Scots oil firms strike it rich with overseas sales

International sales from companies serving the sector grew by more than a fifth. Picture: Getty
International sales from companies serving the sector grew by more than a fifth. Picture: Getty
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INTERNATIONAL sales by Scottish companies serving the oil and gas industry have leapt to £10 billion.

Projects overseas account for more than half of the work for firms involved in areas such as providing parts for rigs or transporting workers offshore.

The overall value of oil and gas “supply chain” sales from Scotland amounted to £19.9bn in 2012-13, a rise of 15.4 per cent on the previous year.

Energy minister Fergus Ewing announced the new figures at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, where he is heading a delegation of more than 60 Scottish oil and gas services companies.

He said: “Scotland has established a global reputation within the oil and gas sector and I am delighted that these latest figures show an increase in international sales, which now account for more than 50 per cent of total sales.

“The value of this activity to the economy and exchequer is substantial. International sales by Scotland’s oil and gas supply chain rose by 22 per cent in 2012-13, to £10bn.”

International deals accounted for just over half (50.2 per cent) of all sales from the sector, up from 47.6 per cent in 2011-12, with big increases in the US and Africa. The figures are contained in the first international oil and gas survey, which was undertaken by Scottish Enterprise and Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC).

The research also forecast export sales from the Scottish oil and gas supply chain sector could grow by 32 per cent over the next five years, with domestic sales predicted to increase by 18 per cent over this period.

Mr Ewing added: “Scotland leads the way in the world of oil and gas and has a clear competitive advantage in this truly global industry. There are huge opportunities open to us internationally and we are determined to make the most of them.

“Our objective is to make clear that Scotland’s oil and gas wealth is not just the resources that we extract but the expertise that we have built up. We are working with the industry to continue to strengthen Scotland’s position as a global leader in the sector and these figures mark further growth in this important part of our economy.”

North America was the top region for overseas sales, rising by a third to reach £3.6bn in 2012-13, followed by Africa, where sales almost doubled to £2.3bn.

David Rennie, head of oil and gas at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scotland has built up a global reputation in oil and gas expertise over the past 40 years, and these results indicate our skills and expertise remain in growing demand across the globe.”

Scottish firms now operate in more than 100 countries. The number of people employed in the wider supply chain increased by more than 21,000 between 2008 and 2012 and this number is set to grow further.

James Bream, research and policy director at Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: “The findings are great news for the oil and gas sector in Scotland.”