AN award-winning oil and gas industry recruitment firm has continued its expansion.

Oil Consultants, in Washington, Wearside, has opened an office in Dubai, which it says could create new North-East jobs.

The move comes after the company, which employs more than 40 people, set up bases in Houston, Texas, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.

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The company, founded by oil industry workers, has more than 16,000 consultants on its books working on projects across the world.

Last year, bosses picked up their second Queen's Award for Enterprise in international trade.

Gareth Allen, Oil Consultants' regional director in the Middle-East, Africa and India, confirmed the company was looking to recruit new workers to make up for an industry shortfall.

He said: “There is a definite skills shortage and many regions are looking to develop the experience and knowledge of their national workforce to meet growing production demands.

“Our base in Dubai will help us work more closely with clients of all sizes, from the national oil companies to operators and service companies.

“Over the next year, we will look to recruit locally in Dubai to further support our customer service operations.

“This development will require support from our UK team and could lead to more jobs being created in the North East.”