Oil and Gas

The Highlands and Islands of Scotland have been involved in the international oil and gas industry for nearly four decades. As a result there is considerable expertise being utilised within the area and exported globally either as product or know-how.

The range of activity in the Highlands and Islands is vast. It includes:

  • Oil rig inspection, repair and maintenance
  • Decommissioning of redundant structures
  • Oil storage and distribution
  • Fabrication for sub-sea applications
  • Pipe spooling, bundling and assembly
  • Supply operations for exploration and drilling sites
  • Technical support services such as well planning and borehole surveying

Oil and gas strategy 2016-2020

The Oil and Gas Strategy was published in 2012, aiming to build the industry's success to secure future growth, through a number of priority areas for action. The strategy was refreshed and updated in 2016, to reflect changes in the sector.  The strategy aims to: 

  • Achieve total supply chain sales of £30 billion by 2020
  • International sales to account for 60 percent of total sales by 2020 (£18 billion)
  • A rise in recovery rates with a minimum long term target of 50 percent

Download the Oil and Gas Strategy 2016-2020 > 

Download the Oil and Gas Strategy update report 2013 >

Oil and Gas Decommissioning Action Plan

Scotland is recognised internationally as a Centre of Excellence for the global Oil & Gas industry. The world-class supply chain that has developed through 50 years of Exploration & Production (E&P) activity in the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS) is a key component of this. Supply chain companies in Scotland are known for their expertise, delivery of technological and innovative solutions and exporting this to international oil and gas markets.

As a successful oil and gas producing region since the 1970s, the UKCS is a mature basin with an emphasis on ‘Maximising Economic Recovery’. The Scottish Government and Enterprise Agencies are fully aligned in support of this principle. Focus will remain on extending field life and late life asset management to support continued development and recovery of the estimated 20 billion barrels of oil and gas remaining.

The Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) published a Decommissioning Strategy in June 2016. It identified three priorities:

  • Cost certainty and reduction in a technically competent, safe and environmentally responsible manner
  • Decommissioning delivery capability in terms of supply chain expertise and capacity, effectively supported by appropriate business models, contracting arrangements and industry alignment;
  • Decommissioning scope, guidance, and stakeholder engagement by working with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and other relevant parties to identify and evaluate opportunities to optimise and define parameters for decommissioning scope and to improve industry engagement with the organisations that regulate the decommissioning process.

Download the Oil and Gas Decommissioning Action Plan >

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