Aberdeen and Grampina Chamber of Commerce and the Fraser of Allander Institute in Scotland claim there is more optimism in Britain concerning the UK continental shelf business climate than was the case a year ago. Their survey, conducted from August-September, canvassed the views of the Offshore Contractors Association, the Well Service Contractors Association, and the UK Offshore Operators Association, as well as smaller suppliers.
The improved mood reflected a 50% increase in UK offshore activity reported by operators that responded to the survey. The emphasis remains on increasing production from existing facilities rather than on new exploration and development, although some mid-size contractors foresaw increased exploration over the coming year. Nine of the largest contractors felt some new policy, fiscal, or license changes should be implemented to encourage a new wave of E&P.
Buzzwords mentioned by operator respondents included risk-sharing, cost reduction, penalty clauses, and turnkey operations. Larger contractors felt that the accent on cost reduction was the most frequently mentioned change to their contracts over the past year.