North Sea exploitation drive is shaping Scottish technology sector

May 11, 2005 02:00 AM

The drive to exploit the North Sea's remaining oil and gas reserves and the emergence of independent operating firms reliant on technology to maximise their returns on investment in marginal fields, is shaping a Scottish technology sector that can now compete for business in provinces worldwide.
So says Brian Nixon, the director of Scottish Enterprise's energy team, who is just back from the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, where over 50 Scottish firms were competing for business.

Nixon said the energy sector's technological base enjoys a solid international reputation: "The trend of new entrants to the province shows no signs of letting up -- there were 15 in the 22nd licensing round last year. The commercial imperatives of these new entrants are placing a new, and not unwelcome, degree of obligation upon our technology base to come up with the solutions they need."
He said that the long-term prosperity of just over 2,000 businesses operating across the Scottish oil and gas spectrum is linked directly to technological innovation.

"The latest export report by the SCDI indicated our firms overall are now directly exporting to no fewer than 83 countries worldwide, with total international sales rising by 25 % in 2003 to nearly £ 3.4 bn.”
"We need to provide strategic support to help the industry sustain and enhance its share of global markets in the future, not least by highlighting Scotland's reputation as an increasingly important hub of oil and gas activity."

UK oil production continued its decline in February by 13 %, according to the latest Royal Bank of Scotland Oil and Gas Index. Gas production was also down by 13 % on the year, although this partly reflected the mild start to the month.
Combined oil and gas production was down 5 % on the month and 13 % on the year.

Source: Scotsman
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