Monday, 9 June 2014

Spotlight on SMEs: the UK companies benefitting from the shale gas development

Most people reading this blog will be familiar with the operators involved in developing UK shale - the likes of Cuadrilla, IGas and Dart. Most will also be aware of the buy-ins from the bigger players like Centrica, GDF Suez and Total.

However, the operators are only a part of the whole story. There is a whole supply chain needed to get shale development off the ground in the UK. Much of the work done by the operators is in fact contracted out to these suppliers, which are often UK-based "Small and Medium Enterprises", which are often referred to as the "life-blood" of our economy.

There are a lot of great British SMEs out there who have found that the skills and services they offer are proving useful to operators looking to extract shale gas in the UK. I'm a geoscientist, not an economist, so I tend to focus on the geoscience issues around shale, rather than the economics. That said, I think the assumption is often made that the only people to benefit from UK shale will be the operators: the handful of shareholders who own Cuadrilla, IGas et al. In fact, there is a whole supply chain of SMEs that will reap the benefit if shale is developed in the UK. This was made clear in the recent Lords report on the economic impacts of UK shale gas.

Because the sign over the door (over the rig?) is usually that of the operating company, most of the work done by these SMEs goes unnoticed by the general public.

With that in mind, Frackland is proud to introduce its latest feature (following on the success of "Images of the Day"): Spotlight on SMEs. Each post will showcase the work being done by a British SME that stands to benefit from the development of a UK shale industry. You'll find that there's a lot more to UK shale gas than Cuadrilla and IGas.

Post-script: I'm aware that as well as the general public, many of my readers come from the industry. That being the case, if you are involved with, or know of, an SME worthy of being spotlit then please get in touch.

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