A new industry survey has revealed growth in the UK’s oil and gas sector, with over 80% of North Sea firms planning to expand their businesses over the next five years.

The study commissioned by Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organisation (OPITO) found that 90% of firms that contributed to the survey are anticipating a rise in international activity.

According to the research, 67% expect growth from decommissioning and 63% expect a rise in wind power activity.

More than 110 companies spanning the construction, drilling, engineering, geoscience, marine, science, inspection and operations sectors contributed to the study.

The majority of firms anticipate growth in their workforce over the next five years, with 12% expecting to take on more than 50 people within the next 12 months and 5% planning to recruit over 200 personnel during the same period.

OPITE managing director David Binnie said that investment in existing sanctioned projects will shoot up to £22bn over the next five years and potentially increase to £40bn.

The spend will cover 33 new platforms, 12 major asset modifications and 40 subsea tie-backs.

“This study will help us to better aggregate skills demand, identify common clusters of needs and articulate these more clearly to academia and funding agencies,” Binnie said.