Oil and gas companies operating in the UK are confident about future job prospects, according to a new report.
A survey by the Bank of Scotland found that firms expect to create around 8,000 jobs in the sector over the next two years. While this a 2,000-figure drop from the 10,000 generated in the past two years, it did provide some positivity when oil prices continue to slide at an alarming rate. Around 39 per cent of respondents to the survey said the drop in prices had affected investment.
The report suggests that previous estimations of wide-ranging job losses in the UK oil and gas sector may have been slightly overstated. It found that of the 101 companies questioned, 73 expect to increase their staff numbers in the coming years – only nine predicted a reduction in their workforce.
Stuart White, area director of commercial banking at the Bank of Scotland, said: "While it is obvious the North Sea is facing some serious challenges, this research paints a clear picture of a global industry, which having dealt with similar commodity price challenges in the past, is determined to come through fitter and stronger."
The price of oil has been tumbling considerably in the past year with both Brent and US crude seeing values slashed by half. The current price of Brent crude oil stands at $56.65 (£38.20) a barrel.
The Bank of Scotland report sheds a more positive light on what has been a pretty dark time in the UK's oil and gas sector. Industry body Oil & Gas UK recently announced that the industry had posted its worst annual performance for four decades after it invested £5.3 billion more than it earned in sales during 2014.
It led the organisation to predict a somewhat "bleak" future for the sector and urged the government to take action or put the sector at risk for the coming years.