AN Australian-based oil and gas contractor is creating more than 100 jobs as it expands into Scotland.

Clough, an engineering and project services contractor working in the energy, chemical, mining and mineral sectors, is establishing a new operations centre in Glasgow.

The company said the move - supported with £1.5 million of public funds - will allow it to better serve the European, Middle Eastern and African markets.

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Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that Clough was being given £1.5m of cash under the Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) scheme, with this supporting the creation of 110 jobs in Glasgow.

Ms Sturgeon said:"This is a testament to the quality and skills of the local workforce. Scotland's energy sector boasts strong engineering and manufacturing skills that are globally recognised across the oil and gas industry."

She said RSA funding "supports investment in Scotland's economy and creates jobs for our people", and claimed: "It further strengthens Scotland's position in out-performing the UK for securing inward investment."

Kevin Gallagher, Clough chief executive officer and managing director, said the opening of the Glasgow operations centre "represents a key step in Clough's international expansion strategy, and enables our world class engineering, project management, commissioning and operations and maintenance services to support new regions".

He added: "Scotland was selected as the most attractive location for Clough due to its access to world-class technical universities and highly experienced engineering resources, combined with its proximity to clients and opportunities in the North Sea, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

"Our Scottish centre will provide engineering support services to projects throughout this region as well as Australasia, helping to enhance value for clients across Clough's extensive project portfolio."

Neil Francis, director of international operations at Scottish Enterprise, said Clough's decision to come to Scotland was "testament to the global reach of our oil and gas industry".