A mooring systems specialist owned by oil and gas entrepreneur Ian Suttie has formed an alliance with another marine services business amid challenging times in the sector.

Mr Suttie’s First Marine Solutions said it had signed an official alliance with Interocean Marine Services under which the firms will combine their resources to offer enhanced integrated mooring solutions to clients across the world.

FMS has bought £5 million worth of mooring equipment from Interocean, increasing the value of its stock to £40m.

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It said the two Aberdeen-based companies will work together to offer a complete package of services as FMS Interocean. They have co-operated on oil and gas and renewable energy projects in the past.

Interocean chief executive Keith Nelson said the alliance would allow FMS Interocean to offer “ a more efficient and cost effective solution all round”.

Services companies have faced cuts in spending by oil and gas firms in response to the sharp fall in crude prices since 2014.

In February last year Mr Suttie placed the First Oil Expro exploration and production business into administration after failing to find a buyer for the firm, which faced challenges amid the downturn triggered by the crude price fall.

First Oil Expro became one of the biggest privately-owned firms in the North Sea after buying up assets during the boom that ended after the crude price started tumbling in 2014, as supplies ran ahead of demand. Brent crude traded at around $55 per barrel yesterday.. It fetched $115/bbl in June 2014.

Interocean is part of Rigmar Group.