BG Group Official Hired to Head New U.K. Oil-Industry Regulator

The U.K. hired a senior BG Group Plc executive to head its new oil and gas industry regulator under plans to boost the country’s recovery of fossil-fuel reserves.

Andy Samuel, BG Group’s managing director for European exploration and production, will be chief executive officer of the Oil and Gas Authority from January, the U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change said today in a statement.

He will start at the regulator, to be set up in April, after what may become the biggest licensing round in the North Sea since the first in 1964, according to the statement. So far, 134 licenses covering 252 blocks have been awarded, with more expected after environmental assessments.

Creating the authority was recommended in a study into how to spur output as aging North Sea fields decline, authored by Ian Wood, former head of oil-services provider John Wood Group Plc.

“Andy’s impressive experience and the significant credibility he holds within the industry will put him in a very strong position to encourage the industry collaboration that is needed,” Wood said in today’s statement.

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