PILOT (formerly the Oil and Gas Taskforce) facilitates the partnership between the UK oil and gas industry, and government.

On 1st April 2015 certain functions passed from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) a newly created Executive Agency of DECC

Role of the group

PILOT cooperates to deliver quicker, smarter and sustainable energy solutions to secure the long-term future of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) and ensure full economic recovery of our hydrocarbon resources.

The aim of PILOT has been to:

  • focus on delivery of actions that will improve the competitiveness of the UK oil and gas industry
  • deliver the PILOT 2010 vision, which will contribute to the longer term security of energy supply
  • promote continued dialogue between government and industry


Maximising the recovery of the UK’s remaining oil and gas resources is vital to the continued energy security and prosperity of this country. It is estimated that these resources could approach 20 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Through industry and government, PILOT advances initiatives directed at reducing cost, eliminating barriers and maximising the effectiveness of resources, to bring about a future that could still see the industry meeting half the country’s oil and gas needs.

It is timely for PILOT to move away from prescriptive targets and create a new roadmap for the future of the basin with the overall vision of maximising recovery of our hydrocarbon reserves in an economic and environmentally sustainable manner – a road map that will ensure we can anticipate and act on the issues the next 10 years will bring.

It will articulate the direction of travel over a period of time with milestones identified for all proposed working areas and a possible ‘final destination’ for achieving an outcome in each area. We will also define what areas PILOT can impact on and which of those should be an industry or sectoral solution.

Background and achievements

PILOT began life as the Oil and Gas Taskforce, which was created to find ways to deal with low oil prices and only expected to last for 6 months. It met once a month during that period. The model worked well and as the oil price recovered, other challenges emerged. The group was then tasked with working on a range of significant issues affecting the prosperity and viability of the UK basin.

After the initial period the taskforce was renamed ‘PILOT’ and it now meets twice a year. It is chaired by the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change and includes around 13 industry representatives as well as representatives from relevant government departments.

The taskforce’s objective was to create a climate for the UKCS within which to retain its position as a pre-eminent and active centre of oil and gas exploration and production.

It also aimed to maintain the UK contracting and supplies industry at the leading edge in terms of overall competitiveness. PILOT has since brought forward a number of successful initiatives and delivered results to improve UK competitiveness.


A number of sub-groups were formed, with a wide remit to consider actions on individual topics. This process of engagement has worked well. It has created a sense of involvement from the whole industry as issues have moved forward.

The original sub-groups were set up to look at:

  • competitiveness
  • innovation and technology
  • skills and training
  • regulation licensing
  • fiscal issues
  • environment and sustainable development


Central to the approach has been the generation of what is a novel way of cooperation between industry and government: they work in partnership to deliver a stronger performance, sustaining jobs and developing services and technologies the market needs. Companies are encouraged to collaborate on non-competitive issues and look for new ways of working to make a brighter future for all.

PILOT has been highly successful and many of the projects have evolved into the key organisations fundamental to the UKCS today. The Industry Technology Facilitator was initiated by one of the strategic groups looking to improve the flow of new technology to the market, while LOGIC (Leading Oil and Gas Industry Competitiveness) was created by PILOT to stimulate supply chain collaboration and improve competitiveness.

Initiatives such as Vantage POB, Masterdeed, IMHH and standard contracts were brought together under LOGIC.

To maintain the early momentum, there has been recognition of the need to reinvigorate PILOT. We continue to face challenges that have not become any easier, and it is important to maintain the alignment of all stakeholders working towards the same vision of maximising all opportunities from the North Sea.


An important aspect of PILOT’s work has been to improve the way we do business in the UK. There are a number of areas we have been able to impact on using a collaborative approach, with members putting aside their individual business interests to work for the good of the industry.

PILOT has had many successes in the past 10 years of innovative and collaborative work. These include:

  • attracting new players and global investment – a diverse range of new players entered the basin, which has led to the development of more small fields and technology. A range of new companies and operators have entered the market
  • fallow initiative – this has stimulated activity by placing still prospective acreage into the hands of companies that want to develop it
  • access to infrastructure – companies are able to negotiate with pipeline owners, etc, for access. This has helped enable subsea tiebacks to infrastructure hubs, although there are still ongoing challenges in this area.
  • stewardship – initiative to critically analyse the potential of each producing asset
  • technology development – working to foster innovation and facilitating the development and implementation of new technologies. This led to establishment of the Industry Technology Facilitator
  • skills – the industry workforce has increased by 100% throughout the life of PILOT, and oil and gas academy OPITO was established following work in PILOT
  • exports – there has been a higher level of exports from the industry than anticipated and Subsea industry renowned across the world
  • investment – levels of investment in the basin exceeded expectations, including rising capital investment in the current economic climate


Industry membership of PILOT comprises industry stakeholders able to make a significant commitment to PILOT and represent a broad spectrum of views rather than just those of their company or group. This includes 8 members of the board of Oil and Gas UK, and around 5 independent members – all industry leaders at a managing director / chief executive level.

The forum is chaired by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and vice chaired by a Minister of State for Energy and Climate change.

Also involved are representatives from key government departments and the Scottish Government, the Secretary of State for Scotland, and officials from HM Treasury, as well as a trade union representative. Membership is reviewed every 2 years.

OGA’s Oil and Gas Industry Development team provides the secretariat to PILOT.


The secretariat works to ensure the success of initiatives and work areas from PILOT that aim to maximise recovery of the nation’s indigenous hydrocarbon reserves and improve competitiveness in the supply chain.

The scope of work incorporates promotion of the UK supply chain capability and development of new and emerging technology from concept to deployment.

Additionally the unit, which is provided by OGA, has responsibility for ensuring the sector has an adequately skilled workforce.

PILOT Secretariat
Department for Energy and Climate Change
Energy Development Unit
3rd Floor, Atholl House
86-88 Guild Street
Aberdeen AB11 6AR

Email: pilot.secretariat@oga.gsi.gov.uk

Head of PILOT Secretariat

Bill Cattanach
Industry & Technology Development Team
Telephone: 01224 254097
Email: bill.cattanach@oga.gsi.gov.uk

Briefing and Industry Manager

Sylvia Buchan
Telephone: 01224 254041
Email: sylvia.buchan@oga.gsi.gov.uk

Briefing and Technology Development Manager

Marian Bruce
Telephone: 01224 254020
Email: marian.bruce@oga.gsi.gov.uk

Industry Development Executive

Ian Furneaux Telephone: 01224 254151 Email: Ian.Furneaux@oga.gsi.gov.uk


For previous minutes please go to the National Archives website

PILOT Share Fair

The PILOT Share Fair is the annual flagship event for the supply chain. The event is organised by Oil & Gas UK and held each November.

For more information please see the Oil & Gas UK: PILOT Share Fair web page.

Project Pathfinder

Project Pathfinder is an online tool to provide real-time information to the Supply Chain. It tracks emerging projects and developments from 95% of the UK Operators and provides visibility to the Supply Chain of both new field developments as well as decommissioning projects in the UKCS over the next few years.

It was developed as a direct result of requests from Supply Chain companies for early information on emerging projects to enable them to plan ahead and be in the best position to bid for contracts.

Project Pathfinder provides this valuable information on the upcoming developments, including the location, type of development, and the timings of the opportunities as well as contact details within the companies.

It has been developed to provide increased visibility to the contracting community and to compliment some of our other initiatives such as the PILOT Share Fair and the PILOT Forward Workplan.

A publication was created for Offshore Europe 2013 highlighting the projects available within Project Pathfinder:


  1. UK energy security

Contact details