Subsea industry adjusting to lower oil prices, survey finds

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN, UK – A survey by Subsea UK suggests Britain’s subsea industry is maintaining its investment in technology and is still looking to increase exports.

Around 90% of respondents have suffered sales decrease over the last 18 months. Of those, 28% have lost half their revenues with sales down by 50% or more.

Roughly 80% of companies surveyed felt that financial institutions have lost faith in the sector, although only 7.7% were actively seeking new investment.

Almost 70% were not actively recruiting and 28% were recruiting fewer staff than in 2015. Only 8% of companies were seeking to employ more people than they were 12 months ago.

Subsea UK CEO Neil Gordon said: “The decline in oil price and subsequent industry-wide downturn has seen a massive reduction in capex and opex budgets worldwide which have impacted on the subsea sector where we are seeing job losses and the collapse of companies…

“The findings from our survey underline the negative impact on revenues and recruitment but they also reveal positive signs of the sector adjusting and adapting to the lower for longer oil price environment which will ensure we are well-placed for the future.”

Around 80% of the respondents hope to achieve growth through increased overseas sales and new markets in Asia, the Middle East, North America and Africa, Australia, China, Brazil, and Norway.

More than 44% added that the prolonged lower oil price environment has led to the industry becoming more receptive to new ways of working and adopting different techniques and innovations.

The majority of respondents believe that technologies which lower cost and risk, while increasing efficiency, are critical to the industry’s future, in particular subsea processing and storage, and emerging technologies for condition monitoring/inspection, repair and maintenance, decommissioning, data gathering and interpretation.


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