A string of mass firings in the energy and retail industries is taking a toll on Canadians’ job security, recent polling suggests. The share of Canadians who say their employment isn’t fully secure rose last week to 15 percent, the highest since June 2013, according to a weekly survey by Nanos Research Group. The share who say their jobs are at least somewhat secure has declined to 68.9 percent, the lowest since early January. High-profile companies have recently announced closings and Canada’s unemployment rate is at a five-month high as the country copes with the plunge in oil prices and consolidation in the retail industry.
Oil & Gas
Conservative MEP Ian Duncan was in Aberdeen yesterday to highlight the support his party had provided to the North Sea oil and gas industry. He said a £1.3billion package unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne last month had given the sector – blighted by a global fall in the oil price – a welcome boost. Petroleum revenue tax has been reduced from 50% to 35% and the supplementary tax has dropped from 30% to 20%. Speaking at the Maritime Museum, Mr Duncan said: “The tax breaks and support which George Osborne delivered are exactly what the oil and gas industry need to safeguard jobs and investment. “That is what you get when you vote Scottish Conservative – jobs and growth as part of a long-term economic plan.
The Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Ukraine has requested one billion cubic metres of gas imports from Russia this month. It would treble the amount received in March and comes after Naftogaz and Russia’s Gazprom signed an interim deal for cheaper supplies of gas from Russia. The deal, which is expected to last three month, could help provide some time as both country’s debate energy costs.
The oil price slump grinds on and the North Sea remains in crisis, but Wood Group’s chief executive Bob Keiller is clear that people, the UK offshore industry’s primary resource, must still be valued. During last month’s UK Oil & Gas roadshow ahead of the budget, Keiller made it clear that talk about “we’re going to have to get rid of a few people” was unacceptable. “Unless you’re in the Mafia you don’t get rid of people,” he warned an Aberdeen audience. “You may take away their jobs, you may take away their self-esteem, their dignity, their reason for getting up in the morning; there will still be a person there; there will still be a family behind them. “The impact of job losses shouldn’t be underestimated.”
A consultation by EnQuest into changes in shift patterns for offshore workers could mean a reduction in headcount of more than 100 contracted employees. The oil firm, had previously announced to staff it was considering a move to a three on, three off shift pattern, in line with a number of companies including Shell and Chevron. A consultation period is currently being carried out and is expected to last around 30 days. The move could see companies including KCA Deutag, Petrofac and Sodexo see a reduction in headcount of up t0 146 staff in total used by the operator . This total includes nine EnQuest jobs previously announced.
A north east firm is licking its lips at the prospect of growing demand from oil and gas firms after receiving a “number of inquiries” for ultrasound technology currently being used by Italian sports car maker Lamborghini. Aberdeen-based RSL is a supplier of equipment designed to check the strength of materials without damaging them, a technique known in the trade as non-destructive testing (NDT). Last year, the company agreed to become a UK reseller of DolphiCam, a type of camera that can assess impact damage on carbon-fibre-reinforced plastics by creating 2D and 3D images through the material. Made by Norway’s DolphiTech, the camera is currently being used by Lamborghini and aerospace giant Boeing, and RSL thinks the technology can be applied in the subsea sector.
Global Energy Group has continued its diversification strategy with the acquisition of a metals specialist in the nuclear industry. The Inverness and Aberdeen-based energy service firm snapped up Langfields, a nickel alloy and titanium fabrication business that also serves the pharmaceutical, chemical, offshore, marine and defence industries. The Salford-based firm, wholly owned by Robert Dean, 60, has a pedigree dating back to 1908 when it was involved in the production of mild steel, copper and brass components. Iain MacGregor, Global’s chief executive, said the deal “brings us into more non-oil and gas work, specifically nuclear”. He added: “I think it's important for companies in the oilfield services sector to diversify their risks in the current climate. This is why both of our last two acquisitions have been non oil and gas.”
Global oilfield service company Forum Energy Technologies yesterday said it has made 12 employees redundant following the closure of its workshop in Lybster, Caithness. The Houston-based firm’s statement adds it to an ever-growing list of oil and gas companies that have been forced to lay off staff due to low crude prices and rising costs. Last week oil giant Shell said it would make 250 of its North Sea workforce redundant, while Taqa revealed plans to reduce its headcount by 100. BP earlier announced it would cut 200 full-time onshore positions and 100 contractor roles from its 4,000-strong North Sea workforce. Forum yesterday said that the company’s operations at Lybster, which focused on the manufacture of oil well drilling equipment, will be shifted to one of its other facilities.
Three workers are missing following the huge blaze on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico that killed four workers and burned for hours. Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said it became aware of the missing workers when it recounted personnel after Wednesday’s fire on the Abkatun-A Permanente shallow-water platform in the Campeche Sound. One of the missing workers was from Pemex and the other two were employed by contractor Cotemar, the company said.
