Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Referendum Uncertainty Impacting Oil and Gas Firms

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Referendum Uncertainty Impacting Oil and Gas Firms

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID LAWS

ALMOST half of oil and gas firms (45%) have reported that the Scottish referendum is impacting on plans and investment proposals.

The findings are part of the 20th Oil and Gas Survey, launched by the North East Chamber of Commerce and Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce at survey sponsor Bond Dickinson's Stockton offices at an event attended by a host of firms from across the sector.

The report also highlights the North East's importance to the sector, with 13% of respondents saying the region is a key location for suppliers when procuring goods and services.

The figure is close to the Scotland score for a far smaller region - good news that demonstrates the importance of the North East to the supply chain. It also shows the region would benefit from investment and contracts secured across the sector.

It is the first time the NECC has partnered with its Scottish counterparts to launch the survey, which has been independently conducted by the Fraser of Allander Institute since 1996 The survey reveals oil and gas businesses are more confident about future prospects on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) than a year ago, but the industry, central to sustaining the UK economy, is facing number of challenges, with the study highlighting uncertainty surrounding the independence debate.

Robert Collier, chief executive at Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: "The oil and gas sector faces a challenging time but the industry is responding well, with many increasing investment in the UKCS and overseas. North East Scotland is pivotal to the Scottish and UK economy and it is vital that the oil and gas industries here are supported so they can maintain their impressive growth record. The effective implementation of the Wood Review would be a positive step in the right direction.

"The shortage of skilled labour and loss of staff to competitors is a key challenge to the sector and it is encouraging that so many companies are increasing their investment in staff training, as well as developing new markets and research and development. …

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