THE North East is well-placed to get its fair share of billions of pounds' worth of investment in the buoyant North Sea oil and gas industry.
Money being pumped into the North Sea oil and gas industry is at its highest for over 30 years, according to the Oil & Gas UK 2013 Activity Survey.
It said there was £11.4bn investment in the UK’s oil and gas sector in 2012, a figure which is expected to rise to at least £13bn this year.
It said the number of projects submitted to the Department of Energy and Climate Change and given development approval almost doubled between 2011 and 2012.
Durham-based NOF Energy is the leading UK business development organisation for the oil, gas, nuclear and offshore renewables sectors.
George Rafferty, chief executive of NOF Energy, said the prospect of large-scale investment highlights the potential for the region’s offshore oil and gas sector to boost economic activity and contribute to the country’s prosperity in future years.
He said: “Here in the North East we stand to benefit greatly from the increase in investment. This includes companies across the supply chain, such as fabrication, engineers, project managers and valve companies.
“There are 440,000 jobs across the UK in the oil and gas industry and 15% of those are in the North East.
“Companies are winning work, both in the North Sea and further afield, but the challenge is to make sure that these projects stay within the UK.
“The region has a 40-year tradition in oil and gas. We made the transition from shipbuilding and heavy engineering to oil and gas in the 1970s and we now hold a pre-eminent position in the sector’s supply chain, not just in the North Sea, but around the world.
“NOF members here in the region, of which there are 230, have a combined turnover in excess of £2.5bn. That demonstrates just how big the industry is up here and how key it is to the North East economy.”
Malcolm Webb, Oil & Gas UK’s chief executive, said: “After two disappointing years brought about by tax uncertainty and consequent low investment, the UK continental shelf is now benefiting from record investment in new developments and in existing assets and infrastructure, the strongest for more than three decades.
“The recent introduction of targeted tax allowances to promote the development of a range of difficult projects, coupled with the Government’s ground-breaking commitment to provide certainty on decommissioning tax relief, has prompted global companies and independent businesses alike to take another look at the UK as an investment destination and resulted in a new wave of investment.”
Within the oil and gas sector, NOF Energy members are continuing to win key projects.
Among them is QA Weld Tech, the Middlesbrough-based leader in welding and fabrication technology. In 2012, after successfully supplying subsea flowbends for BP’s Block 31, off the coast of Angola, and Husky Energy’s developments in the South China Sea, QA Weld Tech has now won a £5.8m order that will see the company’s products playing a major part in recovering the oil reserves discovered in the deep water off the coast of Brazil.