UK-BASED companies working in the oil and gas supply chain are turning their efforts to global opportunities more now than ever before, according to the head of oil and gas at the Energy Industries Council (EIC).

In an interview with Oil & Gas Australia that took place in November last year, EIC oil and gas head Neil Golding said that Australia’s lack of local content provisions and language barriers had appealed to UK suppliers.

“Certainly when you go back six or seven years ago when all the contracting was taking place, there were tremendous opportunities,” he said.

“The one thing you find with the oil and gas supply chain is that they will take an opportunity wherever it is in the world, regardless of environment. So when you compare, Australia is also considered easy.”

However, with the movement of Australia’s major oil and gas projects into the production phase, Mr Golding said UK companies were now looking a little further afield.

The Asia Pacific was a key market for the subsea sector and upstream sectors, he said, though West Africa, East Africa, the South China Sea and the Mexican portion of the Gulf of Mexico also presented new opportunities.

“We are very lucky having Aberdeen, Tyneside – we have got some fantastic companies with some fantastic capabilities for producing high tech, quality goods and services,” he said.

But there were also new opportunities available, and Mr Golding said some of the strategies detailed in Sir Ian Wood’s UK Continental Shelf Maximising Recovery Review could help these groups move towards maximising their economic recovery.

The report recommended a cohesive tripartite approach to making the most of the assets that lie offshore the UK, including developing strategies to revitalise exploration, regional development and infrastructure, as well as new technologies, decommissioning and regional development.

The report also proposed the establishment of a new regulatory body which would be in charge of stewardship and regulation of hydrocarbons in the UK continental shelf.

“I am clear that the development of the UKCS must continue to be led by the operators, who provide the significant investment of funds, expertise and experience,” Sir Ian said.

“(The new regulator) must be the catalyst for maximising the economic recovery by facilitating, co-ordinating, meditating and promoting collaboration, removing barriers and encouraging more efficient exploration, development and production.”

For Mr Golding, there was a real opportunity for companies to look into enhanced oil recovery and decommissioning offshore the UK.

“In the Asia Pacific region you see enhanced recovery in Malaysia in particular, there is a great deal of investment going on… We will continue to see that – there is a tremendous opportunity globally,” he said.

“There are not too many places yet – the US, ourselves, Norway – that have done offshore Decommissioning, so let’s think about what opportunities are going to be there globally.”

It is an opportunity of which the UK Supply Chain could well move to take advantage, he said.

“I think that there is the realisation that work on new field developments is certainly slowing down due to the current oil and that companies need to start looking longer term and what other opportunities are coming up – such as decommissioning,” he said.

The oil and gas supply market was an evolving one, but UK companies were there for the long term, he said.