NORTH Sea oil and gas companies have got better at collaborating amid the challenges posed by the oil price plunge since 2014 but still have lots of room for improvement, research has found.

The findings come from a study which assessed how effectively oil and gas companies have responded to calls for them to work together to help limit the damage inflicted on the industry by the price fall.

The review of the industry led by Sir Ian Wood identified collaboration as a fundamental behaviour towards securing a successful future for the United Kingdom Continental Shelf, where activity has slumped since 2014.

Loading article content

The third annual survey of the behaviour of firms in the oil and gas supply chain in the North Sea found collaboration increased for a second year running.

The collaboration index rose to 7.1, from 6.6 in 2016. Ten is the top score. The reading was 6.1 in 2015.

The result is based on a survey covering firms that operate oil and gas fields and services businesses, completed by professional services firm Deloitte and the Oil & Gas UK trade body.

Ninety five per cent of respondents said collaboration was an integral part of their day-to-day business, against 86 per cent in 2016 and 74 per cent in 2015.

Graham Hollis, senior Deloitte partner in Aberdeen said: “The messages on the benefits of supply chain collaboration are starting to be embedded.”

Forty three per cent of respondents said collaboration efforts were successful against 27 per cent in 2015.

However, the authors of the study noted there is a long way to go for the practice of collaboration to become the industry norm.” They added: “If the recent increase in the oil price continues, how is the industry going to ensure that it does not revert to previous, non-collaborative, ‘bad habits’?”