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Scottish energy firms eye India

A number of Cos from the European nation are planning to set shop in the country to tap growing opportunities.

india Updated: Aug 02, 2006 14:28 IST

The Indian energy sector may soon get a Scottish boost, with a number of companies from the European country planning to establish offices and manufacturing units in the country to tap growing opportunities.

"Many Scottish energy companies have evinced interest in setting up offices and even manufacturing units in India," Brian Nixon, Director (Energy) of Scottish Enterprise, Scotland's main economic development agency, told PTI.

He said while one firm planned to set up a manufacturing facility for oil and gas drilling tools, another company specialising in sub-sea engineering construction wanted to set up a base for providing offshore support services in exploration and production.

However, Nixon, who is in India along with Tom Lamb, Head (Energy) of Scottish Development International to explore opportunities in the energy sector, declined to reveal the names of the companies.

While Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy's massive discovery in Rajasthan makes it the most successful Scottish firm in India so far, the interest of energy service companies to set up manufacturing units in India is a recent development.

Other companies from the United Kingdom that already have India operations include BP, Royal/Dutch Shell and BG.

Scotland has Europe's most attractive energy sector, ranging from the vast North Sea oil and gas fields to state-of-the-art research in renewable and fuel cell technologies, Nixon said, adding Scottish companies see immense opportunity in the Indian energy sector.

The visit of Nixon and Lamb was aimed at identifying opportunities in oil and gas, power and renewable energy sectors and help companies examine different business models such as setting up a subsidiary or joint ventures in India.

The duo met top officials of leading energy companies operating in India including Reliance Industries, Essar, Cairn Energy, British Gas, GSPC and NTPC Ltd, they said.

Besides, a high-level delegation of about 15 companies from England and Scotland is also currently in India to explore opportunities in the energy sector, they added.

Scottish companies have technological expertise in areas of sub-sea engineering, drilling and exploration, siesmic data analysis, industrial safety and environment management, which the Indian companies could benefit from, they said.

Indian companies have also sought assistance in asset management, which includes operation, maintenance and engineering support after an oilfield starts production. Another area of interest was development of marginal fields that surround a main oil or gas field, they said.