TWO UK Government Ministers today pledged to ensure that the expertise and skills built up in Aberdeen over decades of North Sea developments are exported to the forefront of new oil and gas discoveries across the world.
The pledge was made by Scotland Office Minister David Mundell and the Foreign Office Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds as they welcomed President Armando Emilio Guebuza of Mozambique during a three day visit to Europe’s oil capital.
A special conference on Mozambique’s burgeoning oil and gas industry, featuring a number of key oil and gas stakeholders, is being held at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.
Mozambique has seen a remarkable turnaround in its fortunes in recent years and is emerging as a major player in Africa’s oil and gas industry. It is estimated that it will have the third largest gas reserves in the world and is already attracting significant interest from UK companies.
The visit by President Guebuza to Aberdeen follows on from a UK Government supported oil and gas mission to Mozambique last month by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce
Mr Mundell said: “With over 900 companies serving the energy sector as whole, Aberdeen is a global hub for the oil and gas industry. The value and contribution this industry makes to the UK economy is very well established but oil and gas is not just about production – as vital as that is – it’s about the vast range of expertise and skills throughout the UK’s supply chain which are an invaluable resource in themselves.
“The skills and research coming out of Aberdeen, Scotland and the UK as a whole are second to none and in global demand as today’s conference with President Guebuza reflects. Together with the UK’s diplomatic, consular and trade networks across the world we can ensure the expertise honed from long experience operating in North Sea is exported into new and expanding markets such as Mozambique.”
Mr Simmonds said: “In my visit to Maputo earlier this year I saw the real potential for economic growth in Mozambique so I am delighted that the President has chosen to come to the United Kingdom to promote business partnerships. This is a sign, not only of the strong bilateral relationship between our two countries, but also the excellent reputation that British business enjoys across the globe.”
A spokeswoman for Aberdeen City Council said: “Mozambique has come forward strongly over the past three years as one of the most important new areas of offshore gas development in the world. The country is looking to follow Aberdeen’s lead in harnessing and developing the industry, while building the infrastructure to cope with the anticipated boom.
“An entire day of the Conference on Infrastructure Development in the Emerging Oil and Gas Sector in Mozambique is dedicated to ‘The Aberdeen Experience’ as the delegates seek to learn how the Granite City secured its place as a world leader in the energy industry.”
She explained: “The conference, hosted by Aberdeen City Council and the High Commission of the Republic of Mozambique, aims to arouse the interest of British and international business communities on the huge investment potential in the development of logistics infrastructure for oil and gas in Mozambique. It also aims to serve as a platform for Mozambican companies to improve their knowledge of business opportunities in the oil and gas industry, attract investment and tap into the UK’s wealth of skills and expertise.”
Gordon McIntosh, the council’s director of Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure, said: “Mozambique presents huge opportunities for Aberdeen and the visit of the Presidential delegation underlines our position as a global leader in oil and gas.
“There are tremendous opportunities in Mozambique and our visitors have come here to learn from Aberdeen’s experience in the past and Aberdeen’s expertise in offshore energy and development. “