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NOF Energy survey reveals industry confidence and challenges for 2012

11 January 2012

NOF Energy, the business development organisation for oil, gas, nuclear and offshore renewables sectors, has published its Annual Survey for 2011 reporting a confident energy industry that is continuing to expand despite tough global economic conditions.

Joanne Leng, NOF Energy
Joanne Leng, NOF Energy

According to the survey of NOF Energy’s near-400 members, the energy industry supply chain is robust with 93% describing themselves as confident or very confident about the long-term future.

The survey indicates that the NOF Energy membership will contribute and support over £7 billion sales in 2012 and provide employment for in the region of 50,000.

Oil & gas remains the dominant sector for NOF Energy members’ sales with 75% of those taking part in the survey reporting an increase in sales in this area during 2010.

Within the oil & gas industry, the specialist Subsea sector has enjoyed a positive year. More than half of the NOF Energy member companies operating in the subsea industry reported an increase in sales during the past year.

Sales in the emerging offshore renewables sector remained consistent in 2011 although there was little growth in the past 12 months. Members have reported less optimism about the speed of the development of the green energy sectors in the near future, which has contributed to the slower than anticipated growth in sales.

A key issue raised by members in the survey was the need to secure a greater amount of UK content – the use of UK suppliers on UK-located projects. 90% of the membership strongly or very strongly believes that the UK Government should be doing more to facilitate greater UK content.

It is felt by the membership that the greater utilisation of the UK supply chain by operators has to be a priority to enable more cost-effective energy projects, particularly in the offshore renewables sector.

The NOF Energy membership also remains a key employer for the UK economy. Despite the global economic situation, the majority of respondents reported employment increase in 2011. According to the survey, it is estimated that NOF Energy members have created about 10,000 jobs in the past 12 months.

While employment levels continue to grow among member companies, a small proportion have raised concerns over a shortage of both labour and technical skills. In the region of 25 percent of members believe that a shortage of skilled and technically qualified engineers will have an effect on their businesses.

NOF Energy members also continue to be among the UK’s export success stories. More than 70 percent of members are exporting products and services around the world with Norway and the United States remaining the top markets for international trade. In 2012, the export focus will be on Brazil and Norway alongside markets including Malaysia, Australia and Singapore.

The annual survey, which was conducted by economic and social development organisation, ekos, also revealed members’ views on NOF Energy’s performance and its services. More than 70 percent of members stated that NOF Energy’s networking events had an impact on their sales with support from the organisation generating more than £18 million worth of sales enquiries in 2011.

Joanne Leng MBE, Director Business Development at NOF Energy said: “It is clear from our annual survey the ongoing importance of the oil & gas sector to the energy industry supply chain. While our members are developing their products and services to be applied across traditional and emerging energy sectors, they are taking advantage of a continually expanding oil & gas sector.

“In particular, the subsea sector is increasingly being called upon in the discovery and recovery of hard to reach hydrocarbon reserves, which is taking place alongside its growing activities in the offshore renewables sector.” Joanne added: “While the industry remains confident about the future, they are very clear about the challenges they face. Primarily, they are focused on the issue of UK Content issue, which has to be addressed to maintain the supply chain’s position in established and emerging energy sectors.”

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