With the exception of Automotive, few large industries are going through as much change as oil and gas and there is, of course, a strong relationship between the two as the world responds to the threat of climate change.
‘Peak oil’ is widely predicted to occur between 2020 and 2040, while the Covid-19 pandemic pushed oil prices to new lows, even causing West Texas Intermediate (WTI) to fall below zero for the first time in its history in 2020. Such pressures present huge challenges to the industry and its supply chain but where there is change there is opportunity, and demand for innovative solutions that cut costs and streamline processes has never been higher. Meanwhile, new industries are emerging – renewables are already well established, especially in the UK – but decommissioning, for example, is fast becoming a vast industry in its own right.
When the MV Ever Given ran aground and blocked the Suez Canal for 6 days in March 2021, it reminded the world of the importance of marine trade to the global economy. European factories and their supply chains were affected in their thousands as they faced shortages of raw materials and parts. With approximately 80% of global trade still being moved by sea, the Ever Given is estimated to have held up $6.7m worth of trade per minute. According to the International Chamber of Shipping, sea transport continues to be the cheapest way of moving goods around the world, contributing just 0.3p to the £2.50 cost of a cup of coffee, 20p to the £5 cost of a bottle of wine, and $5 to the $100 cost of a Nike trainer. But shipping has been notoriously slow to respond to climate change, lagging the automotive industry in clean technologies and environmental safeguards and now the race to catch up is creating huge opportunities for SMEs in marine software, services, and engineering as one of the world’s most vital industries challenges itself to become more efficient.
In mid-2021, the government unveiled a new operating model for UK rail, billed as ‘the most ambitious changes to the rail sector in a generation’. A newly incorporated public body, Great British Railways, will own the infrastructure, receive the fare revenue and run and plan the network in a bid to simplify ticketing, overhaul franchising, improve financial sustainability and ultimately deliver a ‘new deal’ for passengers. Since the broader privatisation of rail, rail infrastructure has supported a large market for SMEs: Network Rail budgeted over £40bn in maintenance, renewals and enhancements for its current five-year settlement, while the total cost estimate for HS2 has ballooned to nearly £100bn. The government’s latest commitments spell further good news for SMEs, especially those focused in digital ticketing, electrification and on-track plant, with the government hoping to lean on the private sector to deliver its revolution.
Fairgrove’s experience within offshore, marine, and rail includes:
- Offshore and Renewables
- Commercial Diving
- HVAC Systems
- Offshore Wind
- Subsea Engineering
- Subsea Umbilicals
- Ballast Water Treatment
- Boat Building
- Diesel Engine Parts
- Ship Repair
- Superyacht Repair
- Overhead Line Electrification
- Project Management
- Rolling Stock Lighting
“Fairgrove’s report demonstrated a real understanding of the operational metrics that determine how successful search firms achieve superior returns to more commoditized players”
Co-CEO, Executive Search Firm
“We found Fairgrove easy to work with, and their analysis of the growth opportunities in our business was extremely helpful”
CEO, Media Group
“Fairgrove got rapidly up to speed with the specifics of the market niche we operate in. Their analyses provided us with timely and concise conclusions on its position in the market, and gave us a wealth of insight to confirm our investment hypothesis”
Director, Mid-Market PE Firm