Umbrella Company Employees and other independent professionals specialising in the oil and gas industry are poised to benefit from a bonanza of new contracting opportunities, with a new survey revealing confident growth plans amongst the vast majority of companies in the industry.

Of the 101 oil and gas firms polled by the Bank of Scotland, the vast majority (92%) are between them planning to create 8,000 new jobs and contracts over the next two years. 39% conceded, however, that tumbling oil process had delayed their investment plans.

Recent media coverage of the effects of falling oil prices on the industry claimed that an alarming 35,000 jobs and contracts in the sector were at risk; however, according to the Bank of Scotland study, only nine of the companies polled said they expected to have to reduce their headcounts.

Over the last two years the 101 companies surveyed in the study have created 10,000 jobs and contracts in the sector. Commenting on the report’s findings, the Bank of Scotland’s area director of commercial banking, Stuart White, said: “Firms continue to be concerned by an ageing workforce and a lack of skills, which explains why the industry is determined to get through the current storm without major workforce reductions.”

The new growth plans do not, however, mean that real and pressing concerns have receded into relative insignificance. The study found, for example, that each company was concerned about rising production costs and commodity prices.

The report also highlighted the increased potential for mergers and acquisitions in the oil and gas sector, with 25% of the firms polled saying that such deals were on the cards

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