Falling oil prices lead to more cuts in North Sea Oil and Gas Operations

BP announced today that it would be cutting up to 300 jobs after a review of its North Sea Operations. This is expected to affect onshore staff most, but BP is also expected to reduce pay for contractors, in line with other oil and gas companies’ recent actions.

The oil company has actually been downsizing since the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but will be speeding up the process due to the declining oil prices.

BP currently employs nearly 4,000 people in the North Sea, with a further 11,000 elsewhere in the UK. North Sea Operations count for 5% of the company’s global production, with 45 productions fields, 33 platforms and 10 pipeline systems in the UK Continental Shelf.

This news comes after Wood Group PSN (WGPSN) announced in December that it would be cutting pay rates by up to 10% from January, and many large oil companies having cut investments in the North Sea, favouring more profitable new fields in emerging areas such as Southeast Asia and Brazil.

Premier Oil also said this week that it wasn’t going to commit to new exploration work beyond eight main projects, none of which are based in Britain.

The rapidly declining oil prices could pose a real threat to offshore jobs worldwide, so unless they pick up soon, the problems could get much worse.

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