The UK government’s latest tax relief in oil and gas reserves has attracted billions of pounds in investments for British firms and created thousands of new skilled jobs in the country.

Addressing MPs at the British Offshore Oil & Gas Industry All Party Parliamentary Group annual reception at Westminster, Energy Secretary Edward Davey said that the industry is vital to meet Britain’s power and economic requirements.

"A record breaking offshore licensing round and investment highs, the North Sea is experiencing a recent renaissance. We are working in partnership with the oil and gas industry to create a positive investment environment and a bright future for the North Sea, securing thousands of jobs across the UK," Davey added.

"The spirit of the North Sea pioneers will be needed to drive this Government’s ambition to power the country, provide prosperity, and protect the planet for future generations."

Oil & Gas UK chief executive Malcolm Webb said that the improvements brought in the tax rule have resulted in the growth of capital investment to over £11bn in 2012, and at least 30 new offshore oil and gas developments have been approved in the last twelve months.

Webb noted that the administration has awarded 167 new licences in the latest licensing round to explore petroleum in UK continental shelf and about £8bn of fresh investment and thousands of new jobs were announced across various offshore projects in the last six months.

"This upturn is set to continue and presents excellent business opportunities right across our world-class supply chain to the benefit of the UK’s energy security, balance of trade and tax revenues," Webb added.

"With up to 24 billion barrels of oil and gas still to be extracted, this industry is set to provide energy, jobs and tax revenues to people across the UK for many decades to come."

In some of the major oil and gas announcements made during the last six months, Statoil invested £4.3bn in its heavy oil Mariner project, which created 700 new jobs.

Talisman Energy devoted £1.6bn to boost production at its Montrose Arbroath field, which created over 2,000 jobs.

GDF SUEZ invested £1.4bn in its Cygnus gas development project, which is expected to create 1,200 jobs, while Dana Petroleum has announced to spend £1bn to develop its Harris and Barra fields.