UK-based offshore energy workers’ union RMT is urging the British government to devise a new offshore strategy to help the industry through the coronavirus pandemic. It says it needs help to prevent “catastrophic” job losses and skills shortages in UK offshore.

It says this would preserve the offshore oil and gas industry and jobs in the sector, especially in Scotland.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “We are hearing that exploration projects on the UK continental shelf are being delayed or cancelled as oil gas prices plummet to unsustainable levels. This is threatening to take some operators to the wall, along with the contractor and supply chain workers maintaining their assets.

“Norway’s state energy company Equinor has set up a department specifically to respond to COVID-19 with the overriding aim of preserving oil and gas production and the jobs it supports in the North Sea today.