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Opportunity North East and Scottish Enterprise target growth of Oil & Gas supply chain SMEs

Opportunity North East and Scottish Enterprise target growth of Oil & Gas supply chain SMEs

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20 April 2018

Private sector economic development body Opportunity North East (ONE) and Scottish Enterprise are working in partnership to jointly support Scottish oil and gas supply chain SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) to access new decommissioning business and explore diversification into new market sectors.

Anchoring high-value supply chain businesses long-term is a regional and national priority. A strong position in the offshore decommissioning sector is pivotal to delivering MER UK while offering growth potential for SMEs. New markets provide additional opportunities for existing oil and gas skills, products and services and support the supply chain’s central role in the energy transition.

The first in a series of decommissioning opportunities is on seabed debris clearance, sponsored by ConocoPhillips and Shell, and SMEs are invited to register their interest by 17:00 BST, Wednesday 9 May 2018. The series of project-specific decommissioning opportunities will present real industry challenges and enable SMEs to present their capabilities, skills and experience in relation to these challenges to operators. The programme seeks to give successful SME applicants a range of benefits including access to and feedback from end-user operators, improved understanding of operator needs, improved business cases and business development support. Further information can be found at

The upcoming diversification opportunity is a wave and tidal workshop which will be held in Aberdeen on 16 May, in partnership with NSRI. It is the first in a new series of market-specific workshops which will match oil and gas companies to specific commercial opportunities, while addressing the technical challenges and offering case studies. Future workshops will focus on opportunities in offshore wind, nuclear decommissioning, water and waste water, and the wider utilities markets.

Trevor Garlick OBE, chair of ONE’s Oil, Gas & Energy sector board said: "These new SME programmes, developed in partnership and co-funded by ONE and Scottish Enterprise, aim to create value for industry and the supply chain by matching existing capabilities with real industry needs and ensuring that SMEs are ready and able to engage on commercial terms.

"Anchoring oil and gas supply chain SMEs long term is a key part of strengthening and diversifying the economy. These businesses provide high-skill, high-value employment and capturing a share of decommissioning work and market diversification offers them significant medium to long-term growth potential and a further route to internationalisation,” said Mr Garlick.

Andy McDonald, director of energy and low carbon technologies at Scottish Enterprise, said: "This is a great example of a collaborative partnership that leverages resource from both parties to drive forward lasting economic impact for the Scottish economy. There is significant scope for established supply chain companies in Scotland to gain access both to the emerging decommissioning market, valued at between £8.3 billion and £11.3 billion over the next 10 years, and to potential diversification routes. By working in partnership with ONE, Scottish Enterprise can ensure companies have the necessary skills, expertise and networks to successfully take advantage of these opportunities and realise their growth ambitions.”