential direction as OEUK continues to safeguard UK energy security and power up the energy transition.”

Sian Lloyd Rees, OEUK Board Co-chair and Managing Director, Mainstream Offshore said:

“On behalf of the Board and OEUK members, I’d like to thank Deirdre for her years of dynamic service to this industry. She has led OEUK with enormous skill and built a first-class team. Deirdre has become the face of our industry in the UK and she leaves a rich legacy. She has helped OEUK build its reputation as the leading representative body for our industry, which is founded on its world class membership services and resources together with world-class information, reports and events. We wish her all the very best for the future.”

David Whitehouse said:

“It’s a great honour and I can’t wait to get started. Offshore Energies UK is our industry’s champion and I will be proud to lead it into a very exciting future. The UK has a world-class energy sector that is changing as we work towards a fair energy transition whilst ensuring the UK has the energy security it needs to drive growth and productivity.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to Deirdre Michie, who is deeply respected across our industry. Her leadership has been fantastic to behold and I know she will be missed by the OEUK team. She has passed on invaluable advice about the challenge ahead, which I am excited to meet with the excellent OEUK team and its members. This is also a time of enormous opportunity for our industry, which I’m sure we can all shape and take together.”

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AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise