Page last updated at 15:59 GMT, Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Oil industry jobs expected to go

Oil rig
The survey said there would be a reduction in investment

Significant job losses in the oil and gas industry have been predicted for next year.

The Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce oil and gas survey said there would be a reduction in investment, research and development.

But it said it was better prepared than most other industries to ride out the international credit crisis.

The chamber has called on the chancellor to make sure his budget does not have a detrimental impact.

Geoff Runcie, the chamber's chief executive, said: "Given the findings of this survey it is clear there are real threats on the horizon.

"It is crucial that the UK Government implements in the forthcoming budget a long term fiscal and energy policy that recognises the high levels of dependence on hydrocarbons and ensures the continued competitiveness of the UKCS (United Kingdom sector of the Continental Shelf) and encourages future investment in the sector and the region."

It is clear that our industry must continue to adjust and adapt to the ever changing dynamics
Steve Rae

Bill Murray, chief executive of the Offshore Contractors Association, said: "The survey confirms our expectations that an oil price collapse coupled with global economic turmoil would inevitably impact demand for our members' services and delay vital investment in the UKCS.

"Our hope is that the government can bring forward tax reliefs or allowances to bolster activity until the economy recovers. In the short term, all must act responsibly to protect cash flows to and within the supply chain, minimising the need to seek support from financial institutions."

Steve Rae, chairman of the International Association of Drilling Contractors, North Sea Chapter, said: "It is clear that our industry must continue to adjust and adapt to the ever changing dynamics as we move into increasingly uncertain times.

"It is my belief however that earlier experiences of previous downturns will help us remain resilient in meeting these new challenges through 2009."

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