The subsea industry is involved in extracting oil and gas reserves which lie beneath the seabed, but also covers other sectors such as oceanology, marine renewables and defence.
People often think about oil rigs and platforms when they think of the subsea industry, and these have become a common site in UK waters since reserves were discovered in the north sea more than 40 years ago. These fixed constructions stand hundreds of miles offshore and are vital in extracting subsea oil and gas reserves.
More recently, as the need to extract oil and gas from smaller fields increases, new systems are being developed to help locate and exploit reserves. Floating production units, vessels and Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) are being used in many areas in place of the traditional fixed rigs.
The UK industry
Subsea employs around 50,000 people throughout the UK and generates almost £6 billion every year.
A history of pioneering subsea work in the North Sea has led to the UK industry being recognised as a leader in the subsea field. It’s global reputation means that British technology, expertise and experience are in demand far and wide, in places like the USA, Brazil, Angola, Australia and the Arctic.
The subsea sector one of the fastest growing industries in the UK. According to Oil & Gas UK, two thirds of projects due to begin in the next two years on the UK’s Continental Shelf (UKCS) are subsea developments.
The industry’s future success depends on its ability to meet the demand for skilled workers and engineers, as well as on the development of new technology applications. There are therefore thousands of exciting and rewarding career opportunities in the subsea industry both in the UK and overseas.