Oil rig

There was a sharp rise in the number of oil and gas businesses in the UK to go bust in 2015, according to accountancy firm Moore Stephens.

Twenty-eight oil and gas firms became insolvent last year, up from 18 in 2014, as oil prices continued to plummet.

The industry suffered a vicious cycle last year, with Moore Stephens saying that £140 billion worth of contracts were cancelled.

Moore Stephens head of restructuring and insolvency, Jeremy Willmont, said: "Oil and gas service companies expanded their businesses over the last decade based on an oil price well above the current one.

"The pain caused by the oil price fall has translated into a rising tide of financial distress across the sector."

And things could get even worse this year, with oil prices having already fallen 20% in the first few weeks of the year and some economists forecasting prices to drop as low as $10 per barrel in the near future.