UK Norway Scheme Extends Helping Hand to Promote Cooperation

The North Sea is seeing growing co-operation between the UK and Norwegian offshore industries.

In line with this trend, an innovative scheme to help small businesses access new oil and gas export markets has been launched.

The UK Department of Trade and Industry's newest Business-to-Business Mentoring scheme involves four service companies from each country. These are Aberdeen and Morpeth in the UK, and the Stavanger and Bergen areas in Norway. Each company is teamed with a major operator from across the water to gain a better understanding of each other's markets.

In co-operation with INTSOK, the Norwegian oil and gas partners, it is hoped that the scheme will continue to build on the relationships established between the two countries in recent years, expand the range of opportunities available to both the UK and Norwegian supply chains, and provide a valuable insight into each country's business practices and cultures.

The scheme is one of the recommendations proposed by UK-Norway North Sea Co-Operation Workgroup, which consists of members of PILOT, the UK's joint Government and Industry task force, and its Norwegian equivalent, KonKraft.

PILOT is the UK oil and gas industry and Government partnership, formed to deal with the issues faced by the industry due to, amongst other factors, the maturing of the North Sea region. Integral to PILOT's vision is the need to reduce the cost base of activity in the UK Continental Shelf. Not only does PILOT bring together the various North Sea issues and challenges, but just as importantly, it unites the key players, these being senior management of operators, contractors, suppliers, unions and relevant Government Departments.

Through PILOT, industry and Government are working together to maximize economic recovery of the UK's remaining oil and gas reserves, with clear targets for the level of production, expenditure and employment to be achieved in the sector in the year 2010.

The following Norwegian companies have been placed with UK Mentors:

Norse Cutting and Abandonment – Shell;

Reslink – BP;

Nymo – Total;

Alustar - Wood Group.

Likewise, the following UK firms have been paired with Norwegian Mentors:

IGL, Aberdeen – Statoil;

Duffy & McGovern, Aberdeen - Norsk Hydro;

Digital Applications International, Aberdeen - Norske Shell;

Hedley Purvis, Morpeth - Aker Kvaerner.

Employees from the paired companies will work closely together with the aim of providing benefits for both organizations. The Mentor organizations will gain an enhanced insight into the issues facing SMEs, including the effect of their own supply chain practices, while at the same time their partners will gain a better understanding of why larger organizations behave as they do.

Each pairing will prepare a case study on the outcome of the program, which is expected to be published by Offshore Europe 2005.

This article provided courtesy of EyeForEnergy