UK energy industries provide a vital contribution to the UK economy. Cutting-edge technology and sophisticated recovery techniques for oil and gas help keep these industries competitive. And there?s good news about renewable energy, too, with many UK companies involved in this rapidly growing market
Ian Leitch, Commercial Director of the Energy Industries Council
From heating and lighting to transport, industry and communications, energy is fundamental to almost everything we do, which is why the UK energy industries? contribution to the economy is so important. The UK has abundant and increasingly viable reserves of fossil fuels which benefit the large number of UK oil exporters.
Primary energy production accounts for 10% of GDP, one of the highest shares of any industrial nation. It?s also a major employer ? around 164,600 people are directly employed in the energy industries.
The UK government?s Energy Group is committed to promoting competitive energy markets while achieving safe and sustainable energy supplies. Its role is to encourage competition for the benefit of customers, the industry and suppliers, which will contribute to the achievement of the UK?s environmental and social objectives. Their goals are to put the UK on a path to cut carbon dioxide emissions by some 60% by around 2050, to maintain energy supplies, promote competitive markets in the UK and beyond, helping to raise the rate of sustainable economic growth, to improve the UK?s productivity and to ensure that every home is adequately and affordably heated.
Two major players in the energy industry ? oil and gas ? make a significant contribution towards the UK economy in terms of revenue to the nation, employment and industrial investment. The UK oil and gas industry and the government are working together to deliver quicker and sustainable energy solutions. The objective of the Oil and Gas Industry Task Force is to create a climate for the UK Continental Shelf to retain its position as a leading centre of oil and gas exploration, development and production and to keep the UK at the forefront in terms of competitiveness.
Their goal is to maintain a production level of 3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, £3 billion per annum investment, self sufficiency in oil and gas, 50% increase in exports by 2005, £1 billion per annum additional revenue from new business and by 2010, for the UK to be the safest place to work in the worldwide oil and gas industry. Major oil and gas provinces around the UK Continental Shelf provide a challenge for companies who explore for hydrocarbons. The development of these discoveries depends on bold initiatives, undertaken in a difficult and hazardous environment, which have led to enormous advances in the science and technology of offshore exploration and production.
There can be no doubt that knowledge and experience gained by the UK, through the development and exploitation of North Sea oil and gas fields, alongside a sophisticated downstream market, has enabled UK industry to build an enviable level of expertise in all aspects of the business. Add to this a strong safety culture and emphasis on quality and the end result is an industry well-placed to share that expertise with the rest of the world.
Renewable energy comes from wind turbines
It is not just the oil, gas and petrochemicals sector which provides a platform for the UK energy industry to showcase its expertise. Power-generation markets worldwide are worth in excess of £2 billion annually in export sales. There is a new and rapidly growing market for renewable energy technologies and services in Europe and beyond, which UK industry has the opportunity to service. There are currently over 700 UK companies involved in renewable energy, from research bodies and consultants to manufacturers and developers.
Trade Associations, such as the Energy Industries Council (EIC) can assist UK businesses to exploit and export new technologies in a variety of ways. As an Accredited Trade Organisation for UK Trade & Investment, the UK government?s export support arm, the EIC is uniquely placed to access government support. It is able to organise national pavilions at the world?s major trade and technology exhibitions and conferences, call on the services of UK Embassies and Diplomatic Posts around the world and introduce UK exporters to decisionmakers at all levels of government and industry.
The Council plays an active role in government/industry initiatives aimed at improving the competitiveness of UK companies around the world. Much of this competitiveness derives from the development of world-class technology, gained through some 40 years of experience in the North Sea, and many EIC member companies are at the forefront of such developments.
UK companies are at the forefront of all energy sector activities, including traditional oil and gas extractive and processing industries
The UK energy sector has seen changes in recent years, which have had an unsettling effect on companies doing business in that area. But, at the same time, they have generated enormous opportunities. The mature nature of the UK Continental Shelf has encouraged its supply base to seek out new export markets. Declining reserves have opened the door to smaller exploration and production companies, who do not have the cumbersome overheads of the large multinationals. Sophisticated oil and gas extraction techniques have been developed, which are being increasingly deployed in other parts of the world.
The UK?s energy sector has much to be proud of. Technological achievements, renowned quality, enviable safety records and world-class education and training standards, combine to ensure that UK plc is still the place to do business.
Energy Industries Council (EIC)
This is the Trade Association for the marketing and promotion of UK-based companies involved in the supply of capital goods and services to the energy industries worldwide. Its members range in size from major international contractors and manufacturers through to the more specialised product and service companies.
The purpose of the Council is to present business opportunities to members and alert them to industrial trends. This it does through a combination of networking and market information services. The Council organises exhibitions, trade missions, seminars and business-to-business events, such as the successful EIConnect Share Fair, together with market forums and technical meetings. Its projects database tracks the status of more than 2,500 projects around the world in oil, gas, petrochemicals, power and water, with a dedicated team of industry specialists continually updating the information.
Contacts with industry
The EIC helps to promote innovative design concepts and technology, by providing introductions and contacts with industry for its members, to generate interest, support and assistance in the further development of products for commercial operation. For the eighth consecutive year, the EIC organised the British pavilion at OTC in Houston in May, arguably the leading oil, gas and petrochemicals exhibition in the industry calendar. The Council?s overseas events programme this year includes major exhibitions in Azerbaijan, Kuala Lumpur, Brazil, and Moscow, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Almaty and Manila. Exhibiting UK companies benefit from the Council?s knowledge and experience of international event management, and a strong national identity is a feature of all EIC events.
The EIC is a member of the Technical Advisory Committee to the ITF (Industry Technology Facilitator), a UK body owned by major oil and gas operating and service companies. It supports the oil and gas industry through the development and application of innovative new technologies and research. The ITF?s role is to act as an honest broker, making connections between end users with technology needs, developers with potential solutions, and sources of funding.
Education for energy
The EIC, recognising that graduates are the future life-blood of our industry, has embarked on an initiative to both educate and create awareness of the benefits of a career in the Energy Sector and runs a programme of Graduate Workshops. These one-day workshops take the form of presentations and networking events, held on the premises of host companies who are acknowledged as key players in the industry. The workshops give graduates an appreciation of plant and equipment they may be procuring or engineering, but may never have seen, and also brings the UK supply chain closer to its customers.
For more information visit Website: www.the-eic.com