British jobs boost from GE oil and gas

Around 200 new British jobs will be created by GE Oil & Gas next year when it opens a “sub-sea” centre in Bristol.

The business, part of the broader GE group, said it was expanding in the UK in response to growth in its underwater engineering workload, which includes drilling and production services in the North Sea.

It said it expected the sector to continue to grow “in future years”.

GE Oil & Gas will create the new engineering hub at Bristol’s Aztec West Business Park, with engineering, project management and commercial jobs available.

“The area has a strong pool of high integrity industries, such as aerospace, defence, nuclear and automotive that we can tap into, allowing us to realise our growth goals more readily,” said Rod Christie, vice-president for Subsea Systems at GE Oil & Gas.

“Establishing a stronger presence in Bristol will enable us to bring new, and much needed, skilled staff into our global organisation, supporting the capabilities of our existing sub-sea hub in Aberdeen.”

GE’s oil and gas sub-sea business has its headquarters in Aberdeen, where it employs more than 800 people, and the company already employs around 500 people at Nailsea near Bristol. It has operated in the city since 1980.

The company said it had spent more than £620,000 on modernising the master control station workshop and sub-sea electronics module at Nailsea, and earlier this year announced a £9m investment in its manufacturing plant in Montrose, creating 40 jobs.

Jack Lopresti, MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke in Bristol, said the new facility in his constituency was “good news for the area and for UK manufacturing at a challenging time for the economy”.

“This will expand GE’s oil and gas presence in the UK and support the provision of hi-tech equipment and services to the global oil and gas sector,” he added.

GE Oil & Gas has around 35,000 staff in more than 100 countries offering services including extraction and transportation.

The company’s underwater production equipment has been in use for more than 50 years and there are more than 1,000 systems installed worldwide.