The UKTI Energy Showcase event in Rio de Janeiro was attended by senior Brazilian Government and oil industry figures and provided a platform for UK firms to promote their knowledge and expertise to the expanding Brazilian energy market. The Secretary of State for Scotland was the UK Government’s host Minister for the event.
As part of a four day visit to South America’s largest country, the Secretary of State will now join up with Lord Coe to promote the links between the UK and Brazil in the build-up to Rio 2016 and to help representatives of Glasgow who are in Brazil to showcase Glasgow’s legacy plans for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“With oil interests in both countries, we have a lot of common ground. Since the signing of an Energy Memorandum of Understanding in 2006 to the start of the UK-Brazil High Level Energy Dialogue in 2011, the ties between our people and our economies have grown enormously.
“The North Sea oil and gas industry is one of our greatest industrial success stories, making a significant contribution to the UK economy, supporting around 440,000 jobs directly and indirectly.
“Many of these companies are already making a name as exporters of world-leading technological expertise, with around 100,000 jobs already supported by exporting goods and services.
“And developments in Brazil present great opportunities not just for the big players such as BP, BG, and Shell who are already investing in Brazil, but for a wide range of other companies throughout the supply chain.
“Some Scottish companies recently announced plans to expand their activities in the Brazilian energy market. Balmoral – an Aberdeen based company that provides surface and subsurface buoyancy to the offshore industry - is setting up a manufacturing plant in Espirito Santo. Xodus Group is another example. This Scottish Consultancy has recently established a JV with the Brazilian engineering Promon to provide Subsea services from full field development and conceptual engineering to engineering, procurement, construction and installation through to operational and asset support.
“These two companies join others including the BG Group, BP, Shell, and Rolls Royce which are already well established in Brazil and have long term investment plans - reflecting the demand from foreign markets for UK skills and expertise.
“So the message has come home strongly that with UK companies’ expertise in the North Sea, this is becoming an area where business links, opportunities and partnerships are great and growing.
“The skills and ingenuity acquired by Scottish workers in the North Sea over the past 40 years are recognised as world-class and they offer a powerful resource for our friends in Brazil to tap into. The problem solving and technological abilities required for our North Sea oil fields are readily transferrable to wells in Brazil.
“There have been some notable examples recently. For instance, Petrobras has just signed a five-year lease contract with the Scotland-based oil service company Larsen Oil & Gas.
“Orkney-based Opus Company are exporting their “Mare’s Tail” device to Brazil, technology developed in Orkney to remove residual oil from water discharged during oil and gas production.
“Expro’s Connectors and Measurements team has been contracted to provide Aker Solutions in Brazil with new medium power subsea electrical connection systems, in a multi-million dollar contract.
“In 2012, UK Trade & Investment assisted 2700 British companies in Brazil.
“One good local example is the Aberdeen-based company, Bowtech Products, which manufactures underwater cameras for the oil and gas sector. Bowtech is in the process of establishing links with Brazilian companies, with support from the British Consulate in Rio. UKTI also assisted RDS KCA Deutag - Scottish provider of drilling simulator and training - to introduce their services in Brazil. As a result, they established a partnership with a local training provider and brought recently a drilling simulator to Brazil.
“And with this demand on the up, we increased our footprint in Brazil last year with the establishment of a new Consulate-General in the north-east city of Recife.
“We are also using the UK’s economic levers to offer practical assistance to boost UK exports.
“At the end of 2011 we announced that the UK Government’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance, would secure a $1 billion dollar line of credit to Petrobras to finance UK exports for their investment programme.
“This line of credit is to expand Petrobras’ oil exploration and production facilities off the east coast of Brazil. They are nominating export contracts with UK-based companies to be financed from the line of credit, including supplies such as rigs and vessels, remotely operated vehicles, control systems, GPS and more.
“This is hugely significant for UK companies unlocking new opportunities for firms like those represented here today, and I look forward to seeing this initiative develop and we are now looking to add to this line of credit
“It is clear that Brazil’s oil and gas sector has entered a unique and exciting time. And with Aberdeen and the North Sea’s long and successful pedigree of oil and gas exploration, there is a truly fantastic opportunity that companies can seize to export their wealth of accumulated knowledge and expertise.
“This event is an excellent, practical opportunity to build up cooperation and make the essential links between companies. I wish you every success over the course of the day.”