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Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University will invest £8 million to develop an oil and gas industry specialty department that will focus on regional field and support operations.

Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski said: “The university has an international reputation for focused and relevant engagement with industry. This investment, which reflects RGU’s priority commitment to oil and gas, will secure for the north east of Scotland high value expertise [for] subsea engineering, industry collaboration, oil and gas finance and economics and offshore healthcare.”

The Wood Family Trust, led by Sir Ian Wood, has already donated £500,000 to the development, STV news said.

Sir Ian said: “It is essential for both the UK and Aberdeen’s future growth and prosperity that we maximize recovery of our offshore oil and gas resource. The creation of RGU’s new Oil and Gas Institute will provide an important focus for the sector as a whole. It will attract and develop expertise in key areas such as exploration, infrastructure, regional hub development, production efficiency, improved and enhanced oil recovery and decommissioning at a critical time in the development of the North Sea.”

“Wood Family Trust hopes that this donation will give a good start towards the £8 million investment needed to deliver the Institute,” he said.