The oil and gas sector must become more sustainable to fully exploit North Sea reserves, a North-East industry boss has said.
George Rafferty, chief executive of NOF Energy, issued the warning after a report claimed operators have been forced to cancel projects due to the lower oil price.
The findings, revealed in a survey from Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said two-thirds of North Sea firms have had to postpone work, with half having to pare back staff training.
However, Mr Rafferty said work was being done to ease the situation.
He said: “This survey reiterates the importance of creating a more sustainable and efficient UK oil and gas industry, which can maximise the extraction of the considerable resources that are still recoverable from the North Sea.
“The productivity and cost challenges facing the sector, which have been exacerbated by the cyclical drop in the oil price, have impacted on activity.
“However, these are issues the industry was fully aware of and is actively addressing through greater collaborative working across all tiers of the supply chain along with the development of innovative technologies and services.
"The UK supply chain activity is also not confined to British waters, and companies, including many NOF members, operate globally and their products and services continue to be in demand around the world.
“The evolution of the UK industry will also benefit supply chain export opportunities as operators and contractors across the world look to the UK’s more efficient, cost-effective and innovative solutions for their projects.”
NOF, which has a base near Durham City, is the business support organisation for the region’s oil, gas, nuclear and offshore renewables.