Estimates from Oil and Gas UK show that around £100bn will have been spent on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) by the end of the decade, increasing production from 1.2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe) to 2 million barrels.

A survey from the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce also reports that 98 percent of contractors are recruiting new staff in response to increased demand. Salaries have reportedly increased by up to three times due to the skills shortage and Ernst and Young stated that this, in turn, is increasing the cost of exploration and production by nearly 30 per cent.

In addition, political and market pressures are limiting industry growth, and recent postponements of key North Sea field developments means further challenges are on the horizon.

Eric Doyle, Regional Director – Europe at Aquaterra Energy said: “There are undoubtedly challenges ahead for North Sea development but they are less volatile and potentially more predictable than in other parts of the world in which we operate. As a result, we will be continuing to invest heavily in our team’s skills and expertise here.

“While Aquaterra Energy deploys its expertise across the globe, Aberdeen is one of its heartlands and the UKCS a key focus for growth and client support. Since opening our central Aberdeen office just over a year ago our team has expanded considerably and, with the support of our colleagues in Norwich and Cambridge, we are recruiting and training highly experienced engineers who will keep us at the forefront of innovations in riser systems and minimum facilities platform technologies for years to come.”