Oil and gas firms must adapt to survive

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Oil and gas companies must learn lessons from other industries that have survived severe economic downturns in order to thrive in the long-term, according to new research.

A report on the future of the industry says firms should follow the example set by the automotive, aerospace, rail and chemical industries, which have all weathered challenging times.

Businesses need a “fundamental shift” in the way they operate to successfully compete for international investment in the North Sea and boost recovery after the recent plunge in oil prices, the report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Oil and Gas Industry Council concluded.

It warns firms against making short-term tactical cuts rather than focusing on longer-term structural changes to achieve the 30 per cent to 40 per cent improvement in efficiency recommended by regulator the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA).

The report highlights “tried and tested” steps it says could transform operations of companies in the UK continental shelf (UKCS) in a similar way to leading companies such as Rolls-Royce.

These include improving leadership in the industry, encouraging more innovation, boosting collaboration between firms and supporting development of the OGA.

The report was published as the annual Oil and Gas Industry Conference got under way in Aberdeen.