Scotland’s oil and gas sector sustains strong international reputation

Reflecting the challenging year for the sector, figures also reveal a 14.4% drop in total sales (domestic and international combined) for the year
Reflecting the challenging year for the sector, figures also reveal a 14.4% drop in total sales (domestic and international combined) for the year

International activity from Scotland’s oil and gas supply chain expanded to account for almost 55% of the industry’s total sales during 2016/17.

Scottish Enterprise’s annual Survey of International Activity in the Oil and Gas Sector shows the sector delivered £10.4 billion of international sales, made up of £4.5 billion from direct exports and £5.9 billion from sales via international subsidiaries.

Reflecting the challenging year for the sector, the figures also reveal a 14.4% drop in total sales (domestic and international combined) for the year with the overall figure reaching just over £19 billion.

Head of oil and gas at Scottish Enterprise, David Rennie, said: “This latest survey helps reinforce the fact that, despite the global downturn, Scotland’s skills and expertise in the oil and gas industry put it in a strong position to continue winning an impressive share of the contracted global market. While the overall level of sales fell during this period which was to be expected, the rise in the international sale reinforces our position as a global hub.

“Helping companies to grow their international activity continues to be a priority for us and we are delighted that over 70 companies have joined us this year on the Scotland pavilion at OTC in Houston, one of the world’s largest oil and gas shows. Events like these make a huge difference to companies looking to grow their international presence, helping them showcase their world-renowned skills and experience and build important new contacts.”

According to the survey, the United States, Norway and the United Arab Emirates were the top markets for international activity and looking ahead, eight out of ten businesses are optimistic about sales growth in the coming years.

The survey, which was conducted by Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce on behalf of Scottish Enterprise, captures responses from 250 companies who are active in 111 countries worldwide and employ over 31,000 employees in Scotland.

Commenting on the survey, Aberdeen Grampian Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Russell Borthwick, said: “The energy sector has long been a significant contributor to the Scottish economy and this survey tells us that despite a challenging few years we can be confident that it will remain so. The progress that has been made in collaboration and innovation gives real cause for cautious optimism that the UKCS will remain viable as a profitable oil and gas production basin for many years to come.

And the growing trend towards supply chain companies moving into overseas markets gives real encouragement that the goal of ‘anchoring the supply chain’ in North-east Scotland is achievable based on the world-leading technology, knowledge and experience developed in the North Sea being highly sought after at an international level.”