AN investment banking heavyweight has recruited a Scots oil and gas analyst as it targets growth in the sector against a challenging market backdrop.

North Sea at 'breaking point' as oil price turns negative in US

Nathan Piper has joined Investec to lead on its coverage of exploration and production companies after a 14-year involvement with the industry.

He spent 13 years as on oil and gas analyst at Royal Bank of Canada and Bridgewell Securities before becoming business development lead at Colombia-focused Amerisur Resources last year.

Oil and gas firms are bracing themselves for what may be a long downturn amid the fallout from the coronavirus. Brent crude fell to an 18-year low of less than $20 per barrel yesterday. It fetched $70/bbl in January.

Experts warn: Oil price plunge will mean end for range of North Sea fields 

But Investec said the appointment of Mr Piper was an important move as it aims to win more work from mid-sized oil and gas companies.Head of research Harold Hutchinson said: “Nathan joins our research team at a critical time, as we continue to invest in our UK mid-market research coverage, both in London and Edinburgh.”

Mr Piper studied geology at St Andrews university.

Amerisur was bought by GeoPark in a £240 million deal that closed in January.

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