The primary objective of the Partner Group is to support and guide the research and development (R&D) programme of the National Decommissioning Centre (NDC) to ensure alignment with industry requirements and priorities. The Partner Group will also review the progress of ongoing R&D projects, review new project proposals, and share experience to identify opportunities for collaborative support.

The Partner Group acts in an advisory capacity only.  In establishing the Partner Group, the NDC recognises the value of the advice and perspective offered by external stakeholders and will strive to take this advice into consideration when conducting its business in alignment with its strategic policies, plans, and practices.


Professor Richard Neilson is director of the National Decommissioning Centre and a Professor in the School of Engineering at the University of Aberdeen.  He has 31 years’ experience in engineering research and development within the University sector, during which he spent four years part-time industrial secondment to an oil services company.    He has led or had substantial involvement in 11 major joint industry/University projects and has initiated or led the development of 3 major industry focused research/knowledge exchange centres (the Scottish Sensor Systems Centre, the Oil and Gas Innovation Centre and the most recently the NDC).  He has been researching in aspects of decommissioning since 2008 and was one of the instigators of the MSc in Decommissioning run by the University.

Roger Esson is Manager of the Decommissioning Solutions Centre at the Oil & Gas Technology Centre.  As manager of the Decommissioning Solution Centre, Roger is leading the team to identify, fund and support the development and deployment of technology that drives down the cost of decommissioning.  Roger has more than 20 years’ experience in the oil and gas sector and has held a variety of leadership positions within companies ranging from SMEs to tier 1 contractors.  Before joining the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, he was Chief Executive of Decom North Sea. Roger played an active role in the execution of several of the UK’s most significant decommissioning projects including MCP01, North West Hutton and Brent Delta.

Joe Leask is Oil & Gas UK’s decommissioning manager. He works closely with regulators and the UK and Scottish Governments to develop an efficient cost-effective decommissioning capability, sharing best practice and promoting that expertise at home and abroad. Joe has gained considerable experience in decommissioning, working at Repsol Sinopec Resources which has a significant portfolio of fields at various stages of decommissioning from planning through to execution. They include Beatrice which has a decommissioning programme currently under public consultation and Buchan which was towed off-station in 2017. Prior to RSRUK, Joe worked for Jee limited and was a member of the BP North West Hutton decommissioning team and was BPs client representative on the offshore subsea decommissioning execution phase for the project and subsequently responsible for writing the North West Hutton Decommissioning Programme Close Out Report. Joe is a chartered engineer and member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Peter Oliver is Senior Staff Environmental Scientist, Environmental Technology Unit, Chevron Energy Technology Company a division of Chevron U.S.A. Inc., Aberdeen. Peter has 25 years of experience working in Environmental Management, EIA and HES supporting all aspects of oil and gas exploration, operations and drilling. Peter joined Chevron in 1999 and held environmental and HES Leadership roles in Chevron’s businesses in the UK, Angola and the USA. Since 2016, Peter has been part of Chevron’s UK General Technology Centre based in Aberdeen. His work involves provision of strategic and technical expertise for Chevron’s Corporate HES initiatives and its worldwide businesses. A particular focus of Peter’s work is decommissioning environmental management and technology development. Peter is a Vice Chair of the International Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) Environment Committee and represents Chevron on the UK Natural Environment Research Council Innovation Programme in Oil and Gas. Prior to Chevron, Peter worked as an Environmental Consultant and as an Environmental Advisor for AMEC. Peter is a Full Member of the UK Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment and is a Chartered Environmentalist.

Sally Rouse is Head of the Offshore Energy Environmental Advice Group at Marine Scotland Science (MSS).  Sally has 10 years of experience as a marine scientist, during which time she has led research into the environmental and societal consequences of deploying and decommissioning offshore energy infrastructure.  Her achievements include producing the first basin-scale assessment of the interactions between subsea infrastructure and the commercial fishing industry, developing novel marine growth monitoring techniques and contributing to the development of a multi-national research agenda to support decommissioning.  Prior to joining MSS, Sally was based at the Scottish Association for Marine Science where she was the deputy leader of the ‘Blue Economy’ Research Area and worked closely with the UK government and industry partners.  In her current role, Sally provides key environmental advice on decommissioning to the regulator and operators.  She also is also responsible for identifying and filling critical gaps in the scientific understanding of interactions between the marine environment and oil and gas operations, in order to support policy makers and industry.  Externally, Sally chairs the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland’s (MASTS) Oil and Gas Environmental Research Forum and represents MSS on the Society for Underwater Technology’s Decommissioning sub-committee.

Will Rowley is Interim Managing Director, Decom North Sea.  Will is an internationally recognised and published energy and offshore market specialist of 27 years standing with operational experience from a PE-backed ~£600m offshore Service Group.  With exhaustive and detailed knowledge of offshore markets (Oil & Gas, Renewables and Marine), Will has provided strategic development, market positioning and business formation & transformation advice to global service companies, international financiers (KKR, First Reserve, HSBC etc.), operators (Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron etc.), developers and Governments (UK, Norway, Australia, USA).  As an analyst, Will has completed market due-diligence for many of the most transformative M&A transactions of the oilfield services sector and delivered the detailed supply/demand modelling that underpins many major operator’s global and key sector procurement strategies.   Active in global late-life and decommissioning activities since 2002, Will has experience covering well P&A, fixed & floating structures and subsea recovery as well as an understanding of the commercial and business challenges facing sector.