Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Oil and Gas Tradition Still Powering Region; Renewable Energy Is Ramping Up, but Teesside's Oil and Gas Suppliers Are Seeing Their Biggest Boom for Decades. KELLEY PRICE Finds out More

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Oil and Gas Tradition Still Powering Region; Renewable Energy Is Ramping Up, but Teesside's Oil and Gas Suppliers Are Seeing Their Biggest Boom for Decades. KELLEY PRICE Finds out More

Article excerpt

Byline: KELLEY PRICE

THERE are many years of life left in North Sea oil and gas, energy industry experts have claimed.

Last month's Budget handed firms more certainty on decommissioning tax relief.

And Oil and Gas UK has recently reported the biggest investment for more than 30 years - thanks to the tax changes "designed to encourage growth" in the sector.

"There will be decades of opportunity in oil and gas," claims George Rafferty, chief executive of business development organisation NOF Energy.

"It's by no means a sunset industry."

And fabrication, engineering and project management are Teesside's biggest strengths, he says.

"A number of Teesside firms are really starting to get the message that oil and gas will see them through for years to come," he adds.

"We are also keeping an eye on developments in shale gas.

"We expect, even in the next year to 18 months, we will start to see developments in shale gas that will present opportunities for our members.

"And it's not just about the North Sea - there are international opportunities."

Perhaps one of the best barometers of the sector is NOF Energy's membership itself.

The organisation, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, had 170 members in 2006.

Today that's more than doubled to 415.

The first conference the trade body organised in 2011 had 150 delegates -double that number attended the 2013 event.

It's all a "reflection on the industry and how busy it is", claims Mr Rafferty.

"We have had some tremendous feedback from our conference.

"Networking lunches usually focus on work that's coming up immediately - this conference took a long-term view.

"It set the scene for what's happening in oil and gas for the next five years and beyond, and also how offshore wind, nuclear and other forms of energy will start to come in."

NOF Energy teamed up with Tees Valley Unlimited (TVU) last week for a further event - North Sea Oil and Gas Briefing - Projects and Opportunities, at the Wynyard Rooms. …

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