Duarte Figueira

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Duarte Figueira is a former UK senior civil servant who is now head of division for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America at the International Energy Agency.

Previously he was head of the UK Office of Unconventional Gas and Oil for two years until February 2015. He then was head of energy strategy and programme office at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) until he took up the IEA role in September 2015. [1]


Duarte has a senior managerial background in UK policy, service delivery and regulation in challenging business-facing roles in DECC, UKTI and BIS, with significant experience of international business. Before this, undertook a private sector strategy role in a leading French engineering firm on a one-year secondment from Government. Between 2007-2012 he was responsible for UK policy and development of offshore wind and marine energy (wave and tidal) by addressing financial and non-financial barriers to deployment and supporting the growth of a UK-based supply chain.

Wining and dining with fracking bosses

FrackWell.png This article is part of the Spinwatch Fracking Portal and project

In 2013 emails and text messages released in a Freedom of Information request revealed a close relationship between OUGO and other government departments with the industry:

In one text on 3 May, an unnamed Cuadrilla employee updates OUGO head Duarte Figueira on his meetings with the Balcombe parish council before adding “Please ask your press office not to comment on any speculative queries, enjoy your swimming and the weekend".
That same day Mr Figueira invited Cuadrilla boss, Francis Egan, to dinner and drinks at the Preston Marriot.
At the dinner, on 9 May, Mr Egan met Sir Jeremy Heywood along with other senior government figures key to decisions on fracking including DECC chief civil servant, Stephen Lovegrove and Phil Halsall, the CEO of Lancashire County Council. Tony Grayling from the Environment Agency (EA) was also present.

According to Greenpeace, large parts of the text message correspondence between Figuera and Cuadrilla were redacted. It surmised that 'Cuadrilla’s well documented difficulties in Balcombe may have strained the cordial relationship'.

On the 26 July, after a number of protestors were arrested near to Cuadrilla’s drilling site a Cuadrilla representative asks Mr Figueira “can we speak”, but there is no reply for four days.
The firm goes on to update Mr Figueira on the many TV appearances of their chief executive and the halting progress at the site “drilling was delayed today for technical reasons but should start tomorrow,” says another text, “will advise when underway.”
The reply to that text, on the 1 August, is entirely redacted. [2]

Seconded to oil and gas contractor

Figuera was seconded by DECC to Technip Offshore Wind Limited (TOWL) for one-year from April 2012. TOWL is part of Technip, which is active in oil and gas as a major contractor. [3]




  1. [Duarte Figueira], LinkedIn profile
  2. Damian Kalya, FOI: Cabinet secretary hosted dinner for fracking firms, Greenpeace EnergyDesk, 18 September 2014
  3. FOI response from DECC 16 June 2014