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£100m subsea investment provides fillip for North Sea

05 May 2015

HitecVision, a Norwegian private equity firm, has said it will invest $150million (£100m) in a subsea engineering company, signalling confidence in the prospects for the North Sea in spite of the oil price plunge. The new venture, called Underwater Integrity Solutions (UIS), aims to significantly reduce subsea operating costs and increase efficiency in this area of operations.

Aberdeen - Image: Shutterstock
Aberdeen - Image: Shutterstock

UIS will support North Sea oil and gas companies from a base in Aberdeen, and the Gulf of Mexico from a base in Houston, Texas, according to the Herald.

The chief executive of UIS, Bill Boyle, said it should benefit from efforts by oil and gas firms to cut costs in response to the price fall. He said companies had put huge amounts of production equipment on the seabed in areas like the North Sea in recent years to cut costs, but much of the kit was ageing and needed replacing.

The new firm expects to capitalise on the trend among oil and gas firms to cut the number of suppliers they work with to boost efficiency. It plans to develop a broad range of services by acquiring small and medium-sized enterprises that provide specialised services in what is a fragmented sector, and by forming strategic partnerships.

Boyle said the firm could find suitable targets in the Westhill area of Aberdeenshire, which he described as a global centre of subsea engineering excellence.

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