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Energy North Sets Out New Strategy to Help Region Realise its Potential

14th July 2013

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Photograph of Energy North Sets Out New Strategy to Help Region Realise its Potential

Influential energy trade body Energy North has unveiled an ambitious new two-year business strategy which will see the organisation grow its physical presence and increase its support for member businesses and industry development across the North of Scotland.

Over the coming months Energy North is to recruit three regionally-based area developers covering Caithness, Ross-shire and Inverness, Moray, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, and Argyll and Lochaber, with chief executive, Ian Couper leading on Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides.

This will enable Energy North to work more closely with member businesses, as well as providing additional resource to pursue inward investment opportunities and support national initiatives such as those connected to skills development.

Mr Couper said: In the two years since its inception, Energy North has built a membership of almost 200 companies, building on the 30-strong membership of its predecessor, the NSIG, which launched in the early 2000s. The rapid growth of the organisation highlights the scale of opportunity and interest in oil and gas, renewables and nuclear development in the north of Scotland business community.

We drafted the new business plan following discussions with Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the publication of an extremely positive independent evaluation of our work. The new area developers outlined in the plan will enable us to work much more closely with our members and focus on the issues which are of specific local relevance. They will also increase our capacity to support industry initiatives and business development in the North of Scotland and overseas.

The plan represents a new chapter for Energy North and we are very much looking forward to working even more closely with our members to seize opportunities and bring jobs and investment to the region.

James Mowat chairman at Energy North and General Manager at Mowat Technical and Design Services Ltd, Caithness, said: Its a great achievement that Energy North is now seen by the Energy Minister and by HIE as the voice of the energy sector for the Highland and Islands and further afield. The support we have been given, by both parties indicates that the board and staff have had the vision and drive to take this organisation to help local companies within the Highland and Island engage with the correct companies, blue chip and Tier I & II and utilise the natural assets, which are the highly skilled and proactive people which work and live in this area.

The announcement of the new plan coincides with the Scottish Energy Minister, Fergus Ewings formal launch of the Energy North Oil and Gas Steering Group in Inverness on Thursday (11 July 2013).

Chaired by the Minister and vice-chaired by Ian Couper, the steering group will see industry working with education and the public sector on a number of initiatives to help meet the skills gap, from schools projects to initiatives to retrain people from other industries.

Mr Ewing said: Scotlands oil and gas sector leads the world and today I welcome Energy Norths newly launched business strategy which will support and improve business development across the North of Scotland so we remain a world leader.
Aberdeen has long held the reputation of being the Oil and Gas capital and leading the way in Scotland but it is clear that we need to work together to see what other opportunities there might be in Scotland. Establishing a hub in the Highlands and Islands will be welcome news to those who want to work in the prosperous oil and gas sector. The Energy North oil and gas steering group will be key in ensuring this success.
With more than half of the value of the North Sea's oil and gas reserves yet to be extracted, up to 24 billion recoverable barrels with a potential wholesale value of 1.5 trillion, oil and gas will remain an enormous economic resource for decades to come. Working with industry we will continue to reap the many benefits to come.

For more information on Energy North and its members, please visit

Rig on the Captain Field, North Sea
Photographer - Neil Reid


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