MORE than 500 jobs are to be created in Scotland’s oil and gas industry, according to a new report.

The Oil and Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) reported yesterday 500 jobs will be sustained or created in Scotland over the next six years as a result of its support for research and development.

OGIC funded projects are estimated to generate up to

£855 million by 2023.

In a new economic evaluation report, the Scottish Government backed initiative, which funds early-stage technology innovation in the oil and gas industry, also shows how the projects it has funded could result in significant cost savings for the industry, getting much needed technologies to market quicker.

OGIC commissioned Optimat, a leading Scottish economic research firm, to carry out an independent economic impact assessment of its activities since 2014.

The report examined the impact of 61 OGIC funded projects, interviewing more than 50 companies to determine actual and forecast turnover, as well as the number of confirmed and expected jobs to be created as a result.

Companies were asked to quantify the wider impacts of their technology by giving forecast figures over a 10-year period from when OGIC launched in 2014.

Ian Phillips, chief executive of OGIC, commented: “This report provides strong evidence of the positive impact OGIC is having on the industry, on Scotland and the UK, demonstrating what can be achieved by targeted intervention and funding.

“As many of the companies we support are still in the early stages of technology development, the findings represent both actual and forecast figures to give an assessment of current and future impact.

“Even allowing for some inevitable entrepreneurial optimism in the forecasting, we are confident in the findings which were developed by Optimat using long established standard evaluation techniques to calculate economic impact.

“It’s extremely encouraging to know that the work we are doing to help innovation from the initial concept stage is not only benefitting the industry but also the wider economy.

“Our support typically gets a project from inception to early prototype stage, ready for support from others such as The OGTC and Scottish Enterprise to help the company through to commercialisation.

“This emerging support ecosystem in North-east Scotland ensures that projects we support not only benefit the industry but also the wider economy.

“By offering direct links with academia, connecting developers with people who can help develop their product and services ideas from concept to early stage development, OGIC is playing a major role in fostering a more innovative, responsive and robust sector.”

Stuart Fancey of the Scottish Funding Council said: “Scotland is a global player in the oil and gas industry. OGIC, one of Scotland’s eight Innovation centres, is enhancing innovation and entrepreneurship across the industry, one of Scotland’s key economic sectors.

“Creating jobs and growing the economy is vital and it is very encouraging to see the contribution being made by OGIC.”

OGIC aims to support 45 new projects by the end of the year. Launched in 2014, OGIC was formed to fund technology innovation in the oil and gas sector.