About 7500 jobs have been lost from the North Sea oil and gas sector as a result of the fall in oil prices and Covid-19 pandemic, according to latest industry estimates.

The figure was revealed by Deirdre Michie, chief executive of trade body Oil & Gas UK, during a parliamentary inquiry on Thursday.

Michie was answering questions from MPs on the cross-party Scottish Affairs Committee, which is holding an inquiry into the impact of Coronavirus on the oil and gas industry.

Hit by 'triple whammy'

“Current estimates are about 7500 jobs have been made redundant to date. We think more are on the way once the furlough scheme comes to an end and if activity doesn't pick up,” said Michie, referring to the action the UK government has taken to safeguard jobs.

Michie said the industry remains “challenged”.

“We have been hit by what we're calling the triple whammy of Covid, the dramatic drop in the oil price and the low, low gas prices."

OGUK said recently that if current conditions prevail, up to about 30,000 jobs could be lost across the industry.

The session also heard from Colette Cohen, chief executive of the Oil & Gas Technology Centre and Professor John Underhill, chair of exploration geoscience at the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering and chief scientist at Heriot-Watt University.