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Record Year for UK Well Services

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A new survey by trade body Oil & Gas UK shows 2012 was a record year for the UK's oil and gas well services firms.

The survey, released late Thursday, reveals that companies delivering drilling, completion, testing and maintenance for oil and gas wells generated gross revenue of $3.1 billion last year – the highest since records began in 1996. Meanwhile,  the total number of technicians and graduate engineers employed by well services contractors increased to 2,200 and 1,700 respectively.

UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Dr. Vince Cable, welcomed the report. In a statement, he said:

"These figures show just how valued the UK's expertise in the oil and gas sector is across the world. They also emphasize the value and potential growth of the industry to make a stronger UK economy. We want to continue to attract investment into the supply chain so that we can compete internationally.

"That is why we chose to develop an industrial strategy for the oil and gas sector. Launched in March, it's about working with industry to focus on skills, technology, exports and access to finance."

Oil & Gas UK Operations Director Oonagh Werngren commented:

"Once again, well services contractors have achieved robust growth, contributing significantly to the economy and innovation while creating new jobs for highly skilled people. The higher than expected rise in gross revenue could be attributed to a number of factors ranging from increased exploration and production activities since 2011 to the growing number of technically complex wells that require the specialist knowledge of well services contractors.

"The sector is, however, competing with other booming oil and gas provinces around the world with respondents reporting a 19 percent rise in the number of UK employees working overseas to deliver well services outside the UK. Attracting, retaining and engaging skilled personnel here in the UK represents a challenge to the industry, one which is being addressed, together with government, to ensure that this sector, alongside others, can continue to flourish.

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