Oil services tycoon Sir Ian Wood has highlighted the potential for North Sea firms to support the transition to a lower carbon energy system but said they need to devote more resources to the effort.

READ MORE: Oil giants must ensure talk about net zero is matched by action quickly

Sir Ian noted a report published by the Oil and Gas Authority found United Kingdom Continental Shelf activities including oil and gas and renewables could achieve 60 per cent of the country’s decarbonisation requirements.

“That emphasises the importance of oil and gas, both operators and supply chain, allocating more resources to energy transition activities,” said Sir Ian, who chairs the Opportunity North East development body.

He added: “The expansion of offshore wind, growth of hydrogen as alternative fuel and development of carbon capture usage and storage infrastructure offer opportunities to diversify and expand our supply chain and create new jobs, new export opportunities and make a major contribution to Scottish and UK net zero targets.”

READ MORE: Fresh warning on scale of challenge facing North Sea oil industry amid coronavirus crisis

Sir Ian said the kind of sector deal that oil and gas industry leaders hope the Government will commit to could play an important part in supporting a green recovery.

Firms operating in the North Sea are facing big challenges following the fall in oil and gas prices triggered by the coronavirus crisis.

Separately, the Petrofac oil services business has formed a partnership with a firm that is leading a pioneering North Sea carbon capture project as both eye growth in the emerging clean energy market.

Petrofac said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Storegga Geotechnologies to collaborate on potential business development and project initiatives in carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and other low carbon projects.

Storrega is working on the Acorn project, which will involve using depleted North Sea reservoirs to store carbon dioxide.

It is backed by Australian investment bank Macquarie. Last month Storrega became the holding company of Pale Blue Dot Energy, which has been leading work on Acorn.

READ MORE: Scotland has lots riding on a small carbon capture specialist's work amid climate emergency

Work on projects in sectors such as carbon capture and offshore wind energy could help Petrofac reduce its reliance on North Sea oil services activity.

Sir Ian developed the Wood oil services group after diversifying the family-owned fishing business he ran into work in that sector in the North Sea.