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New Aberdeenshire HQ for Subsea UK at Heart of ‘SURF City’

10 October 2012

Industry body Subsea UK has invested in new state-of-the-art headquarters at the heart of the global subsea sector in Aberdeenshire’s ‘SURF City’, Westhill.

The organisation, which represents more than 250 members across the UK, has a signed a lease on new premises in Arnhall Business Park.

Subsea UK Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK, said: "With more than 290 subsea companies in Aberdeen City and Shire, including around 3,000 employees based in Westhill with a further 3,000 working offshore, the region has long been recognised as the global centre of subsea excellence. It is home to almost 40% of the UK’s subsea industry which generates £6 billion per annum and supports 50,000 jobs.

"Global subsea growth is projected to double from £20 billion to £40 billion by 2017, with the international market offering a plethora of opportunities. As the recognised test-bed for cutting-edge technologies and a global centre of excellence, Westhill is the prime location for us.”

The office, which will be fully operational on Monday 15 October, will accommodate business briefings, video conferences and future member events.

Earlier this year, Mr Gordon unveiled signs proclaiming Westhill’s status as the global centre of subsea excellence with local MP Sir Robert Smith and Provost Jill Webster.

Westhill is known in the energy industry as SURF City due to the concentration of subsea expertise in the area. The term, SURF, is an abbreviation of the main components of the industry - subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines, all of which form a major part of the work undertaken at Westhill.

A recent survey also projected that 10,000 jobs could be created in the UK subsea industry over the next 12 months, a significant number of which would be in the north-east.

In the UK, the subsea industry continues to go from strength to strength with unprecedented growth rates. The sector harnesses a third of the global market share with subsea production in the UKCS is now around 40% and projections estimating that this will rise significantly to 70% as recovery from the North Sea is maximised.

With over 50% of subsea output being exported and global growth projected to increase from $35 billion to $70 billion annually over the next five years, the international market continues to be a priority for Subsea UK and its members.