Top energy firms announce major UK investments
14th Aug 2012
The Uk was given a boost for technical and engineering jobs as substantial new investment in UK energy was made by international delegates from the world’s oil and gas companies at the British Business Embassy in London last week.
The summit, one of 18 organised by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to promote British business during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, highlighted the UK’s capabilities in energy as well as the opportunities for collaboration with overseas companies. Key themes included technology-specific issues related to regulatory and market reforms, financing needs, deployment challenges and the scaling up of industrial capacity.
The projects to be developed include a £1.4 billion Field Development Plan (FDP) for the Southern North Sea, a £60 million investment in an International Centre for Advanced Materials and a €50-60 million investment in elastomer production in Scotland.
Up to 4,000 UK jobs will be supported by the extraction of shallow water gas from an 18 billion cubic metre field under the Southern North Sea. The Cygnus project - the largest gas discovery in the Southern North Sea for 25 years – is operated by GDF SUEZ, in partnership with Centrica and Bayerngas. The FDP authorises new oil and gas fields and ensures no adverse environmental consequences.
The proposed International Centre for Advanced Materials, created by BP in conjunction with several universities, will build on the UK’s leading status in research and development. The centre will support fundamental science and the engineering application of advanced materials - those with superior qualities such as toughness, hardness, durability and elasticity - in the energy sector.
Versalis, Italy's largest chemical producer, will be investing between €50 and €60 million in the development and expansion of elastomer production capacity at its Grangemouth site in Scotland in order to service technical developments in the automotive tyre manufacture market.
Commenting on the investments, the Chancellor, George Osborne, said: “The Global Business Summit is a demonstration of how the UK can lead the world in the energy sector: securing investment, creating jobs and building a more prosperous future. The Government is committed to creating an environment in which innovation can thrive and businesses can grow: that’s why top businesses such as BP are investing in the UK and supporting our world-leading universities in delivering cutting edge research.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The oil and gas industry’s immense contribution to our skills base, industrial capacity and strength as an exporter are pivotal as we rebalance our economy. Today’s summit underlines the Government’s commitment to making the UK a great place for energy firms to do business, develop new technologies and recruit the best technicians and engineers.”
UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, said: “The North Sea remains a vital source of the nation’s energy security and our expertise is renowned the world over. The Government is determined to maintain the best possible investment environment to ensure we capitalise fully on this national asset.
“There continues to be significant interest in the annual licensing rounds, with interest in established and the new frontier West of Shetland. The go-ahead for the Cygnus field is terrific news, and will contribute substantially to the UK’s gas needs and support thousands of high skilled jobs.”