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June 6, 2017

Collaboration and efficiency are becoming more commonplace in the mindset and vocabulary of the UK oil and gas industry, a key conference heard today.

The sector has worked hard over the last two years to bring efficiency to the fore, the Oil and Gas Industry Conference in Aberdeen was told.

While the approach to adapt to our new competitive reality was borne of “sheer necessity, in response to changing economic realities, Walter Thain, who chairs industry’s Efficiency Task Force (ETF) and is Managing Director of Petrofac, told the Oil & Gas UK event: “These new ways of working are starting to become embedded in our approach and it’s delivering results.”

Efficiency and its competitive advantage was one of the themes at the conference which also saw the launch of a new Efficiency Hub – on the Oil & Gas UK website – a one-stop shop for industry efficiency initiatives.

The new hub will encourage companies across the UK Continental Shelf to share examples of improvements made within their organisations, download and pilot efficiency ‘tools’ launched by the ETF, and keep abreast of the latest advances in industry efficiency.

Another key theme of conference was the huge potential of Vision 2035 – a £290-billion opportunity for the UK oil and gas industry that could extend the life of the basin and deliver a much-needed for boost the supply chain.

The First Minister for Scotland Nicola Sturgeon MSP – one of the conference keynote speakers – gave her backing to Oil & Gas UK’s blueprint for the next UK Government said the North Sea would continue to produce for decades to come.

Other areas of discussion at conference included the use of technology in industry and how other sectors are deploying big data and digitalisation to transform and reduce costs, the importance of supply chain collaboration on areas of skills to reduce duplication and ensure clarity and the role oil and gas can play in a low carbon future.

An investment stimulation session heard that that as mergers and acquisition activity continues, industry could expect more creativity from buyers and sellers to make the deal happen.

Elsewhere there were calls for the supply chain to diversify across the energy industry and not just service oil and gas. There was also appetite for a sector deal for the industry.

Conference was also told that industry had two choices when more activity returns to the basin – slip back into its old ways and old habits, or totally change its mindset.

Oil & Gas UK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie told conference in her opening address: “This time we have an opportunity to do things differently – especially if we remind ourselves that we have all been part of the problem and therefore we all need – including the cynics – to be part of the solution too.”

Almost 400 delegates attended the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre event which had Total as principal sponsor.

“The conference has demonstrated that we have a committed industry, and despite the issues it has to deal with, continues to strive to improve its competitiveness and sustain its contribution to the UK economy,” added Ms Michie.

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