Page last updated at 16:10 GMT, Monday, 1 December 2008

Oil research centre creates jobs

Oil platform
The centre will develop new technology for the oil and gas industries

A major oil industry research facility has been opened in Bellshill in North Lanarkshire.

The 12m subsea product centre will create up to 25 new jobs and lead the development of new technology for those working in the oil and gas sectors.

It is run by FMC Technologies who already employ about 650 people at their engineering plant in Dunfermline.

Scottish Enterprise is supporting the project with a 2.6m research and development grant.

The new facility has three laboratories and the company said its location in central Scotland would allow it to build on existing links with universities and research institutes.

It was officially opened by Enterprise Minister, Jim Mather.

He said: "This new centre will help keep Scotland at the forefront of oil industry development and ensure our oil and gas industry continues to be a world-leader.

"It demonstrates that our energy sector is in good health, despite the economic downturn.

This demonstrates our commitment to help companies from all sectors weather the current downturn
Jim Mather
Enterprise Minister
He added: "The skills and knowledge developed in Scotland since the development of the North Sea are among our key economic strengths.

"Many of these skills will continue to play a vital role in developing our future, both within oil and gas but also through their transfer and adaptability to other sectors such as renewable energy.

"That is why the Scottish Government is determined to support the industry. It also demonstrates again our commitment to help companies from all sectors weather the current downturn."

David Currie, managing director of FMC Technologies UK, said the new development "would strengthen our presence in Scotland".

Jack Perry, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, said he was delighted the investment had been secured.

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