British subsea companies expect to step up sales overseas over the next 12 months, according to industry body Subsea UK.

The association, which sought the views of its 300 member companies, found that 27% are confident of increasing exports by 50% or more in 2017, while 56% see their overseas sales rising by between 1% and 49%.

Almost half of the companies surveyed believed the UK’s planned withdrawal from the European Union will have no impact on their export plans, with one-third still undecided.

However, 32% of the respondents expect their UK revenues to remain static in 2017 and 22% anticipating a decline.

Most of the products and services exported are related to offshore oil and gas, although 58% of respondents also sell to the offshore renewable energy industry.

According to the survey, the US is the largest export market for UK subsea companies, followed by West Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, and South America. One-third of respondents also export to Mexico, China, India, and Russia.

From 2018 onwards, the companies are looking more toward West Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

Subsea UK CEO Neil Gordon said: “These findings underline the global demand for UK subsea engineering, technology and services and the fact that our enterprising companies are increasing their export efforts in a bid to reduce the reliance on the mature North Sea…

“However, companies must strive to maintain their market share in the North Sea where the focus on subsea tiebacks, squeezing more out of older assets and late life extension presents opportunities for subsea.”

Helping to develop small pools of hydrocarbons in the North Sea will also be important in meeting the UK industry and government’s goal of maximizing economic recovery of the UK’s remaining offshore oil and gas reserves, Gordon stressed, adding that the technologies, methodologies, and experience gained in this work should prove highly exportable.

Source: Offshore Mag - http://www.offshore-mag.com/articles/2017/02/bright-picture-for-the-uk-s-subsea-exports-survey-finds.