Scotland has revealed a new Subsea Engineering Action Plan with the aim of capturing an even bigger slice of the current £50 billion global subsea market.
The news, shared by Scottish Enterprise, comes as Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation, and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, visits oil and gas firm, Enpro Subsea Ltd, to announce its new £1.5 million investment to support innovation, a key theme of the plan.
Scotland already accounts for around 14 per cent of the global subsea market, comprising approximately 370 companies generating an estimated turnover of £7.5 billion, says Scottish Enterprise, Scotland’s economic development agency.
Supported predominantly by the oil and gas sector, with the right investment and support, the world-renowned skills and knowledge developed in Scotland have the potential to extend into sectors such as construction and defense to truly maximize the significant opportunities for Scotland from this global market, the agency said.
According to Scottish Enterprise, increasing business innovation, research and testing infrastructure will also be a key factor in the plan’s success and will see Scotland’s economic development agencies continue to support high levels of subsea related investment in the future.
Research funds granted
Recognizing the importance of innovation for company growth, Aberdeen-based Enpro Subsea Ltd is to invest £1.5million in a new research and development project aimed at helping to improve production, by maximizing economic recovery from existing subsea wells and in turn reduce costs for the operating companies.
Scottish Enterprise’s offer of a £755,000 R&D grant towards the project costs will help the company design, develop and test new technology adding to its Enhanced Subsea Sampling and Injection (ESSI) range of products. This is the first time the company has been supported by Scottish Enterprise.
Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “Scotland is recognized internationally as the centre of excellence in the Subsea Sector and already accounts for around 14 per cent of the £50 billion global subsea market, and is comprised of approximately 370 companies, generating an estimated turnover of £7.5 billion annually.
“I am greatly encouraged by the fact that Scottish Companies such as Enpro Subsea Ltd are already securing very significant value in this sector and I hope that the additional funding announced today further strengthens their prospects in this sector.
“The plan launched today aims for the Scottish supply chain to capture an even larger slice of the global subsea market through this and to see a stronger supply chain, generating even more jobs and economic growth for Scotland and, crucially, to increase the strength and capability of the industry.”
‘Maintain what we have, look at new markets’
David Rennie, international sector head for oil and gas at Scottish Enterprise said: “With 2,000 of the 5,000 global subsea wells in the North Sea, Scotland is world-renowned for its skills and expertise in subsea engineering. Many technologies developed in Scotland have revolutionized the worldwide oil and gas industry. It is this experience and reputation which is the basis for this action plan – we want to build and maintain what we already have, develop new markets and new opportunities, including in other sectors and ensure we have the infrastructure we need to remain a world leader in subsea.
““Employing over 20 staff at its site in Aberdeen, Enpro is no stranger to innovation. However, faced by the impact of the current downturn in the sector, our support means the company can deliver this nine month project on schedule, helping strengthen the company’s market position for when the sector recovers and safeguard existing high value oil and gas jobs. I wish the company every success with this project and its longer term growth ambition.”
Managing director of Enpro Subsea Ltd, Ian Donald, said: “This funding has given Enpro the confidence to continue our product development for local and export markets. This assistance from Scottish Enterprise will enable Enpro to develop the next generation of subsea enhanced production intervention equipment to increase oil recovery and address emerging markets in deeper waters.”
World’s largest subsea engineering concentration
Commenting on the Subsea Engineering Action Plan, Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK, said: “Scotland has the largest concentration of subsea engineering in the world, with Aberdeen recognized globally as a center of subsea excellence. Subsea UK, as the authoritative body for the sector, has worked closely with Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International to strengthen and grow the subsea supply chain with a focus on technology development, export, and diversification.
“These efforts, combined with the entrepreneurial spirit and pioneering ingenuity of our subsea supply chain, have resulted in an industry sector which is a real British and, in particular, Scottish success story. We welcome this action plan which sets out the ambition and the key steps to achieving success through greater focus and resource targeted towards supporting our underwater engineering capability. A stronger supply chain will generate jobs, opportunities, and wealth for Scotland as well as secure our world-leading position in subsea.”
The launch of the plan comes ahead of Subsea Expo, taking place from 1 – 3 February in Aberdeen. This event is the world’s largest subsea specific conference and exhibition and will also include a number of delegations visiting Scotland from overseas.