2016 REVIEW: DEVELOPMENTS IN THE REGULATION OF THE UNITED KINGDOM CONTINENTAL SHELF
A significant development occurred in the UK’s oil & gas industry on 1 October 2016. The Oil & Gas Authority (OGA), the industry regulator, was converted from an executive agency of the government to a company with the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy as its sole shareholder.
It marks the final step in the creation of an independent regulator. This change coincided with a number of OGA policy and strategy papers intended to promote efficient operating standards in the UK continental shelf (UKCS). The central theme of these papers, as well as the creation and existence of the OGA, is to keep the UKCS competitive and sustainable as a mature basin operating in a low oil price environment.
Shortly following the OGA’s incorporation, a number of additional strategy papers were published designed to encourage better behaviours among UK industry participants. This blog briefly describes the creation of the OGA and policies introduced since incorporation.
With increasing global attention looking at opportunities to divert waste from landfill, and with a widespread and growing appreciation of the need for more renewable energy sources to fuel our expanding urban communities, the role of energy-from-waste (EfW) solutions is now at the heart of modern and sustainable waste-management solutions.
The past decade or so has seen an expansion of waste-management infrastructure from the European Union to Australia and North America, as legislation and policy has driven enhanced recovery and recycling. There has been an explosion of new technological advances utilised for the treatment of both organic and residual wastes with anaerobic digestion (AD) and advanced thermal conversion technologies becoming more prevalent. However, for all the successes achieved in rolling out new AD and EfW solutions around the world, there have also been notable failures, with facilities being closed after only a few years of operation, companies folding as sites fail to operate commercially and many planned solutions never getting the funding needed to get off the drawing board.
In my opinion, many of the failings of technology delivery could have been avoided if the right level of planning, feasibility and preparation had been undertaken with the support of specialists to help address the nuances of local planning, permitting, licensing and feedstock security. In addition, good quality technical due diligence on your planned technology provider and an assessment of its suitability for the locally available feedstocks, as well as its vulnerability to local conditions could save a lot of wasted expenditure.
If we assume that most of the United Kingdom’s commentators are right, and that the United Kingdom is still several millions of tonnes under-capacity in terms of recycling and waste recovery facilities, then the next decade will see a significant number of new AD and EfW projects being developed for the commercial and industrial waste market. And with that demand, and the increasing complexity of local planning, permitting, licensing and funding systems, there will be some problems for us all to face. Sharing experiences and seeking insights from others will be key to ensuring that time and effort is not wasted on projects that never work. If the value of organic and residual waste streams is to be realised in terms of energy, nutrients and heat, these new technologies must be embraced and their development actively encouraged as part of a modern Britain.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at Wildy’s.
I’ve been at Wildy & Sons for 11 years. That may seem a long time, but compared to some members of staff I still feel like the work experience kid. I’m the bookshop manager. In practice, that means I look after the 9,000-plus titles we normally stock.
I spend about half of my time ordering books and looking at publishers’ websites and catalogues – not just books published in the United Kingdom, but any book in English that could be relevant to our customers. We import a lot from the United States, Europe and most Commonwealth countries. The other half of my time is spent shelving them all in the correct place and keeping the shop and window displays vaguely tidy.
How do you see the current market (in the United Kingdom and the territories that you work with) for print publications?
Hundreds of librarians have flocked to beautiful spa town Harrogate this week as it plays host to the annual British and Irish Association of Law Libraries (BIALL) conference, a premier event for those working in and around the legal information sector.
As reflected by the conference programme, “Data, Data, Everywhere” is this year’s theme. BIALL’s president, Jas Breslin, promised that the conference will highlight the proliferation of big data and the technologies available to exploit opportunities and manage challenges.
Proceedings kicked off on Wednesday with a pre-conference seminar devoted to negotiating the brave new world of open data; while Thursday’s keynote address was delivered by internet search guru Phil Bradley.
Informative seminars and workshops are exploring social media, project management, legal research, reporting and training; and delegates are enjoying the networking as well as the educational opportunities on offer.
We recently had some professional photos taken at the request of a new bookseller partner specialising in beautifully produced books.
We pride ourselves on the high quality of our titles and their unique look and feel - the result of the meticulous care and attention invested in every book. It is wonderful to have these photos reflecting the values instilled in the Globe Law and Business brand.
Our photographer is the very talented Oskar Proctor, whose work - thankfully for him - is not limited to legal titles. Art lovers can view his stunning portfolio of portraits, interiors and still lifes at http://oskarproctor.com/.
How long have you been a legal bookseller?
The International Legal & Financial Bookshop started something like 12 years ago. But I worked in an international environment long before, in Schweitzer’s international department - first on the book side, then reorganising the subscriptions part of the department, and later on the looseleafs/standing orders. And at all times, I have been the contact person for our foreign clients.
Tell us a little about Schweitzer Sortiment and the Munich shop.
Schweitzer has always been a legal bookseller, founded 1868 in Munich, Germany. For over a century, it published a yearly catalogue of law books, the Vademecum – the bible for German lawyers in the times before the Internet. Around the 1980s, Schweitzer started to expand, and bought or founded other legal and/or academic bookshops. Today, Schweitzer has 36 shops and offices in 24 German cities.
We are very excited to be launching our new blog with the first post hot on the heels of the London Book Fair (LBF). Future posts will follow in each of our key subject areas, contributed by our authors and guest bloggers.
The idea behind the blog is to interact with you, our customers, authors and partners, and to create a forum for exchange and debate. We hope to provide something a little different from our standard fare with posts on topical subjects, coordinated by our blog editors for each key subject area, with the occasional post from us, as publishers, to give you a flavour of what is happening behind the scenes. Please do also let us know if there is anything in particular you would like to see covered or if you have ideas for new posts.
This was the second year that we have exhibited at LBF with the marvellous Independent Publishers Guild (IPG). What a joy to turn up at the stand to find our books and materials laid out (as opposed to rooting around basements for boxes). And so the fair began with a nicely busy schedule of meetings with our bookseller partners and agents and potential new contacts from around the world. The mood pre-fair was quite positive with The Bookseller reporting a slowdown in the erosion of print sales – we were curious to see whether this would be borne out by our contacts during the fair. In the event, our partners reflected a mixed mood, with some UK contacts still reporting tough times and others – for example, from China – more upbeat.