Page last updated at 12:25 GMT, Monday, 23 November 2009

Oil and gas industry confidence 'rising'

Offshore platform
The survey said job expectations varied with operators and contractors

Confidence in the oil and gas industry is rising, according to a new survey by the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC).

The study said contracting firms were increasingly optimistic about international markets.

However, confidence in the North Sea remained frail.

The chamber warned that while exporting skills and products was good, government must encourage firms to remain rooted in the UK.

The survey said the majority of operators expected to reduce staff over the next three years, but in contrast half of contractors expected to increase staff.

AGCC chief executive Robert Collier said: "The change in business confidence is more marked in the international context."

The survey followed an Ernst and Young report highlighting how rising oil prices were aiding the energy industry.

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