UK Well Services Sector Enjoyed 'Robust' 2013

Article title
The UK well services sector increased gross revenue by 45.5% between 2010 and 2013.

Oil & Gas UK reported Tuesday that well services contractors working on the UK Continental Shelf saw strong demand in 2013.

In the trade body's 2014 Well Services Contractors Report, total reported gross revenue for the well services sector amounted to $3.2 billion – which Oil & Gas UK described as the greatest level of capital investment since 2008, providing employment for more than 15,000 people.

"The report reveals that despite declining exploration activity, well services contractors continue to provide significant levels of investment, revenue and jobs to the UK offshore oil and gas industry. The sector has increased gross revenue by 45.5 percent since 2010 despite a marginal decrease in 2013, and comprises an important proportion of the GBP 35 billion ($54.7 billion) supply chain outlined in the UK upstream oil and gas supply chain reports published by Oil & Gas UK and EY earlier this year," Oil & Gas UK Operations Director Oonagh Werngren said in a statement.

"It is clear that well services contractors are committed to addressing both the challenges and opportunities of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) with total capital investment in equipment and technology to develop future capacity rising by 9.7 per cent to $212 million (GBP 136 million) in 2013.

"The resilience of the sector in the face of declining exploration has much to do with the breadth of services it provides across the life cycle of well operations including drilling, completion, testing and maintenance. Respondents to the survey reported strong demand for remediation, redevelopment and intervention support for existing wells."

Oil & Gas UK noted that employment levels in the UK well services sector have remained "consistently high", with more than 15,300 people employed in the sector in 2013 despite a shortage of skilled personnel and high staff turnover. The trade body added that a particularly encouraging statistic has been the continued increase in the recruitment of apprentices – which was cited as evidence of the sector's commitment to developing new employees.

A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at


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