Subsea UK Unveils New Action Plan for Subsea Sector

To mark its sixth year anniversary, Subsea UK today unveils its new business plan which will see the industry body tackle the challenges facing one of the UK's highest-performing and fastest-growing sectors.

Chief executive Alistair Birnie explained, "Through the UK's subsea capability, competency and capacity, the sector has become world-leading with the expertise and experience gained from the pioneering days of subsea oil and gas production in the North Sea now in global demand.

"The UKCS is becoming much tougher to extend with rewards often not able to sustain costs. However international subsea business is set to grow from $40 billion to around $60 billion in four years and opportunities in renewable energy are starting to become more tangible.

"To sustain the UK's subsea sector, we have to transform our exports from around $4 billion at present to around $10 billion."

Subsea UK's business is therefore focused on helping companies grow their global marketshare and ensuring the sector achieves 40% growth.

The industry body is also leading the charge to make the UKCS a viable and sustainable proposition through its work in supporting skills development, safety and key initiatives to address immediate challenges such as equipment obsolescence and reliability.

Founded in 2004, Subsea UK aimed to bring together the UK's unrivaled expertise and technology in subsea oil and gas and promote it at home and abroad.

The organization is now an effective champion of the subsea sector which employs around 40,000 people and generates revenues of almost $10 billion per annum. With over 200 members from across the supply chain, Subsea UK has run over 100 national and international events, championed industry concerns and set up initiatives to address the challenges.

Birnie added, "Our key objectives this year are to deliver measurable services that make a real difference in the areas of export, skills and technology. Collaboration will also be essential for the future and Subsea UK is already working with partner organizations and stakeholders to develop new initiatives such as joint industry projects.

"The skills shortages have not gone away and will very shortly start to constrain growth once more. The industry as a whole has to work together to ensure new skills are developed and a pipeline of emerging talent is coming through.

"The increasing need for new technology to address the challenges of global oil and gas production in deeper waters to secure energy supply means that we must get better and quicker at bringing that technology to market.

"We must be very clear in our approach to new technology. Firstly the focus has to be on meeting real and identified operational need and secondly we must have a clear understanding of what will bring real value to build capacity and differentiate us from overseas markets.

"We worked closely with ITF (Industry Technology Facilitator) last year on technology around long subsea tiebacks which will offer companies a real differentiator globally.

"Today, we are delighted to announce a new call for proposals from companies to fast-track development of new subsea intervention technology."

Subsea Intervention, whether for construction, maintenance and production enhancement is now the only viable option for many field developments. For the first time, inspection, repair and maintenance has outgrown construction as the number one subsea expenditure for upstream production.

"Improving and extending the efficiency and capability of intervention therefore plays a significant part in the lifecycle cost of subsea production," explained Birnie.

ITF's call for new technologies aims to stimulate high quality proposals from experts in the global development community. Open to any individual, organization or academic institution, ITF and Subsea UK are seeking out the most innovative and best practical solution to support the industry to deliver new and cost effective techniques for subsea intervention.