Scotland’s First Minister urges global exploration companies to join China’s giants in N. Sea oil and gas investment

sturgeon in china2Scotland’s First Minister has urged global oil and gas companies to come and invest in the N. Sea energy industry.

Nicola Sturgeon (left) – presently leading a Scottish Government trade and economic development mission to China – met with senior representatives from Sinopec, PetroChina and the Chinese National Oil Corporation (CNOOC) – three of the world’s largest oil and gas companies and which are already large investors in Scotland’s offshore industry.

She said that Scotland’s world class expertise and experience in the North Sea oil and gas sector make it the perfect place to invest.

In Peking, she also met with management from Aberdeen-based Plexus and senior representatives from its Chinese investor, Yantai Jereh Oilfield Services. Plexus recently gained a multi-million pound investment from Jereh, one of the largest private oil firms in China.

They also signed a collaboration agreement with China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL), Red Sea Technologies (RST) and Jereh to explore shallow water subsea and crossover wellhead production systems in China. COSL is majority owned by CNOOC.

Sturgeon promoted Scotland’s North Sea oil and gas capability as reasons for the firms to look at the country for further innovation and exploration and highlighted a recent government survey of more than 260 senior global industry figures which found that:

– 74% believe Scotland is one of the world’s leading training grounds for the industry, while

– 71% think Scottish employees are some of the most dependable in the sector

Sturgeon said: “Scotland is a worldwide pioneer in the oil and gas sector thanks to our exploration and extraction work, and this is of huge appeal to countries all over the globe – including China.

“Through our innovation and expertise, we have given so much to an industry which spreads the world – but we still have so much to offer.

“Engaging with one of the world’s largest economies and explaining the quality and knowledge of our workforce is important if we are to encourage them to invest in Scotland.

“I made it clear to management from the firms that Scotland wants to work with them and seize on the vast opportunities that remain in the North Sea.

“Scotland is open for business and investment and partnership working with firm from countries like China will further cement our industry reputation for international leadership.”

The Scot-Govt. has also announced that its Energy Jobs Taskforce – aimed at helping workers who have been made redundant, or who face being made redundant because of the slump in N. Sea crude oil prices – will continue to meet beyond its initial six month commitment.

A third taskforce skills ‘roadshow’ will be now held in Aberdeen on 16 September.

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