Funding from Scottish Enterprise has helped an Aberdeen-based artificial lift system firm get the development of its new product back on track.
Zilift has been designing new gear aimed at driving down costs and improving recovery rates in the oil sector.
But the company faced the prospect of having to delay the R&D project by about two years due to the economic downturn.
The £1.1million of support provided by Scottish Enterprise has enabled Zilift to keep its original schedule for SpeedDrive2625, which uses magnet technology.
International sector head for oil and gas at Scottish Enterprise, David Rennie, said: “Oil and gas companies are continuing to face some very difficult decisions regarding investment.
“The slowdown in the sector means they don’t always have the necessary funds to invest in areas such as innovation; yet it is such investments which will make the most significant impact in the long term – increased efficiencies, productivity and above all competitiveness.
“That’s where we can help and I congratulate Zilift on their latest project, which has already attracted significant commercial interest.
Zilift managing director Iain Maclean said: “The artificial lift market is expected to grow to an estimated £21.8billion by 2020 and we are well placed to capture a share of this.
“Our innovative technologies, skilled and talented staff and unprecedented support from Scottish Enterprise means we can begin work on our new technology earlier than we thought might be possible which will maximise our rewards in the long term.”
Scottish business, innovation and energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “I would like to congratulate Zilift on this ambitious R&D project and wish it well for the future.
“The announcement reinforces the important role our economic development agencies play in supporting the growth of Scotland’s economy.
“The Scottish Government is doing all it can to support the oil and gas sector during the current challenges it faces.”