SDI's David Rennie looks at global perceptions of Scotland's oil and gas industry and sees exciting potential for Scottish companies to work with international customers and partners.
Market turbulence tests the resilience of any industry, but the strength of the crosswinds currently facing our sector are extremely challenging.
That said, despite the current downturn, from where we sit in Scotland we continue to see new and interesting opportunities for Scottish experts to deliver real value to projects the world over.
Our industry has seen the likes of these challenges before and we will likely face them again in the future. What remains, though, is an underlying determination, underpinned by significant skill and experience, to persevere, and continue to deliver innovative long-term value to customers at home and abroad.
Scotland has spent the last five decades building an extraordinary base of experience in the oil and gas sector, with particular expertise in deepwater and offshore exploration and production.
This experience is now deployed throughout the world, enabling customers and partners to explore new and increasingly challenging terrain safely and economically.
Endorsing Scotland's supply chain expertise
Recent research provides an encouraging endorsement of Scotland’s contribution to the global sector.
An overwhelming majority of respondents to our recent survey suggest that Scotland’s reputation as a training ground for the global industry continues to grow, as does its capacity to add value to operations around the world:
- Almost 80% of the 260 global industry leaders polled cited Scotland’s important role in the international sector
- 74% recognised Scotland's position as one the world’s training grounds for the industry
- 71% agree that Scottish employees are some of the most dependable in the sector
Meeting industry challenges
But the findings also highlight a number of operational issues with which our industry is contending, particularly in the context of the current market turbulence:
- Around a third of respondents consider the supply of qualified and skilled personnel as a challenge
- Almost half cite the provision of specialist training as a difficult that needs overcoming
It is also critical that our industry maintains control of its story.
Almost a third of respondents across the world saw media coverage and global perceptions as a challenge that needs addressing. And at times of market turbulence, prevailing uncertainty about future prospects requires a carefully thought through response in order to assuage stakeholder concerns and underpin confidence in the industry’s long term potential.
Experience and expertise
With over 2000 supply chain companies, the oil and gas sector in Scotland can provide suppliers and partners for your projects across the industry.
Trade with Scotland's oil and gas companies
I find the poll encouraging for two reasons. First, it is an extraordinary endorsement of the quality and experience that our sector here in Scotland brings to bear within the global industry.
Second, it also serves to reaffirm the position that we have as a key hub in an increasingly interconnected industry. In doing so, it underlines to me the importance of our strategy to position our supply chain as a partner of choice to customers across the world.
A global player, driving diversification
As we reported last year, international oil and gas supply chain sales from Scotland sales exceeded domestic sales for the first time in 2012/13, accounting for £10 billion.
And while established markets such as North America and Norway remain vital, we are seeing our companies playing an increasing role in some of the developing markets in Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia.
Looking forward, we anticipate that this trend will continue, though against the current challenging economic and industry backdrop, there is an added impetus to build on our track record of innovative development.
Scotland is uniquely well positioned to weather the storm, continue to be a global player and also to drive diversification in the global energy mix, with substantial domestic resource and extraordinary potential to unlock significant additional capacity across new and emerging energy technologies.
In doing so, we will help our companies to adapt to changing market conditions and our network of expert staff across the world will continue to help international customers find suppliers and partners from across Scotland's oil and gas supply chain.
Trade with Scotland's oil and gas industry
With offices in established markets and developing oil and gas regions we've got the expertise to put your company in touch with Scotland's experienced and innovative supply chain companies.
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