Oil and gas sector worth £17.2bn to Scottish economy

Posted on 8 May 2013 by Tim Brown

Sales of equipment and services to the global oil and gas industry from Scotland have increased by 5.8% to reach £17.2bn for 2011-2012.

It is the 14th year of growth for the industry while exports for the sector, which includes offshore equipment and construction, reached £8.2bn – an 8.4% rise on the year before.

The figures have been featured in a report by Scottish Development International, the Scottish Council for Development and Industry and  Scottish Enterprise titled: Survey of International Activity in the Oil and Gas Sector 2011-2012.

The report said North America remained the main region for exports at £2.6bn. The Middle East saw strongest growth but Africa remained the second most important with a 5.9% increase in sales.

The top five international markets for direct exports in 2011 were Angola, Norway, United States, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates, remaining the same as the year before.

David Rennie, Scottish Enterprise’s international head of oil and gas, welcomed the findings and said that growing export levels was a key priority for Scotland’s oil and gas sector.

“This latest figures are outstanding, particularly at a time when many regional economies have been stagnating,” said Rennie. “They show that our expertise in oil & gas remains in increasing demand across the globe, and clearly demonstrate the growing importance international markets have to play in the long-term future of the industry in Scotland.”

The figures were welcomed by Energy Minister Fergus Ewing ahead of a trip to the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, where he will lead a trade delegation of more than 50 Scottish companies.

He said: “Scotland has established a global reputation within the oil and gas sector and I am delighted that these latest figures show an increase in international sales, which now account for almost 50% of total sales.”

He said Scotland was leading the way in “this global industry” and the value to the economy and exchequer was “substantial”.

The oil and gas industry supports almost 200,000 jobs in Scotland and there are up to 24 billion barrels of oil still to be recovered in the North Sea, according to the Scottish government.