Action is needed over the UK energy mix and import solutions, and unconventional gas comes centre stage in the country’s energy debate. With more than 50% of natural gas coming from more costly imports, we need to try harder to secure UK supply and drive costs down.
Imports, dominantly from Norway via pipeline and from Qatar via LNG, have increased the cost of natural gas, which has typically made up about 40% of UK power generation and approximately three-quarters of domestic and business heating.
The offshore industry has ensured a domestic supply of natural gas since the 1970s but in 2011, the UK imported more gas that it produced from domestic reserves for the first time. The steady North Sea decline in supply, most recently a 15% drop in 2012, means that we need to look at the energy mix, and the vital gas component, to provide affordable, reliable, low carbon supply.
Importing gas reaps no tax rewards for the UK but when shale becomes profitable companies will be liable for 62% tax. Each site is also expected to deliver between £5-10million worth of community benefits from the operators and create numerous jobs.
The beginning of 2014 marks an exciting development in the world of offshore energy recruitment as employers across the globe are introduced to IV Live, a new internet-based search application offering real-time access to staff availability “at the click of a button”.
IV Live, which has revolutionised the way offshore contractors search for candidates and fill their urgent vacancies, was designed and built by IV Offshore, a specialist recruitment agency for the offshore energy industry. Features include ‘live’ candidate availability, candidate star ratings and visible appraisals as well as compliance checks for offshore documentation.
Client trials of IV Live began in December 2013, following its much anticipated launch event in Aberdeen.
Costain, one of the UK’s leading engineering solution providers has announced the launch of Costain Upstream, a specialist provider of project management, engineering and support services to the upstream oil and gas market.
Costain Upstream, part of the group’s broader oil and gas capability, combines the capabilities of oil and gas project management services company EPC Offshore, which was acquired by Costain in August 2013, and oil and gas engineering support services company ClerkMaxwell, which was acquired by Costain in 2011.