The Covid-19 pandemic has slashed 7,500 jobs in the UK oil and gas sector, with industry body Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) predicting that up to 30,000 positions could be lost in the future.

The announcement follows the long-term prediction made earlier this year, as a combination of financial uncertainty amid the Covid-19 crisis and tumbling oil prices combine to cause significant disruption to the UK oil and gas industry. On Friday, OGUK CEO Deirdre Michie told Scottish MPs that operators have had to cut activity levels by 40% in order to maintain profit margins amid disrupted production and revenue dropping by around 30%.

“Jobs are under pressure,” said Michie. “We put out a report about two to three weeks ago that put out an estimate that, if current conditions continue to prevail, up to 30,000 jobs could be lost across the industry. That is a very challenging situation to find ourselves in.”