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Industry Body Subsea UK Attracts 200th Member

09 March 2009

Petro-Canada, one of Canada's largest oil and gas companies, with extensive interests in the UKCS, has become the 200th member of Subsea UK.

The industry body, formed in 2004 with a handful of member companies to champion the rapidly-growing UK subsea sector, now represents almost 30% of the UK's subsea firms who between them employ over 25% of the 40,000 UK employees in the sector.

Petro-Canada was awarded three licences in last year's North Sea licensing rounds and has joined the industry body in order to underline its continuing commitment to UK oil and gas exploration and, in particular, the subsea sector.

Petro-Canada has developed considerable experience in subsea operations in the North Sea through its interests in the Triton development area. In recent years, the company has invested in several fields, each of which is 100% Petro-Canada owned and operated. These include Saxon in 2007, Pict in 2005 and Clapham in 2003. All of these fields are subsea tiebacks to the Triton Floating Production Storage and

Offloading vessel (FPSO), in which Petro-Canada has a 33.11% interest.

“With Petro-Canada on-board, Subsea UK's membership now boasts the majority of multi-national, national and independent oil companies operating in the North Sea. It is vitally important that we represent the entire supply chain from the major operators and contractors to the manufacturers of hardware, suppliers or technology and services and the small niche technology innovators and consultancies,” said Alistair Birnie, chief executive of Subsea UK.

The most recent study into the size and scale of the sector revealed that it comprised about 750 companies, employed 40,000 people and contributed £4.3 billion to the UK economy.

Mr Birnie added: “As the North Sea matures, more and more reserves will only be able to be recovered using subsea techniques and technologies. Through collaboration across the supply chain, the UK can remain at the forefront of pioneering subsea developments and companies like Petro-Canada can benefit from what Subsea UK is doing to promote the sector and encourage a joined-up approach to areas such as technology, skills and internationalisation.”

Petro-Canada is a major purchaser of subsea services, skills and technology. Its business strategy is based largely upon leveraging existing assets, seeking new opportunities and focusing on extending the life of assets.

John Scrimgeour, Petro Canada's regional manager based in Aberdeen, said:

“We are continually seeking ways to optimise our assets and subsea is a growing part of how we achieve that. Membership of Subsea UK is therefore a logical step for us as we increase our subsea developments.

“As the UKCS basin continues to mature, the size of discoveries tends to be smaller and a focus on subsea technology becomes more important to ensure we can exploit these more technically and economically challenging reserves."