New shale gas portal sees over 100 businesses sign-up in the first 3 hours
The OESG welcomes the launch of a new online portal by the Chambers of Commerce in Lancashire, which has seen a dramatic response from local businesses wishing to be part of the shale gas supply chain.
- Appetite for a role in the shale gas supply chain is strong amongst Lancashire businesses
- New portal expects to connect supply chain hopefuls with opportunities
- A clearer focus on SMEs would be welcome
According to the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, over 100 businesses registered with the site in the first 3 hours yesterday, in a clear demonstration of support for shale gas amongst local businesses.
The development comes after a study published by Ernst & Young in April 2014 predicted that a mature shale gas industry could one day be responsible for a supply chain worth £33 billion, employing more than 64,500 people.
Lee Petts, chief executive of the Onshore Energy Services Group, welcomed the news: “When the OESG was launched in December last year, we called on industry to provide potential supply chain partners, and smaller companies in particular, with a greater level of project visibility so that they could better prepare for the contracting opportunities that might arise.
“This online portal, developed by the Chambers of Commerce in conjunction with Cuadrilla Resources, is a very welcome first step and could become a blueprint for how the onshore oil and gas industry engages with local suppliers in the future.
“Lancashire is home to over 45,000 companies, employing over 600,000 people. More than 99% of these businesses are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We’d like to see these smaller companies, with the right capabilities, prioritised for supply chain roles and given appropriate support to help them secure the work and create jobs for local people.”
The OESG, a trade association that represents SMEs in the onshore oil and gas supply chain, believes that shale gas and other forms of energy extraction will best succeed if the supply chain can come to be dominated by smaller British companies, that it says are more likely to recruit and pay taxes in Britain. It wants to engage with companies that are searching for oil and gas in order to explore how this can be achieved.
Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said: “The supply chain website is a vital engagement tool for Lancashire business, and this was demonstrated by the 100 plus registrations we received within the first three hours of opening.
“Cuadrilla is committed to local sourcing, and recognises the advantages of using SMEs in the area for future opportunities. Cuadrilla believes that the shorter and more local the supply chain is, the more business sense it makes.
“It is hoped the supply chain website will provide an sustainable and effective communication platform for Cuadrilla and members of the potential supply chain. In the future, SMEs in Lancashire will be well placed to provide jobs for young people as they emerge from the national onshore oil and gas college headquartered in Blackpool.”