oil and gas

Oil and gas

Our region has been involved in the international oil and gas industry for nearly four decades.

Oil Rig

Oil and gas activity

The oil and gas sector is hugely important to the Scottish economy. In 2017/18 supply chain sales in oil and gas were reported to have contributed £18.4 billion to the Scottish economy.

The industry is a significant contributor to the economy of the Highlands and Islands creating flexible, high value employment for thousands of people across all parts of the region.

For the Highlands and Islands, the transition to net zero represents a very significant economic and industrial opportunity. Our oil and gas industry will continue to play a key role in supplying energy but will also provide the skills and expertise to underpin and accelerate our transition to a highly productive, low carbon future on our journey to net zero.

The oil and gas industry has experienced massive change since the downturn in 2015. Huge efforts have been made to become lower cost, more efficient and more productive with significant progress against all three.

The UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) basin is supply chain led – its success is down to the innovation and efficiency in the supply chain which has driven the growth in production levels.

The Highlands and Islands

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

  • Oil rig inspection, repair and maintenance
  • Decommissioning of redundant structures
  • Oil and gas processing, storage and distribution
  • Subsea component manufacturing, technology development and testing facilities
  • Pipe spooling and bundle manufacturing
  • Supply operations for exploration and drilling sites
  • Technical support services such as well planning and borehole surveying

Innovation and technology led solutions, adoption of advanced manufacturing techniques and new materials will all be pivotal in ensuring that the region continues to play an enhanced role in servicing the sector.

As well as the need to decarbonise production and facilitate the decarbonisation of output from production, the oil and gas industry is also going through a technology and skills transition.

OPITO’s Skills Landscape 2019 – 2025 report, part of the UKCS Workforce Dynamics research series, points to a requirement to attract 4,500 new people into the oil and gas industry in the next six years to undertake completely new roles that do not currently exist in areas such as data science, automation and new materials.

Technology advances, internationalisation and the transition to net zero are accelerating changing skills demands in the sector which the Highlands and Islands are well placed to respond to.


Global energy demand continues to intensify and by 2035 will have grown by 30%.

Visit the Vision 2035 website

Oil Rig Stock


As an industry-led research and knowledge organisation, the centre is backed by both the UK and Scottish governments to fund and direct projects that help to unlock the full potential of the UK North Sea.

Take a look at the Net Zero Technology Centre website


This portal enables operators to share lessons learned on technology deployment, and promotes engagement with the supply chain, the OGTC and other providers to address existing and emerging opportunities.

Visit the portal here

Energy in the Highlands and Islands

Explore the energy industry in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.


Our region is at the forefront of Europe's energy industry.

Investment in energy

More and more businesses in the energy sector are looking to invest in our region

Offshore Wind

Our region has the ambition and commitment to drive success as a global leader in offshore wind

Marine Energy

Making an impact across the Highlands and Islands


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