Chance for energy supply chain firms to get involved with Southern North Sea projects worth £3bn
PUBLISHED: 06:00 21 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:59 04 November 2019
Energy giants have given a multi-billion pound vote of confidence to the industry in the East of England.
Ten operators - from the smaller Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) to leviathan Shell - announced a total of £3bn of projects to rejuvenate and ensure the future of the Southern North Sea (SNS) during an event in Norwich.
Sector leaders say the investments herald a new dawn for the oil and gas industry, which has been buoyed this week by oil prices reaching their highest level for almost three-and-a-half years.
Among the projects detailed at the East of England Energy Group's (EEEGR) Meet The Buyer event at Carrow Road were a cash injection by Shell into Bacton gas terminal and plans by IOG to bring part of the Thames Pipeline back into service.
Attended by more than 100 delegates from supply chain companies in the region, the event - organised in association with the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) - gave businesses the chance for one-to-one meetings with operator buyers and to take part in an open ideas forum.
With additional millions predicted to be spent on decommissioning up to 40 platforms in the SNS over the next five years, firms were able to pitch their products and services to the likes of Ineos, Perenco, Premier Oil and Spirit, formerly Centrica.
EEEGR chief executive Simon Gray said the investments were proof that the SNS has not "had its day", as some believe.
"There are many opportunities for rejuvenation in the SNS," he said.
"We have been in depressed state and most operators have cut back considerably, but that means we are now in a more competitive position."
Bill Cattanach of the OGA told businesses that operators saw a "big future" in the SNS.
"They have opened the door to the local supply industry so make sure you push through it," he said.
Simon Trin, contract and procurement manager for the SNS for Shell, said he would like to see an oil and gas supply chain model like the automotive industry, where "70% of the income flows through the supply chain".
"The success of the SNS for us is about big collaboration between suppliers and the operators. We want the same thing - a continued and profitable business. You have been doing this over the years and I need you for materials, service and the manpower perspective," he told firms.