No Place Like Home! Why The North Sea STILL Matters To UK Contractors
News across the oil and gas landscape has been a little jittery (to say the least) in recent months. With prices continuing to drop, the industry body Oil & Gas UK reported that overall in 2014, the sector had managed to spend over £5billion more than it managed to earn. Other lowlights from the report showed that production fell slightly at a 1% rate, that only 8 new fields had been sanctioned and that production revenues peaked at £24.4billion – the lowest rate since 1998.
However, a shining light through the gloom is the news that the UK’s oil and gas contractors are sitting pretty handsomely indeed. How so? We spoke with Umbrella’s Dave Wilton to find out: “For contractors it is heartening indeed to see that the Oil & Gas UK body recognises the continued potentials possessed by the North Sea.”
“Onus has fallen upon Whitehall policymakers in the light of some turbulence in oil and gas industry: so what foundations will harness the best qualities of the North Sea, and thus guarantee its future, over the next few years?”
“Well for starters we like the news that tax breaks are scheduled in March 2015, and likely to follow in the Chancellor’s Autumn budget as well. North Sea producers will be emboldened by that, with obvious benefits for job hungry contracting professionals. Further investment will also likely provide a stimulus to contractor rates, and provide for a greater sense of job variety as more working opportunities start to emerge.”
“However, contractors must remain vigilant as global forces way beyond the North Sea’s geography – and arguably Governmental influence – continue to influence the direction of the industry. Undoubtedly many UK professionals will be sought after by operators outside of the UK itself, and Europe, with opportunities abundant.”
“We believe, though, that with the right type of political action to continue protecting the industry’s financial framework, and improvements to infrastructure, most oil and gas contractors will be well catered for in terms of pay rates and job stability in that part of the world that has for so many of them become home: the North Sea.”