UK Oil and Gas Sector Optimistic About Prospects
by Jon Mainwaring
|Wednesday, August 22, 2012
The UK's oil and gas industry continues to have a stable and positive outlook, according to the latest survey of business confidence for the sector conducted by trade body Oil & Gas UK.
Oil & Gas UK's Business Confidence Index for the second quarter of 2012 rose by one point from 64 to 65 on a 100-point scale. This was the highest level business confidence has been in the sector since Oil & Gas UK began measuring it four years ago.
The news follows positive first-half updates at a number of companies that operate on the UK Continental Shelf.
For example, in July, Premier Oil – a UK-based independent oil and gas firm with many assets in the North Sea – reported in an operations update that it had seen its average production in the UK improve by more than 30 percent during the first half compared with 1H 2011. The firm also reported that it was seeing good progress with various development projects it is involved with in the North Sea, which include the Huntington, Rochelle, Solan and Catcher projects.
Meanwhile, Norwegian oilfield services firm Aker Solutions told Rigzone last month that it was seeing an increase in activity in both the UK and Norwegian zones of the North Sea, partly driven by recent discoveries in the region. Aker plans to add approximately 1,800 staff to its Aberdeen and London operations during the next three years as a result.
Oil & Gas UK attributed the rise in business confidence mainly to operators, while the outlook among contractors – who are concerned about manpower, cost inflation and tightening margins – remained unchanged.
"The general confidence level is similar to the previous quarter with activity remaining high which is encouraging," David Ripley, Oil & Gas UK's supply chain director, said in a statement accompanying the survey.
"Operators are busy with a number of major projects, including several sanctioned last year, and appear buoyed by the tax changes aiming to promote investment that were announced following constructive dialogue between the government and industry."
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