AN oil and gas drilling technology firm has said it expects to grow employee numbers in Scotland significantly after generating increased interest in overseas markets amid challenging market conditions.

NXG said it saw great scope for international growth after enjoying a surge in enquiries from global oilfield service companies in recent weeks.

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The company said it plans to recruit at least 10 additional staff with roles in its sales, welding and CNC (computer numerical control) operations likely to be available.

NXG manufactures specialised equipment and also offers services such as tool rental and repair.

The company said six of the new positions will be based in Aberdeen, which is home to its tool rental division. Four will be at the company’s service, repair and manufacturing facility in Longside near Peterhead.

It has 25 staff in total currently.

Oil services businesses in Scotland have targeted growth in overseas markets in recent years to help reduce their reliance on the mature North Sea.

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Industry leaders warned recently that the North Sea supply chain was at breaking point following the plunge in oil and gas prices triggered by the coronavirus.

A range of firms have announced plans for deep cuts in investment in the North Sea. These will impact on demand for services such as drilling support.

Activity levels plunged in the North Sea amid the downturn triggered by the sharp fall in the oil price from 2014 to 2016. They remained more robust in markets such as the Middle East. NXG recently secured accreditation from the American Petroleum Institute, which should help it win business.