Significant and immediate investment is ‘essential’ to help the UK’s North Sea oil and gas sector make the transition to low-carbon energy, and protect jobs in the process, an industry-led study has urged. 

As much as £416bn is needed over the next three decades to reposition the industry for a decarbonised energy system, according to the report published by Scotland-based OGTC and Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult. 

It sees three scenarios – emerging, progressive and transformational – highlighting different pathways for the North Sea industry as the UK moves towards net zero. 

The most aggressive 'transformational' pathway could sustain 232,000 jobs over the 30 year period and deliver £125bn per year to the UK economy, creating opportunities to 'mitigate major job losses otherwise expected over the next decade'. 

This year's oil market crisis has added extra pressure to a sector already reckoning with the prospect of the UK's commitment to eliminate its carbon footprint by mid-century.