What's believed to be the world's first masters degree in decommissioning has been launched by the University of Aberdeen in partnership with Robert Gordon University.
Both universities said today that they are developing a suite of joint masters degrees focusing on key aspects associated with safely dismantling old oil rigs and platforms such as engineering, project management, business, law and health.
Read more: North Sea in race to safeguard future
It comes ahead of a wave of decommissioning across the UK North Sea which experts estimate will be worth between £30bn to £60bn. The recent oil price rout has led to some of these platforms being retired sooner-than-anticipated.
Unions urged the government to ensure the UK is able to benefit from the North Sea's multi-billion pound break-up, after a decommissioning contract for an oil platform in the UK North Sea went to a Norwegian firm earlier this year.
Professor Ekaterina Pavlovskaia from the university of Aberdeen’s school of engineering said: "The climate is right for us to launch this innovative Masters degree in decommissioning to educate the current and future work force in this important area of the oil and gas lifecycle."
"Some may ask if this course signifies an acceptance that oil and gas is coming to an end in the North Sea but that is not the case. Safe and efficient decommissioning of these platforms will benefit the industry for many years to come."