UK Trade Commissioner says African oil exploration offers ‘opportunities’ for North Sea oil sector

Tullow Oil
Tullow Oil's operation in Kenya.

Emma Wade-Smith, the UK Trade Commissioner for Africa, has said that Scotland’s North Sea sector can take advantage of the “vast opportunities” offered by oil and gas exploration in Africa during a visit to promote trade links.

The newly appointed Trade Commissioner said a key post-Brexit trade strategy would be exporting Scottish energy expertise, during a speech in Aberdeen. Ms Wade-Smith said the locally developed industry should capitalise on the burgeoning oil and gas development in Africa, one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, which is creating a market worth billions of pounds.

During her Scotland visit, which followed Theresa May’s recent Brexit trade mission to Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria, she said:

“There is a huge amount of expertise and experience clearly in the oil and gas industry in Aberdeen.

“So it is how do we take that to support countries across Africa in their own efforts to build an oil and gas capability? Also how do we use that experience and technological innovation to help African countries avoid some of the potential pitfalls of creating that domestic capability?

“There are vast opportunities for Scottish companies across the entire industry and supply chain to grow their businesses.”

Scottish expertise includes drillers, fitters and those involved with training along with a host of supply chain enterprises which provide items such as equipment and clothing.

Oil & Gas UK upstream policy director Mike Tholen said: “Embracing the opportunities available in the international export market could unlock an additional £150 million in the revenue of supply chain companies. It shows why industry, government and the regulator must put their shoulder to the wheel in pursuit of Vision 2035.”

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