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Building the right ecosystem is key to future prosperity for the North Sea

Published: 08 September 2022
News , United Kingdom

by Peter France, Group CEO

Increasing political and social pressures regarding energy transition and security has once again thrust the North Sea into a period of significant transformation. Whilst these issues present many obstacles for businesses operating in the region, at ASCO we see this as a once in a lifetime opportunity to ensure the future prosperity of the North Sea.

Established in 1967, to support the needs of oil exploration in the region, ASCO has evolved its own operations alongside that of the North Sea. Being aware of the turbulence which the oil and gas market has endured over the past 50 years, at ASCO we understand the importance of building a resilient eco-system for the future of the North Sea.

With the current energy security crisis unfolding, there has never been a greater urgency to strengthen the supply chain for energy operations globally. By building out a viable strategy to encourage further investment in people, systems and technology, we can create a strong business eco-system, capable of supporting the steady transition from oil and gas to renewables.

Transitioning too quickly without building the appropriate infrastructure risks further escalating the energy crisis. By continuing to support North Sea oil and gas operations, we can ensure a certain energy security for today, whilst generating the necessary investment into cleaner energy solutions.

Service companies, such as ASCO, are critical enablers in the energy transition. We are actively involved in multiple new energy projects in the North Sea including hydrogen, wind and CCUS. Building on over 50 years of experience in offshore logistics, we deliver customised project logistics models, optimise resources, and are supporting the establishment of an integrated low carbon energy market.

Continued investment in technology and digitalisation will be key in building a resilient global supply chain. This is something we have witnessed first-hand when supporting our client's operations, utilising our global Integrated Logistics Management System (iLMS) and our Operations Control Centres (OCC) in the UK and Norway. These centralised, data-driven tools provide real-time operational visibility, saving invaluable time and resources to deliver operational efficiency.

Even during challenging market conditions, we are still committed to decarbonising our operations while continuing to provide safety excellence, service excellence and sustainability in everything we do. This year for instance, we have successfully switched our UK heavy goods vehicles from diesel to renewable Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuel, which will reduce our scope 1 carbon emissions by over 20% globally and 46% in our UK operations. This initiative contributes directly to the reduction of emissions produced by our clients in scope 3. We see the positive impact that our sustainability committee, a clear plan, and good governance have as we drive our decarbonisation roadmap forward, ensuring we achieve our net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target by no later than 2040.

Continuing to meet the demands of an evolving energy landscape not only requires technology and process development, but also the right skills and experience. At ASCO we are fortunate to have an extremely talented and experienced workforce with a strong skillset that is pertinent to the wider energy sector. Building on our legacy of logistics and materials management experience in the oil and gas industry, we know what is required to support the efficient development of the new energy market.

Within our organisation we have a culture built on continuous learning and development, investing in training, graduate schemes, and apprenticeships. We work to continuously evolve the skillset of our current personnel whilst training and developing the future generation of workers entering the energy sector.

We believe that investing in our processes and our people today builds strong foundations for a sustainable business, allowing us to nurture and develop the skills required to meet the industry challenges of tomorrow.

Learn more about ASCO's operations in the North Sea here.