Margaret McGinley

New research highlights billions of pounds of diversification opportunities for Scotland’s oil and gas sector

A new guide aimed at Scotland’s oil and gas supply chain to maximise opportunities in additional markets has been published today by Scottish Enterprise.

The economic development agency’s Oil and Gas Diversification Opportunities guide is accompanied by a series of factsheets which profile opportunities in ten growth markets, including:

  • Offshore Wind: the UK has more offshore wind than any other country, having attracted £10 billion of investment between 2010 and 2015. A further £18 billion will be invested in new projects between 2016 and 2020.
  • Heating & Cooling: Scotland is the lead region in the UK for renewable heat projects, having gained 19% of the Renewable Heat Incentive funding to date. The cost of decarbonising Scottish heating systems is estimated to reach £100 billion by 2050.
  • Oil & Gas Decommissioning: £17.6 billion is expected to be spent on oil & gas decommissioning across the UKCS between 2016 and 2025.  By 2055, this figure is anticipated to reach £50 billion.
  • Nuclear Decommissioning: The UK spends £2-3 billion per annum on nuclear decommissioning activities and is forecast to spend £117 billion over a 100+ year period to fully decommission its existing nuclear sites.

Director of energy at Scottish Enterprise, Maggie McGinlay, said: “Whilst the North Sea will continue to have a long term future for Scotland’s oil and gas sector, the current global challenges have highlighted the need for supply chain companies to leverage their skills and experience built up over the last 50 years to target opportunities in other sectors. 

“Through the Energy Jobs Taskforce we have prioritised our support to help them do just that.  The new guide and factsheets aim to provide companies with an understanding of the main diversification opportunities and how they can maximise them to protect jobs, skills and investment in Scotland.  It complements our existing diversification support to companies such as our Offshore Wind Expert Support Service.”

FoundOcean, the world’s largest dedicated offshore grouting specialist, first entered the offshore wind industry in 2010 following a 50 year history in oil & gas. From its European Offshore Service Base in Livingston, the firm has successfully secured global contracts within the growing offshore wind sector, which now accounts for around 50 per cent of the firm’s revenues.

Andrew Venn, FoundOcean sales director said: “We realised that offshore wind was a market that offered us a diversification opportunity right on our doorstep and we identified that there was a gap in the market for companies, like ourselves, able to offer competitive and innovative solutions. Entering the offshore wind sector is challenging but get it right and it can be a long-term part of a company’s strategic vision with excellent global prospects.” 

Ten years ago, Aberdeenshire manufacturing firm Flowline Specialist also expanded into the renewables sector.  Its recent key projects include Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm, SEM REV marine renewable energies test site and the Bay of Fundy tidal turbine.

Managing director of Flowline Specialist, Jim Smith added: “At Flowline Specialists we realised that in order to grow our company we would require to achieve two goals. Firstly, expand our products and services geographically. Secondly, diversify into other industrial sectors, preferably new growing industries. We focussed on our core products and skills then tried to match them into other sectors. Technology transfer, innovative solutions, keeping an open mind and thinking outside the box are key to success.”

The new diversification guide contributes to Scottish Enterprise’s overall aim of encouraging companies to look at new opportunities to maximise growth.  It builds on the series of 50 Oil and Gas Opportunity Country Guides launched in November last year.

Commenting on supporting diversification opportunities in the oil and gas sector, Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, added: “The North Sea has a bright future and the Scottish Government is determined to do all that it can to support the thousands of people working in the oil and gas sector, who contribute so much to our economy.

“The goal of the Energy Jobs Taskforce is to ensure this highly skilled and internationally respected workforce can not only drive the development of our own oil and gas industry, and drive export growth through international supply chain opportunities, but also utilise their transferable skills and expertise to contribute to other sectors, such as decommissioning and offshore wind.

“We’re already seeing companies diversify successfully into new markets and this guide is designed to help everyone involved build on that success by maximising the economic benefits for the north east and, indeed, the whole of Scotland.”

The diversification guide and factsheets will be launched at an event tonight, 18 January, at the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce offices from 6pm.  It will include presentations highlighting the key opportunities as well as hearing from a company which has already successfully diversified into new markets.  To find out more visit our website

Note to editors:


To access the diversification guide and factsheets, please click on the links below:

Oil and Gas Diversification Opportunities Guide


Carbon Capture and Storage

Energy Storage

Heating and Cooling


Life and Chemical Sciences


Oil and Gas Decommissioning

Offshore Wind


Wave and Tidal

Contact Information

Julia McLaren

Engagement Partner

Scottish Enterprise

0300 013 3223

07801 794046