Key base for oil and gas work predicted

HARTLEPOOL looks set to become a key base for repairing oil platforms – with signs of job creation “very encouraging”.

Town firm Able UK has confirmed it is attracting “increasing interest” from major players in the oil and gas production field who need their production platforms maintaining and upgrading.

The news emerged on a day when Able bosses hosted a visit by senior officers from Hartlepool Borough Council.

Able UK Group development director Neil Etherington said: “We wanted to show the council representatives that things really are moving ahead at Able Seaton Port.

“Of course, the facility is well-known for its work on the decommissioning and recycling of ship and offshore structures, but now we are attracting increasing interest from major players in the oil and gas production field who need the kind of services we can offer for the storage, maintenance and upgrading of production platforms.

“Currently we have the two platforms, the PetrofacFPF1 and the GSP Britannia, berthed at Seaton Port and shortly they will be joined by another platform owned by the international operators Ensco.”

Antony Steinberg, economic regeneration manager with the council, said: “Able Seaton Port represents one of the key economic drivers within Hartlepool and the surrounding area.

“The site offers excellent facilities to develop specialist manufacturing, repair, decommissioning and recycling, particularly focusing on offshore oil and gas markets as well as emerging offshore renewable markets.”

He said the potential for investment and job creation was “very encouraging” and added: “I am confident that the site will contribute significantly to the future economic growth of the area.”