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The expertise of Scottish oil and gas supply chain companies offers unique opportunities for collaboration and partnerships in the Middle East, writes SDI's David Rennie.

Scotland occupies a unique position in the world’s oil and gas sector. The gateway to the North Sea and the North Atlantic, Aberdeen is home to many global operators and has laid the foundations of many of the cornerstone processes and protocols that underpin exploration around the world.  

This heritage, set in the context of this week’s ADIPEC gathering in Abu Dhabi, presents a unique opportunity for closer collaboration with companies in the Middle East. And now, with the oil and gas industry undergoing an unprecedented period of rapid change, Scotland’s significant experience in offshore, deepwater and enhanced recovery techniques, among others, means that our companies are well-positioned to play transformative partnership roles with companies around the world. 

In the Middle East, the opportunity to transfer these skills is particularly pronounced and the flourishing partnership between Scotland and countries in the GCC has laid a compelling platform from which further skills and expertise can be shared. 

In a recent survey by Scottish Development International, 'International Activity in the Oil & Gas Sector', the extent of that partnership becomes clear, with several countries in the region ranking among the top 20 export destinations for the Scottish oil and gas supply chain. 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), in particular, was identified as a core area for growth over the next five years. As one of the ten largest oil and natural gas producers in the world, the UAE stands to benefit significantly from the lessons in deep water exploration and many progressive, emerging technologies that Scotland has cultivated and is now able to share on a scalable level. 

A culture of progress

This year, as part of our global programme of activity supporting Scottish companies trading successfully in important international markets, we are pleased to continue to lead a high level delegation to Abu Dhabi, with 33 companies joining. 

Particular areas of opportunity represented by those companies travelling include: 

  • Pipeline-related industries 
  • Subsea operations 
  • Oil and gas training 
  • Skills development 
  • Innovation 

To have such a broad range of companies travelling with us to the UAE is testament to the industry’s ability to expand and reflects the culture of continuous development and progress that underpins the Scottish energy industry. 

Examples of these dynamic and innovative firms include: 

  • Centrifuges Un-limited, specialist equipment manufacturer 
  • Scotmas Group, the world leaders in the design and manufacture of chlorine dioxide products and water treatment systems 
  • Howco Group, the sector's largest independent supplier and processor of steel, chrome, duplex, stainless and nickel-based alloys
  • Think Tank Maths Limited, which provides radical mathematical approaches to challenging problems in the field of engineering 

With decades of experience in recovering oil and gas reserves in the North Sea and a wide variety of other challenging terrains around the world, Scotland is ideally positioned to work with the UAE in the pursuit of new opportunities for energy exploration and production. 

There could not be a better time for new partnerships to be established. There are enormous opportunities ahead and Scotland relishes the prospect of playing its part in bringing them to reality. 

We look forward to working with our partners in the Middle East and bringing to bear the experience that we have jointly built for the years ahead.

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