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Subsea UK Takes Export Success Message to Westminster

28 June 2011

Subsea UK is leading a 60-strong delegation to Westminster to gain support for an industry which is out-performing other sectors and can help lead the country's economic recovery.

Britain's subsea industry currently supports 50,000 jobs and generates annual revenues of almost £6 billion. Scotland is home to almost half the subsea industry, around 350 companies are located in Scotland with the higest concentration (290) in Aberdeen City and Shire which is recognised as a global subsea centre of excellence.

The total UK subsea output represents a third of the global market, estimated at £18.9 billion. Around 50% of UK revenues come from exports. Manufacturing companies make up nearly half of the subsea sector, contributing 35% of the total output.

The industry body is celebrating this success with a parliamentary reception at 6pm on 29th of June 2011 to ensure that MPs and Government officials are aware of its potential. Over 40 MPs are attending and energy secretary, Chris Huhne, will be the main speaker.

Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK said: "With the repercussions of the windfall tax, the UK Government will not be expecting a positive, up-beat message from a sector that generates most of its revenues from oil and gas but that is precisely what we are going to give them.”

"This industry has seen 40% growth between 2007 and 2010 despite the downturn. If the forecast of around 8% year on year growth is achieved, the sector will reach over £7.5 billion in revenues with the potential to create an additional 10,000 jobs in the next two years. This is now an industry sector that cannot be ignored.”

Extracting the remaining world’s reserves will increasingly fall to the subsea industry – already almost 45% of UKCS production comes from subsea wells with new developments soon to take this up to 70%. Subsea is therefore of vital importance to the security of the world’s energy supply.

Approximately one third of the total revenues generated by the sector is centred on manufacturing and an impressive £3.3 billion (56%) is directly attributed to export sales.

Mr Gordon added: ""Much of the growth has been driven by exports which are increasingly important to the health of the sector. While the manufacture of technology and equipment represents around half, we are also strong in the export of our skills, knowledge and expertise.

"This industry, which was born and has grown up in the North Sea is no longer dependent on this mature province. To capitalise on the increasing global demand, now is the time to robustly promote the sector at home and abroad. If the UK is to continue to dominate globally, we need Government to acknowledge the importance of the sector and support us in our drive to develop the new technologies the industry needs to recover the remaining reserves and to help us attract new talent, particularly young people into the sector to meet the emerging skills gaps.

"Continued support from UKTI and Scottish Development International to support our export activity along with increased support from DECC and the Technology Strategy Board for the development of new technology are absolutely vital to maintaining and growing the UK’s position.”

The delegation heading to Westminster includes Aker Subsea, BP, E.On Ruhrgas, Wood Group, Total, Nexen, SMD, Bibby Offshore, Tritech, DOF Subsea, Penspen, Perry Slingsby Systems, ExxonMobil and Rotech Subsea.

[event concluded >> view parliamentary reception follow-up]