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As our international sales hit £10 billion, Scottish Enterprise's David Rennie explains why OTC 2014 was the perfect chance to meet the Scottish oil & gas firms making a huge global impact.

They’ve been drilling oil out of the ground in Texas for over 100 years – so it’s no surprise that Houston has played host to the world’s foremost oil & gas event, the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), for the past 45 years.   

And despite it being over 4500 miles from Aberdeen to Houston, Scotland’s role as major player in the global oil & gas industry means we were well represented at this year’s event. 

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In fact, we were joined by a record delegation of over 60 companies. 

The delegation of companies, led by Scotland's Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing, also included 30 companies attending OTC for first time. 

This increase in attendance mirrored the wider growth in international activity by our oil & gas supply chain. 

Figures we released at OTC, show that total international sales in this area grew to £10 billion in 2012-13, an increase of 22% on the previous year. 

The survey also found that international activity now accounts for over half of total supply chain sales from Scotland at a record 50.2%. 

This growth looks set to continue with the companies surveyed forecasting that their total international sales would grow by 32% over the next five years. 

North America remained the top region for international sales – which were up a third to £3.6 billion. This was followed by Africa where sales almost doubled to £2.3 billion. 

The survey also found that over the next five years key markets for Scottish supply chain firms will include: 

  • USA
  • Angola
  • Norway
  • Nigeria
  • Brazil
  • Australia
  • UAE
  • Malaysia 

A global reputation for expertise

These results are a clear indication that the global reputation we’ve built up for our oil & gas expertise over the past four decades continues to grow, with our skills and expertise still in demand across the world. 

Scotland's global impact

You'll find Scottish expertise in every major oil & gas market in the world - and our international survey there are more opportunities to do business with Scottish firms every year.

Our Survey of International Activity in the Oil & Gas Sector 2012/13 was independently compiled by Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce and was sponsored by Johnston Carmichael.

Read the full report

And we know that increasing international activity is a key driver for business growth, which is why one of the key priorities in Scotland’s industry-led oil & gas strategy is to support companies in the Scottish supply chain to expand into new overseas markets and make it easier for internationals firms to trade with Scotland. 

OTC presented some really exciting opportunities for our companies – with new contacts forged, existing ones strengthened and new international business done. 

It was also a huge opportunity to showcase Scotland’s strengths in this key sector to the wider global marketplace. Early indications suggest the Scottish companies attending OTC 2014 have secured an extra £100 million worth of contracts thanks to contacts made at the event.

We also hosted a series of Globalscot meetings and events, including one to ones where our companies benefited from the advice and assistance of our American based Globalscots. As ever our Globalscot networking event was one of the highlights of a busy week! 

We’re delighted that so many companies were able to come to Houston this year – and we look forward to continuing to work with them around the world as we help to drive Scotland’s success in oil & gas even further.

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