Three East of England MPs have pledged to throw their weight behind efforts to make the region the most important in the UK for the energy industry.
Brandon Lewis (Great Yarmouth), Peter Aldous (Waveney) and Therese Coffey (Suffolk Coastal) will work with TMS client EEEGR, the East of England Energy Group, to help bring the biggest possible share to the region of a multi-billion pound industry.
Mr Lewis told an EEEGR business meeting in OrbisEnergy, Lowestoft that they would help encourage companies and investment into the region and remind the Government of the importance of the East of England to the energy world.
"We hear a lot about Aberdeen but we need to let people know that this is the region we should be focusing on," he said.
"EEEGR is an example of what Government means by the Big Society, acting as catalyst to get private and public sectors to work collectively, and with MPs and Westminster, all speaking with one voice."
The MP chaired a meeting to discuss major opportunities facing regional companies with decommissioning of the many North Sea platforms which will gradually become redundant over the next 30 years.
Oliver Sanderson, of energy business analysts Douglas-Westwood, said an estimated 260 platforms would be dismantled and their wells plugged in a £20bn business between now and 2040 - with the peak likely to be 2017-2025.
Ian Sadler, managing director of PNS, which is investing £15m in a new operations centre in Great Yarmouth said decommissioning would play a large part in the company’s future and mean a considerable workforce being employed in the town.
Phil Cooper, of Perenco, one of the region’s largest oil and gas operators, outlined how his company had already started plugging and dismantling offshore wells and platforms as the industry saw 14 years of decommissioning planning come to fruition.