Oil and gas exploration and production activity on the UK Continental Shelf of the North Sea revealed substantial improvement for the first time in five years, suggests a new industry report.
Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce’s 28thannual Oil & Gas Survey, published in association with KPMG and the Fraser of Allander Institute, revealed that the gap in market confidence between UKCS and the wider international market closed for the first time since 2013.
Nearly two thirds of contractors surveyed said they were more confident about business than last year. Nearly three quarters expect the improvements to continue.
UKCS exploration work value is now back in the black, having been negative since 2014 and after dropping to a low point in 2016. The net balance of 3% is expected to soar to 21% over the next year.
Contractors also report a rise in the value of production activities, while nearly a third of firms increased investment in the last 12 months – compared with just one fifth who reduced spend.
Moray Barber, partner at KPMG, said: “It is heartening to note the rising confidence the respondents have in the UKCS with nearly three quarters of the firms forecasting an increase in business optimism in the region.
“Over the last couple of years, the survey has showed us that firms have been more focused on international markets for business growth. However, the latest set of survey results indicates that there is now a rebalancing taking place, with our region becoming just as important again in terms of securing future growth.”