Subsea UK Chief Welcomes Budget Measures, Believes Govt Could Do More

Alistair Birnie, chief executive of Subsea UK welcomed the budget measures relating to oil and gas but believes the Government could have gone much further to stimulate activity in the North Sea.

"The fact that the Chancellor has introduced a package of measures relating to oil and gas signals the Government's improved understanding and appreciation of the issues facing this highly strategic sector in our economy. This will be welcomed by the industry as a step in the right direction. However, it is not a radical enough step that will immediately start to stimulate activity.

"It is vital that investment continues in the UKCS and we anticipate that some of these measures will incentivise movement of assets to the smaller independents operating in the North Sea who must be given every support and fiscal encouragement to eek out the remaining hydrocarbon reserves. Re-use of infrastructure is key as its opens up the opportunity for smaller operators to tie-back to existing facilities and therefore access the more challenging and marginal fields operated by new and smaller players.

"Increasingly the subsea oil and gas sector is transferring its skills and expertise to the marine renewable sector and we are encouraged by the support for renewable energy developments in the budget which should accelerate the delivery of both projects and technology which will lead to jobs in the subsea supply chain."