UK subsea trade body looks to Mexico in “challenging” North Sea situation

Amid the difficulties facing the North Sea, industry body Subsea UK wants British subsea firms to capitalise on opportunities in Mexico.

Neil Gordon, the organisation’s chief executive, took his message to the UK Trade Envoy to Mexico in meetings in Aberdeen today.

At the briefing held at Aberdeen Harbour Marine Operations Centre, Gordon said the capabilities developed by subsea companies in the North Sea were relevant to Mexico’s deepwater conditions.

The recent energy reform in Mexico saw certain restrictions on the state-owned oil company Pemex lifted, which now allows the firm improved access to foreign businesses, said Subsea UK.

The reform also opens up the region to international operators for deepwater development.

There are currently more than 25 British companies active in Mexico’s oil and gas sector, the trade body said.

Mr Gordon stated that Mexico is one of the most exciting regions with major potential for UK companies.

“The situation is challenging in the North Sea so it’s important for firms to consider other regions as part of their future growth strategies,” he said. “Mexico is amongst the top ten largest oil producers in the world and ranked in the top 20 in terms of gas production. Over the past decade, Pemex has had a lack of investment in technology development; UK subsea firms could now play a major role helping to extract much of Mexico’s remaining oil wealth, thought to lie thousands of metres below the seabed.”

He said that by working with UKTI, Subsea UK is “making sure that the industry in Mexico turns to the UK’s subsea expertise to meet its deepwater challenges”.

The Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Mexico, Baroness Bonham Carter, said: “The UK is recognised as a global centre of subsea excellence in terms of skills, expertise and technology.

“Our subsea companies are therefore an attractive proposition to a complex and challenging oil and gas region such as Mexico. As part of the UK Government’s strategy to help double British exports to £1 trillion by 2020, we are seeking to promote partnerships with UK companies in Mexico.”

The UK subsea industry had an output growth of 37% in the last three years according to Government figures, and is a very strong technology exporter. More than 800 UK companies are active worldwide and have the necessary backing and technical knowledge to help develop deepwater projects in Mexico.