Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy will tonight claim there is potential to create thousands of new jobs in the north-east through decommissioning oil fields.
He is expected to say that although the plummeting oil price presented a “major challenge” to Scotland’s economy today, the country could be a world leader in the industry tomorrow.
Mr Murphy will set out his views in a speech to the David Hume Institute at the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
He is expected to say: “Looking beyond the short-term challenges of low oil prices in the North Sea we know we are entering a prolonged period when oil fields will come off line and production will decline.
“We should look to this as an opportunity.
“First to support the high-value engineering jobs that must outlive oil in the North Sea and second to ensure that just as we were leaders in subsea exploration, now we become leaders in decommissioning.
“As the Brent field begins decommissioning, we need to urgently work to ensure that the clean-up of the North Sea generates jobs for the north- east.”