North Sea helicopter manufacturer Airbus Helicopters is betting on military deals to lift orders as the plunge in the price of crude hits demand from oil explorers. The French company, which is part of aerospace and defence giant Airbus Group, said yesterday it expected stabilisation in the industry during 2015. Its new helicopter deliveries fell by 5.2% to 471 last year, while net sales fell by 20 units to 402.
Nearly two-thirds of coalition MPs could face the prospect of fracking in areas that feed water supplies in their constituencies despite public opposition, environmental campaigners have claimed. Analysis by Greenpeace shows the constituencies of 220 Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs have an overlap between areas being made available for onshore oil and gas licences and groundwater source protection zones, which feed aquifers. The research was published by the green group ahead of MPs voting on the Infrastructure Bill next week, which contains legislation on fracking.
Prosafe said it was making a $7million provision after lifeboats were damaged on one of its rigs last year. The company said the damage had been caused to the Safe Bristolia during bad weather in the Everest Field in the UK last year. At the time operations were suspended and the vessel was brough to the Hanoytangen shipyard in Norway for repair work.
Sir Ian Wood insists the North Sea industry is not facing a doomsday scenario and can recover with the help of a big tax cut in the March Budget. The north-east oil and gas doyen said there was little point in swifter action from the Treasury as it would have no impact at current oil prices of about $50 a barrel. But a clear commitment by the chancellor to a “measured” reduction of at least 10% to the supplementary tax on profits in the Budget and more cuts to follow would encourage operators to keep project teams together and not give up on the North Sea, he said.