The falling oil market has reached a trough and will now slowly emerge from its downturn.
A PwC report suggests that this is signalled by the oil price recovering slightly as supply and demand reach a natural balance.
This initial resurgence in growth is expected to trigger more investment and broader activity in the sector.
Whilst prices are unlikely to reach $100/bbl (£79.80/bbl) any time soon, the report suggests it could creep up past $60/bbl (£47.88/bbl) over the next few years. Brent Crude is currently priced at $44.24/bbl (£35.31/bbl).
It also predicts that the oil market that reappears will look and operate quite differently to how it did before. Rather than its hallmarks of boom growth and rapid exploration, in the future the industry will have to focus more heavily on resilience, innovation and cost reduction.
It will be necessary to reduce the complexity of operations and reduce inefficiencies in order to smooth the uneven recovery of the sector, by using smart data and technologies.
Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, said: “Despite facing unprecedented challenges over the past few years, the UK oil & gas industry has demonstrated drive and determination. However, there is still much work to be done and this will require the joint efforts of industry, governments, the Treasury and the Oil and Gas Authority.”