UK's Oil Services Firms to Cut Jobs

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UK's Oil Services Firms to Cut Jobs

 30th Apr 2015

It’s been announced that Amec Foster Wheeler Plc and Petrofac Ltd join a growing list of London based oil and gas support services companies planning to cut jobs in response to the crash in oil prices.

Benchmark Brent crude oil prices have nearly halved in the first quarter of 2015, prompting large production and exploration firms to cut budgets across entire organisations by up to 15%. Some are also pushing service providers to renegotiate contracts.

Amec, which employs 40,000 people worldwide, said it was in consultation with 149 Aberdeen-based employees about 64 roles could potentially be affected. The company's clients include Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp.

Petrofac was in talks to cut around 100 offshore jobs and up to 100 more onshore could be affected, a company spokesman said. The company, which employs 20,000 people, have yet to say where those jobs will be cut.

Aberdeen-based John Wood Group Plc, whose customers include BP Plc, has confirmed it’s in consultation with 380 PSN unit employees ­ roughly a fifth of its onshore UK workforce for the unit ­ regarding 80 jobs at risk.

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Britain's North Sea is one of the most expensive exploration areas in the world employing over 400,000 people. The slump has caused oil companies to cut hundreds of jobs from the region.

To help the oil industry, Britain announced in March a series of oil tax cuts and the creation of an investment allowance to revive oil production. Oil production is at its lowest level since the North Sea fields started pumping fossil fuels in the mid-1970s.

Companies with exposure to the United States have also been hit and have taken a number of initiatives, ranging from wage freezes to restructuring. Weir Group Plc, a maker of valves and pumps, in February began the process of cutting just over 20% of its North American oil and gas division. It also said it would consolidate five smaller manufacturing facilities to make further savings.

Hunting Plc, which provides well maintenance equipment, has over the past year announced a number of measures. Hunting has slashed about 20 percent of jobs since the beginning of the year. 

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