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BG Group executive Andy Samuel. Image courtesy of BG Group.

BG Group executive Andy Samuel has been tapped to serve as the inaugural CEO of the UK’s new offshore regulator the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA).

Samuel is currently the managing director for exploration and production in Europe at UK-based BG Group.

The OGA will be based in Aberdeen, Scotland and will take over the majority of licensing and stewardship duties for UK offshore licenses that are currently being handled by the Department of Energy & Climate Change.

The agency’s narrow focus will allow it to better handle the commercial, engineering, legal and economic issues specific to the offshore industry.

“The government has chosen wisely in selecting Andy Samuel to take the helm. We are at a critical stage in the history of UK offshore oil and gas development and bold steps need to be taken now to ensure strong activity continues into the future,” CEO of Oil & Gas UK Malcolm Webb told Reuters.

Samuel will have a role in shaping the OGA before it begins work in April 2015.

The appointment is effective January 1, 2015.

The OGA was formed earlier this year on the recommendation of UK oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood with the goal of maximizing the recovery of offshore UK oil and gas reserves.