Half the oil and gas firms surveyed are working to reduce their carbon footprint

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27th November 2019 16:31 - Oil and Gas

Half the oil and gas firms surveyed are working to reduce their carbon footprint: A poll of North Sea oil and gas operators has found that almost half (49%) report they are seeking to reduce their carbon footprint or develop low carbon services. The research also found that four in ten operators and contractors are concerned about diversification and energy transition. 

The research by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC),in partnership with Fraser of Allander Institute and KPMG UK, surveyed 90 firms about the health of the North Sea oil and gas industry. The survey, now in its 31st year, found that according to 52% of respondents, there has been an increase in the demand for their products and services in non-oil and gas projects, with a quarter (25%) saying that they are actively going after work beyond the traditional sector. Just over a tenth (11%) said they had no plans for further diversification. 

According to the research, 86% of the oil and gas operators polled expressed some likelihood that they would engage in decommisioning activity in the medium term. This, according to the report, is highest number since the question was first added to the survey almost a decade ago (2010). When asked about how their firm might look in 2025, fewer than a third said they expected to be solely focused on oil and gas. 

When asked about the barriers to diversification, a third of the firms who have considered it (34%) were concerned about profitability and return on investment, while 31% said a top barrier was experience and skills within their firm. 

Respondents were also asked about their top concerns for the coming decade, with almost nine in 10 (88%) saying  the price of oil and market stability were key issues for their business, followed by Brexit (50%) and identifying new regulations and tax rules (22%).


The survey revealed that recruitment continues to rise, with more than half (54%) the contractors  polled reporting a growing workforce in the last 12 months (up from 40% in 2018).

However, 44% said that they face challenges when trying to attract staff to the North East and available roles, with 52% believing this is because of a lack of competitive salaries.  A quarter of those polled attributed recruitment difficulties to the increase in non-traditional roles within the sector.

Research and policy manager at Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, Shane Taylor, said:

"It’s clear that the energy mix in the future will be far more diverse and for our existing supply chain there’s huge opportunity to be seized from diversifying into new markets and sectors proactively."

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