UK: Energy Minister Fergus Ewing Visits GE Oil & Gas Facility in Aberdeen

Fergus Ewing MSP, Scottish Minister for Energy, Enterprise & Tourism, recently met with GE Oil & Gas at Subsea Systems facility in Aberdeen. Mr. Ewing met Rod Christie, Vice President of Subsea Systems at GE Oil & Gas, to discuss the ambitious expansion plans set in motion at its subsea manufacturing plant in Aberdeenshire, and to understand more about how government can support the oil and gas industry in Scotland.

Speaking after a tour of the facilities, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said, “I am pleased to be able to visit GE Oil & Gas and learn more about their operations here in Scotland. The oil and gas sector is vitally important to Scotland’s economy. With more than half of the value of the North Sea’s oil and gas reserves yet to be extracted, up to 24 billion recoverable barrels with a potential wholesale value of £1.5 trillion, oil and gas will remain an enormous economic resource for decades to come.

The offshore industry is important to both our economy and our energy security, and I want to thank GE for their continued investment in facilities across the country and for the positive impact that it is having on employment during challenging economic times.

“The Scottish Government’s Oil and Gas Strategy, developed in conjunction with industry, lays out a plan to help the industry go from strength to strength, and rising capital investment—reaching £8.5bn in 2011 and expected to rise to £11.5bn in 2012—demonstrates the confidence investors and the industry have in Scotland.

The subsea arm of the equipment and services supplier for the global offshore drilling and subsea sectors announced plans to invest £9million in its Montrose-based centre of excellence (COE), Brent Avenue, last week. Growing subsea activity and GE’s increased market share have prompted the investment, with the expansion set to double the site’s current size to 4200m2, also improving its service capabilities, including product testing and assembly.

Included in the investment is a new state-of-the-art assembly and test line for the construction and testing of sub-assemblies and master block valves (MBV). This will enable the site to produce all key components, from raw material through to a fully built, flat pack subsea tree. An additional fleet of machinery, including a horizontal lathe and borer, will increase the facility’s current capabilities to accommodate the size and weight of trees required for ultra-deep-water applications.

Mr. Christie explained: “Deep-water applications are a rapidly growing segment within the oil and gas industry, with the subsea market a key strategic area for us and many of our customers. Recognising this, the company’s significant investment will allow us to continue to deliver high quality, ultra-reliable subsea systems to projects worldwide.”

GE Oil & Gas became a major player in the Subsea Systems market five years ago through the acquisition of VetcoGray. Last year, the business reached $2.1 billion in revenue. Given the global dynamics of this industry, GE Oil & Gas is seeing increasing demand and is increasing their orders backlog. To support significant new orders growth, GE Oil & Gas is currently hiring more than 200 positions in the UK, including about 150 in Aberdeen.

“We’re looking for all functions, with a particular emphasis on project management and engineering,” confirmed Christie. “We’re booking some of the most interesting work in the industry and these jobs will be critical to developing a global leadership pipeline for the business.”

Press Release, October 19, 2012; Image: Dana-Petroleum

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