Into the Blue – UK Subsea Business Activity Review 2019

Into the Blue is the seventh review of the subsea activity in the UK conducted by Subsea UK. The main goal of the review is to estimate the scale of the industry in the main hubs across the UK, track its growth and measure the exports and activity in all its markets. 

Despite the downturns in the past years, the UK subsea industry has managed to maintain its leadership with around 37% of a global market estimated to be near £2 billion annually. The country’s industry has gone through Brexit and energy transition year with positive results. 

  • In 2019, the total value of UK subsea output increased to almost £7.8 billion.
  • Employment has reached 45 163 remaining fairly static from the figures in 2017. 
  • The forecast suggests that almost 80% of companies anticipate recruiting in the future, reaching an employment figure of 54 000 by 2022. 

The industry’s growth is due to an increase in output from SMEs and the renewable energy business.

SMEs are more positive and optimistic to the recovery of the oil and gas sector, as well as the development of the energy transition. The renewable sector has risen 23% to a  total output of £1.82billion. 

However, there are other sectors that are becoming very relevant to the subsea industry. The Blue Economy has potential and it is considered to be an important contributor to the UK economy. Sectors such as defence, subsea mining, marine science and aquaculture, are becoming more and more appealing. 

The UK subsea industry stands in a very good position to capitalize the Blue Economy’s benefits as it is world-known for its technical excellence, skilled workforce and operational developments. 

In addition, the UK can transfer its offshore oil and gas subsea expertise as the emphasis on the energy transition continues and the focus on achieving net-zero targets is emphasized.  


By Maria Paula Ar…