Aberdeen hosts event for oil and gas contractors

Tuesday 17 November 2015

An event to support oil and gas contractors working in and around Aberdeen is set to be held on November 17th at the Park Inn on Justice Mill Lane, according to a report in the Scotsman.

While the local oil and gas industry have been affected by an extended period of low global prices, many are hopeful that improvements are just around the corner, and are working on making sure they are ready to take advantage of an improved business environment once it arrives.

A spokesman for the event, which is hosted by a number of local companies, explained what would be on offer, saying: “Working conditions for North Sea contractors have changed irrevocably during the course of 2015.

“Many of the changes - jobs, IR35, changes to dividend taxation, employment intermediaries legislation, wealth and pensions - will be among the issues discussed at the short conference.”

In fact, the latest Business Sentiment Index from Oil & Gas UK found that confidence had actually slightly risen from -27 to -25 over the last quarter, suggesting that the industry still has opportunities to offer, even when times seem more challenging.

Oonagh Werngren, Oil & Gas UK’s operations director, said: “While the overall index remains in negative territory for the fifth quarter in a row, there is a slight improvement in mood for the second quarter in succession. Respondents cite the positive impact of efficiency initiatives, such as improved management of inventory levels, business process reviews plus engaging with the workforce for ideas for efficiency improvements, as reasons for optimism. Some respondents also indicated a positive outlook regarding potential opportunities in the decommissioning market.”

The conference follows a previous Aberdeen-based event, where Commsworld offered advice and support for local gas and oil businesses seeking to cut costs in light of the industry’s position. It was also supported by network provider CityFibre and data centre operator Brightsolid.

Commsworld chief executive said that his business could help companies in the oil and gas industry, as well as those indirectly affected by the slowdown, to make a variety of efficiency savings. He also stressed the benefits of high-speed internet access for many different kinds of business in Aberdeen, claiming that it would help them to become more competitive and effective.

Interestingly, it has been reported that the cost of living and running a business in Aberdeen has fallen in response to concerns about the oil and gas industry. This suggests that a freelancer with a business plan that clearly targets a specific niche could well be able to take advantage of the cheap location to start or grow their business.

The low prices may be of particular interest to those who are involved in the computer games industry, which is developing an increasing presence in Aberdeen. In fact, the Scottish government has recently been urged to support the burgeoning industry to help secure long-term prosperity for the city.


By Victoria McDonnell

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