Neptune Energy

Neptune Energy

Background

Neptune Energy is a UK-based oil and gas producer operating in the North Sea. According to its chairman, the company produces 12 percent of the UK’s gas supply and has interest in nine North Sea licences. While the company is mainly focused on Northern Europe, it also has assets in North Africa, and Asia Pacific. [1], [2]

Neptune is 49 percent owned by China Investment Corporation, a Chinese state-owned sovereign wealth fund, and backed by private equity firms The Carlyle Group (​​30.6 percent ownership) and CVC Capital Partners (20.4 percent ownership). [3]

Stance on Climate Change

According to its website, Neptune Energy “support[s] the goals of the Paris Agreement and the net zero emissions targets set by the UK government and the European Commission” and plans to be “part of the solution” by maintaining its “gas-weighted portfolio, scaling-up partnerships and investments in lower carbon technologies and by reducing our operational emissions”. The company claims it is “actively pursuing opportunities created by the energy transition”. [4]

The company has also “created a New Energy team to scale partnerships and investments in low carbon technologies, particularly hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, and electrification”. [5], [6]

In its environmental policy, the company states that it is “committed to minimising the impact of [its] operations on the environment” and intends to conduct its operations “with minimal impact on the environment, focus on improving energy efficiency and reduce our emissions, recognising climate change is a global challenge.” [7]

Neptune’s CEO Jim House has also stated that the UK’s Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) needs to be cautious in its approach to decarbonisation, or it could “accelerate the timeline” for oil and gas production in the UK Continental Shelf to end. [8]

Key People

Neptune’s CEO Jim House previously spent 26 years at Apache Corporation, a US-based oil and gas company. House has also served on the Upstream Committee of the American Petroleum Institute (API). The API is the US oil and gas industry’s largest trade association, spending over $98 million on direct lobbying activities since 1998 and funding organisations that oppose regulations aimed at tackling climate change. [9], [10] 

Neptune’s Executive Chairman Sam Laidlaw is a founder of the company and has previously served as Chief Operating Officer of Hess Corporation, as Executive Vice President of Chevron Corporation, and as CEO of Centrica Plc. Laidlaw is also a non-executive director of mining giant Rio Tinto. [9]

Laidlaw has called for “collective action on climate change” from the energy sector, saying at a 2019 Oil and Gas UK conference that “we may very well look back on this period of time as a tipping point, when the industry made the decision to drive transition, rather than to merely experience it”. [11]

Actions

May 6, 2021 

Neptune’s Executive Chairman Sam Laidlaw, who is also a Senior Independent Director of mining giant Rio Tinto, spoke to Rio Tinto’s shareholders to defend the company’s decision not to strip long-term bonuses from three executives who had exited the company after it blew up 46,000-year-old rock shelters with cultural significance to the Puutu Kunti Kurrama traditional owners at Juukan Gorge in Australia. [12], [13]

Laidlaw told shareholders that while many of them felt the financial penalties faced by the three executives “were insufficient and that to rebuild relationships with traditional owners and other stakeholders, changes of leadership were required to move the company forward,” the board nevertheless found that the company “was not in a position to legally terminate the three executives for cause and forfeit all outstanding remuneration”.

Laidlaw added that the board “deeply regrets the destruction of the rock shelters and the slow and initially insufficiently sensitive response of the company,” and that Rio Tinto “must work in partnership with traditional owners in Australia, Native Americans in the United States, and indigenous people in Canada and elsewhere, to secure our shared future.”

September 7, 2020

Neptune’s CEO Jim House told Energy Voice that many of his peers had voiced concern that the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) “has lost a bit of balance and is going off too strongly in one direction” and was no longer focusing enough on its policy of maximising economic recovery (MER) of oil and gas from the UK Continental Shelf. [14]

House said: “Some industry veterans — and some that are retired now — are growing concerned that the OGA is starting to overweight its direction, strategy and energy more along the lines of net neutral versus having a balance between net neutral and MER UK.”

House said that OGA needed to be cautious in its approach to decarbonisation, or it could “accelerate the timeline” for oil and gas production in the basin to end. He said:

“Many see it as the OGA not driving and having as much energy in the space of what it was originally founded to accomplish around MER. It could accelerate the timeline of COP for the UKCS.”

June 5, 2019

Neptune Energy’s executive chairman Sam Laidlaw publicly advocated for Aberdeen’s energy sector to “drive ‘collective action’ on climate change”. Laidlaw stated that the industry could be at a “turning point” and that “societal concerns like climate change have made oil and gas less appealing to investors”. [15]

  • American Petroleum Institute – Neptune CEO James House previously served on the API’s Upstream Committee. [9]
  • Oil & Gas UK – Alexandra Thomas, Neptune’s Managing Director UK, Operations, is on the board of OGUK. [16]

Contact & Address

According to its website, Neptune Energy has two addresses in the United Kingdom: [17]

Nova North
11 Bressenden Place
London
SW1E 5BY

16 North Esplanade West
Aberdeen
AB11 5RJ

Social Media

Resources

  1. Oliver Shah. “Ex-Centrica chief Sam Laidlaw readies gas giant Neptune for £7bn float,” The Sunday Times, May 23, 2021. Archived July 25, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/Bgfn7 
  2. Operations,” Neptune Energy. Archived July 25, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/5jpYp 
  3. Major shareholders,” Neptune Energy. Archived July 25, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/ylG06 
  4. Climate change and environment,” Neptune Energy. Archived July 25, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/aas1k 
  5. Environmental and social governance,” Neptune Energy. Archived July 25, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/kgAAO 
  6. New energy,” Neptune Energy. Archived July 25, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.fo/OFFDN
  7. Environmental policy,” Neptune Energy. Archived July 29, 2021. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. 
  8. Mark Lammey. “Concerns UK oil regulator ‘losing balance’ in net-zero push, Neptune chief says,” Energy Voice, September 7, 2020. Archived February 27, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/2rmhS 
  9. Leadership and governance,” Neptune Energy. Archived July 29, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/gLEQk
  10. Client profile: American Petroleum Institute,” OpenSecrets. Archived July 29, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/q3M9D 
  11. Allister Thomas. “Neptune boss urges Aberdeen to drive ‘collective action’ on climate change,” Energy Voice, June 5, 2019. Archived July 29, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/CI405
  12. Ben Butler. “Rio Tinto defends not stripping bonuses from executives who left amid Juukan Gorge outcry,” The Guardian, May 6, 2021. Archived July 22, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/N16RZ 
  13. Michelle Stanley and Kelly Gudgeon. “Pilbara mining blast confirmed to have destroyed 46,000yo sites of ‘staggering’ significance,” ABC News, May 26, 2021. Archived July 27, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/8MN8r 
  14. Mark Lammey. “Concerns UK oil regulator ‘losing balance’ in net-zero push, Neptune chief says,” Energy Voice, September 7, 2020. Archived February 27, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/2rmhS 
  15. Allister Thomas. “Neptune boss urges Aberdeen to drive ‘collective action’ on climate change,” Energy Voice, June 5, 2019. Archived July 29, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/CI405 
  16. Governance,” Oil and Gas UKArchived July 29, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/rTIAY 
  17. Contact us,” Neptune Energy. Archived July 25, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/pB1T3

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