Oil and gas industry confidence rises from historic lows

Confidence in the oil and gas industry has risen from the historic lows surveyed six months ago. That’s according to the findings of the Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce’s 26th […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Confidence in the oil and gas industry has risen from the historic lows surveyed six months ago.

That’s according to the findings of the Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce’s 26th Oil and Gas survey, which reveals 38% of the sector’s contractors are now more confident about business on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), compared to just 10% who say they are less confident.

Six months ago only 12% of contractors were more confident and 47% were less confident. However, 52% still report no change in their outlook, indicating significant challenges remain.

When asked what position businesses expect to be in by the start of 2018, 42% expect their business to be growing, while only 2% anticipate further declines.

More contractors are anticipating increasing investment over the next two years (26%), rather than reducing it (19%).

The majority (81%) also expect to be involved in decommissioning in the next three to five years, with roughly half of respondents thinking they could move into renewables.

James Bream, Research and Policy Director at Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: “We’re seeing some signs of recovery for the industry and the global outlook is certainly more positive than it was six months ago but it is clear that most companies are still suffering.

“It seems clear that many believe that we won’t return to previous levels of activity and that perhaps we shouldn’t call this a downturn. This isn’t a ‘new norm’, it is just normal.”