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North Sea collaboration on the rise, according to new research

Industry news

New analysis suggests the North Sea collaboration is on the rise.

Greater collaboration between operators and the supply chain to help cut costs and improve efficiency has been the key message from industry leaders in recent years and findings from industry body Oil and Gas UK and Deloitte suggests people are beginning to act, with a survey indicating the sector is heading in the right direction.

The survey suggests North Sea operators are becoming more open and are engaging the supply chain earlier in projects and are more likely to be proactive in seeking out new ideas and solutions from suppliers.

The survey results were revealed on the same day Technip and FMC Technologies confirmed they would merge to create TechnipFMC.

Receiving direct feedback from companies in the supply chain about their dealings with all major operators across the North Sea, the survey found that on a scale of 1 to 10, the Operator Collaboration Index (CI) score has moved from 5.9 to 6.7 between summer of 2015 and March 2016.

This strongly suggests operators are becoming more collaborative with the wider supply chain, according to OGUK, which commissioned Deloitte to review where the sector is successful and where it needs to improve.

Oil & Gas UK’s Efficiency Task Force (ETF) launched the Industry Behaviours Charter at the end of 2015 – a collective commitment to encourage companies in the offshore industry to make a collective commitment to work effectively, efficiently and co-operatively.

Oil & Gas UK’s director of business excellence, Stephen Marcos Jones, commented: “Our members are telling us that it’s vital the offshore industry pulls together to face what is a challenging time the sector. That’s why Oil & Gas UK, though it’s Efficiency Taskforce, will continue to focus its efforts on being a catalyst for positive change.”

“We’ve seen examples of how increased collaboration has been successful in the aerospace and automotive industries, so we’re pleased to see green shoots of success from the offshore oil and gas industry.

“It’s essential now we work to nurture greater cooperation so will be asking those operators who scored particularly highly to work with us on sharing examples of good practice.”

The survey will be repeated later this year to ascertain whether a longer-term trend is developing.

Geoff Gibbons, a partner at Deloitte who lead the research, added: “Future phases of the project will not only show trends emerge and develop over time, they will also highlight the impact of individual company efforts to improve collaboration and help companies identify areas for further improvement.”

Nearly 400 (392) individual pieces of feedback were received.

The survey also suggests smaller companies, those employing less than 2.500 people, appear to be more positive about collaborating with operators than those from larger companies, i.e. those employing more than 10,000 people.

Incentivising collaboration by financial means and through contractual terms are still the lowest scoring areas and as a result, the next phase of the ETF will look specifically at efficiency in procurement, said OGUK.

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