By Jonathan Davies

Plans for a summit to look at the challenges facing the North Sea oil industry has been announced by Aberdeen City Council.

Council leader Jenny Laing said UK and Scottish governments, trade unions and industry bodies need "to get round the table as soon as possible".

It comes following suggestions last week that the North Sea Oil industry was facing a "crisis" and "could collapse".

The Labour party called on Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Prime Minister David Cameron to attend the summit.

Describing Aberdeen as the oil capital of Europe, Ms Laing said it was her duty as leader of the city council to work with Edinburgh and Westminster to protect the industry.

She said: "I have today instructed Angela Scott, our chief executive, to arrange a summit between senior politicians, government officials, industry representatives, trade unions, and local politicians.

"The aim will be to ensure an agreement to develop a strategic plan to ensure job losses are either avoided or kept to a minimum.

"It must concern us all that the price of oil has dropped so heavily in such a short space of time and we need to agree a strategy to deal with fluctuations that undermine confidence in the North Sea."

A spokesperson for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: "The government recognises the challenges currently faced by the oil industry and that's why earlier this month the Treasury announced a package of fiscal changes and initiatives to stay on the front foot in dealing with them.

"We understand the particular concerns recent sharp reductions in oil prices have raised for companies active in the North Sea and will continue to engage with the Scottish government on this issue, including at this summit."

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