UK's buoyant oil and gas sector sparks opportunities for buyers

3 September 2012

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3 September 2012 | Rebecca Ellinor

Increased workload in the UK oil and gas sector presents a golden opportunity for purchasing and supply professionals to increase their profile.

The market is buoyant, with decades more work in the pipeline and production currently meeting 49 per cent of the UK’s energy needs. It does, however, face a series of challenges. The work is high risk, high expense, it has growing competition from the renewable energy sector and increasing amounts of legislation to deal with. It also has a skills shortage brought about by previous lows.

Roger Brimmer, supply chain manager at Apache North Sea, told SM working in the sector requires “vision, leadership, hard work and perseverance, mental agility and responsiveness – as well as a contrarian spirit and fire in the belly”.

Steve Johnson is head of global procurement and supply chain management at ProSafe, an owner and operator of semi-submersible accommodation and service rigs. He said there is plenty for procurement professionals to do. “People [in the industry] traditionally tried to do many different things. An engineer would be cutting deals with suppliers. Now they are busy they are welcoming the fact that they can hand it over to someone who does this as their day job.”

He added that buyers needed commercial awareness, common sense and relationship management skills to be able to manage different scenarios.

CIPS has been active in this area for some time and is supporting a seminar in Aberdeen with Oil & Gas UK, the representative body for the UK's offshore oil and gas industry, on 18 September to highlight the opportunities for the profession.

See the full feature on the UK’s oil and gas sector in the September issue of SM

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