Ross Davidson, 31st May 2012
The head of venture-capital firm Energy Ventures (EV) in Aberdeen said yesterday he expected increased global drilling activity to provide a boon for jobs in the Granite City.
Partner Greg Herrera added that businesses in his firm’s portfolio alone could create up to 100 jobs in the next two years.
He said the onshore rig count in the US hit a record high of 1,372 earlier this month, which was good news for Aberdeen because firms in the region provided technology and services to the North American onshore market.
Mr Herrera also said he expected the £3billion tax break announced by the UK Government in the Budget earlier this year to lead to increased activity in UK waters.
His comments come after a record-breaking licensing round for North Sea oil and gas drilling, with operators making 224 applications for 418 offshore blocks.
The total is the biggest since offshore licensing began in 1964 and 37 more than the previous high in the 2010 round.
Mr Herrera said EV had stakes in drilling firms including Energy Drilling, 2TD, Deep Casing Tools and Meta, but they would not be the only ones to benefit from rising activity.
He added: “The increase in global drilling activity has been substantial over a two-year period. “This is crucial because the oil rig count is a major lead indicator of growth for our industry.
“In global terms, and within EV portfolio companies alone, a continued rise in drilling activity would account for 300 to 400 jobs, but specifically in Aberdeen we would expect to see at least between 60 and 100. The £3billion government incentive for the west of Shetland is also a very positive step and should have a valuable impact on the industry.”
EV has a committed capital of £222million from its IV investment fund, and Mr Herrera said that its financial input into Scottish companies had so far led to the creation of some 315 jobs.
The company’s portfolio also includes ZiLift, Red Spider Technologies and Sigma Offshore. Increase in global drilling activity has been substantial over a two-year period.