Energy economist Professor Alex Kemp says he has seen “encouraging signs” in the oil and gas industry despite the long-running downturn.
The findings of the latest Oil and Gas Survey, released yesterday, painted a negative picture for 2016.
However Professor Alex Kemp, who advises the Scottish and UK governments on forecasts for oil production and revenue, says it’s important to highlight the positive practices which are being adopted now and the benefits the oil dip will bring to the industry in the long term.
Professor Kemp, who lectures in Petroleum Economics at the University of Aberdeen, said: “Already I am seeing new processes, innovation and ways of working being adopted by various parts of the sector.
“These are all encouraging signs of healthier practices in the North Sea industry.
“This means we will have only the most innovative and efficient businesses working in the industry in order to capitalise.
“The findings of the latest oil and gas report are of course focused on the delayed and cancelled projects, the slowdown in production and the job losses as expected.
“But we should bear in mind these things have to happen in order for the industry to improve.
“Efficiency and innovation should always be a priority, not just in times of a downturn.”
The latest Oil and Gas Survey by the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce found the number of people out of work in Aberdeen is now 3,315, up 65% from last year, and in Aberdeenshire it is 2,435, up 92%.
But Professor Kemp says it is important to see the benefits this could bring to other North-east industries.
He said: “Many people who have been made redundant and left oil and gas will go on to other careers and some will set up their own businesses. That’s a benefit to the region as a whole.
“Furthermore those areas in Aberdeen which have historically struggled to recruit, such as nurses, police officers and teachers, could see an increase.”