Thousands of energy workers face axe committee warned
Thousands of oil and gas workers face the axe if the government fails to further help energy production around Britain, a committee has warned.
Ministers must do more to support the efficient recovery of UK oil and gas reserves, the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee concluded.
Labour MP Paddy Tipping said companies operating on the UK continental shelf were facing a "quadruple whammy" of high costs, low prices, lack of affordable credit and the global recession.
Launching the committee report, he added: "We have learned that a lack of affordable lending and bleak investment prospects could wipe out 50,000 jobs and lead to a significant fall in production.
"If the government does not respond to this problem by giving better fiscal and regulatory signals then we may never recover anything like as much of our domestic reserve as would be desirable.
"Ministers must engage with the banks to ensure the sector can borrow what it needs to maintain capital expenditure, jobs and production during the recession."
Oil and gas production in the UK peaked in 1999 but is now declining by 5 per cent annually.
Measures announced in the 2009 Budget will not be enough to create the competitive environment or the commercial incentives required to provoke investment, the committee concluded.