£3.9m Investment to Drive Oil and Gas Efficiencies

£3.9m Investment to Drive Oil and Gas Efficiencies

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10 December 2015

A new £3.9 million investment by East Coast Oil and Gas Engineering Ltd (EC- OG Ltd) to develop its ‘Subsea Power Hub’ (SPH) has received a £1.2 million research and development grant from Scottish Enterprise. This investment will bring new opportunities and increased efficiencies to the oil and gas sector.

The Aberdeen-based company aims to create 14 new jobs in the industry by developing its innovative subsea power generation system, an ocean current renewable energy generator which will provide autonomous electrical power at the seabed.

The SPH is designed to provide electrical power to oil & gas subsea infrastructure, where conventional means would either be too expensive, or not applicable within the timescales required.

This announcement marks the second innovation grant from Scottish Enterprise towards the technology, which also attracted a £200,000 SMART: Scotland grant to deliver the technical viability stage.

Since it was set up in early 2013, EC- OG Ltd has been engaged with Scottish Enterprise’s High Growth Ventures Unit, which provides tailored support to fledgling companies and entrepreneurs with ambition to scale internationally.

Chief executive of the enterprise agency, Dr Lena Wilson, said: "Investing in higher levels of innovation is fundamentally important to growing Scotland’s economy, contributing to business growth through improved productivity and increased global competitiveness.

"As the oil and gas sector faces the global challenges of the low oil price, there has never been a more important time for companies to maximise the benefits innovation can bring to their business. That’s exactly what EC-OG Ltd has done and as a result will create 14 new jobs over the next three years and offer increased efficiency savings to the industry.”

Richard Knox, Managing Director of EC-OG Ltd said: "The backing of Scottish Enterprise has been pivotal in allowing us to take our prototype forward, and to be able to offer a commercially ready product within an accelerated timescale. The SPH fundamentally changes the economics of providing reliable electrical power for subsea systems. This will allow the development of future marginal oil & gas fields and to extend the life of existing infrastructure, prior to decommissioning. The current market, while challenging, offers a unique opportunity to bring this technology to market. We also believe Scotland offers a great platform in terms of supply chain and talent, to deliver these new products and export to global markets.”

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing added: "Innovation has always had a key role to play in the future of the oil and gas industry, and can, in part, be attributed to the success of the industry. We have also seen the important contribution that innovation can make towards the current cost and efficiency agenda.

"The Scottish Government will continue to do all that we can within our devolved powers to boost exploration, protect critical infrastructure, and support the oil and gas industry. This new subsea power generator system will help to drive the kind of efficiencies which are key to increasing international competitiveness and serves as a further reminder that, although the industry is facing a challenging period, that considerable North Sea opportunities remain.”

Today’s announcement comes as members of the Scottish Government Energy Jobs Taskforce converge in Aberdeen. Chair of the Taskforce, Dr Wilson, added: "Today’s announcement reinforces the opportunities which still exist for Scotland’s oil and gas sector. Innovation, internationalisation and collaboration all play a key role as we drive forward our ambition and deliver a sustainable long term future for the industry in Scotland.”