Over A Barrel Podcast Episode 14: Re-wilding the Energy Sector


In the latest episode of our podcast, “Rewilding the Energy Sector,” our Regional Director, Jonathan White and Stuart Cochrane had the privilege of sitting down with Andy Samuel, the former head of the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA).

This episode provides a unique opportunity to gain insights into the ever-evolving energy sector and explore the possibilities for its transformation. From his vantage point in the coastal hills of Devon, Andy shares his unfettered views on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

In this blog post, we will delve into some of the key takeaways from our conversation with this exceptional industry leader.

A Glimpse into the Energy Sector's Future

The energy sector is at a pivotal juncture, facing both daunting challenges and exciting opportunities. With decades of experience in the industry, Andy is well positioned to offer a nuanced perspective on its future. During our podcast episode, we had the privilege of discussing various aspects of this transformation with him.

Asset Electrification

One of the prominent topics discussed in our conversation was asset electrification. This concept involves the shift towards using electricity to power various energy intensive processes within the industry, replacing traditional fossil fuel based systems. Andy emphasised that asset electrification is not merely a trend but a necessity in our quest for a sustainable energy future. By electrifying key processes, we can significantly reduce carbon emissions and make strides towards a cleaner, greener energy sector.

Hydrogen's Role

Hydrogen is often touted as a promising solution for decarbonising various sectors, including industry and transportation. During our podcast, Andy shed light on the role of hydrogen in the energy transition. He stressed the importance of investing in green hydrogen production methods, which utilise renewable energy sources to generate hydrogen, as a means to achieve a truly sustainable energy ecosystem. As a clean and versatile energy carrier, hydrogen holds great potential in reshaping the sector.

North Sea as a Carbon Store

The North Sea, a historically significant region for oil and gas production, is now being considered as a long term storage solution for carbon dioxide (CO2). Andy discussed the feasibility and potential benefits of this approach in our conversation. By repurposing existing infrastructure and geological formations beneath the seabed, the North Sea could play a crucial role in capturing and storing CO2 emissions, helping us combat climate change while making use of established resources.

Hope and Direction for the Energy Industry

While the challenges facing the energy sector are undeniable, Andy’s insights and experiences at the NSTA offer a beacon of hope. His vision for the industry encompasses sustainability, innovation, and collaboration. By embracing new technologies, transitioning towards cleaner energy sources, and fostering international cooperation, the energy sector can indeed undergo a remarkable transformation.


Our podcast episode with Andy Samuel, the former head of the North Sea Transition Authority, provided a captivating glimpse into the future of the energy sector. From asset electrification to the role of hydrogen and the potential of the North Sea as a carbon store, we explored various avenues for reshaping the industry. Despite the formidable challenges, the conversation leaves us with a sense of optimism and direction. The path to a sustainable and rewilded energy sector is undoubtedly challenging, but with leaders like Andy, it’s a journey we can embark upon with hope and determination.

Listen to the podcast below or click here for previous episodes.