Iran and world powers took their biggest step toward ending a decade-old nuclear standoff, saying they agreed on the main outlines of an accord after more than a week of grueling talks. The deal announced in Lausanne, Switzerland on Thursday doesn’t commit either side to immediate action, and leaves three more months for diplomats to fill in details. But by outlining areas of consensus, from a timetable for lifting sanctions to the repurposing of Iranian nuclear facilities, it brings the Islamic Republic closer than at any time since the 1979 revolution to international normalcy. President Barack Obama called it an “historic understanding,” and the International Atomic Energy Agency said it was ready to verify Iran’s actions. There were early signs, though, that the next steps won’t be easy.
Shell has a new boss at the helm of its UK North Sea business after Glen Cayley, who was the oil and gas giant’s upstream director for the region, left to join the new Oil and Gas Authority (OGA). Paul Goodfellow took over as Shell’s upstream vice-president for the UK and Ireland last month in a low-profile change. One of his first tasks was to oversee last week’s announcement of 250 job cuts and changes to offshore shift patterns. Mr Goodfellow was previously unconventionals vice-president, US and Canada, for Shell’s upstream business in the Americas. Before that, he was onshore development vice-president in the Americas upstream operations, with responsibility for field development planning, technical and technology functions.
Pemex has denied reports one of its platforms had collapsed following a fire which killed four people. The state-owned Mexican company published an image taken of the Abkatun Permanente platform in the Bay of Campeche less than 24 hours after the incident which showed the extent of the damge caused. It comes after photos appeared on social media reporting to show the platform had collapsed following the blaze.
Equatorial Guinea has ratified a production sharing contract (PSC) with ExxonMobil to explore an oil and gas block off Bioko Island. The Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy said the contract was signed early this year. Block EG-06 is located offshore Bioko Island. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines for Industry and Energy, said: 'The Ratification of the new PSC signifies the start of a new adventure between old acquaintances and is expected to be as successful as the first one.
A Banchory-based engineering firm is making its work in the renewable energy industry pay after diversifying from the oil and gas sector. Ecosse Subsea Systems (ESS) said more than half of its projects are now in renewables. Yesterday it confirmed that the decision to branch out into the sector has played a big part in tripling the firm’s profits. ESS, which performs seabed clearance, trenching and cable laying work, said revenues hit £15million for the year ending March 2014, an 88% increase, while operating profits went up to £3.4million from £1million.
Oil heir Andrew Getty had been diagnosed with a brain aneurysm and had not been eating or sleeping well in the days before his death, the mother of his girlfriend said. Marilynne DeJonge told The Associated Press she has not spoken to her daughter Lanessa DeJonge since Saturday and is worried about her. She said Lanessa DeJonge met Mr Getty seven years ago and depended on him for housing, and she does not have a phone.
Iran and world powers extended talks aimed at ending the 12-year standoff over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program into an eighth day with the US indicating progress toward an agreement. Diplomats negotiated all night in Lausanne, Switzerland and will reconvene at about 9:00 a.m. local time, US spokeswoman Marie Harf said. The US State Department said late Wednesday that enough progress had been made in meetings between Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif to warrant continuing talks.
A fire which broke out on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico has now been put out. Mexican state-owned Pemex said there were four fatalities on the Abkatun Permanente platform in the Bay of Campeche. One of the workers was from Pemex, while another was a contractor working for services firm Cotemar. Two others killed in the fire have yet to be identified.
Aberdeen-based ROV services provider, ROVOP, has established a Western Hemisphere headquarters and support base in Houston and appointed three highly-regarded ROV industry professionals to lead the business. Scott Wagner, Brett Eychner and Wayne Betts bring a combined total of more than 100 years’ global experience in the ROV services sector to ROVOP. They join an established management team and staff of 130 based in Aberdeen. The company’s client portfolio includes oil and gas, offshore wind and telecommunications companies.
This footage shows the full extent of a fire on a Pemex-owned platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The incident happened on the Pemex operated Abkatun Alpha platform in the Bay of Campeche.
Pemex chief executive Emilio Lozoya Austin has expressed his gratitude to staff dealing with a fire in the Gulf of Mexico which has left four people dead.
The Mexican President has paid tribute to those killed by a fire on a platform in the Gulf of Mexico. President Enrique Peña Nieto spoke just hours after the fire which has left four workers dead and dozens of people injured. Around 300 workers had to be evacuated from the Pemex operated Abkatun Alpha platform in the Bay of Campeche earlier today.
These images show the extent of the fire which has engulfed a Pemex platform in the Gulf of Mexico.
Pemex, the Mexican state-run oil company, said at least four people have now died following a fire on a production platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Around 300 workers have also been evacuated, with the company reporting 16 people have been taken to nearby hospitals to be treated for injuries. The incident happened on the Pemex operated Abkatun Alpha platform in the Bay of Campeche earlier today.
China’s biggest oil refiner is signaling the nation is headed to its peak in diesel and gasoline consumption far sooner than most Western energy companies and analysts are forecasting. If correct, the projections by China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec, a state-controlled enterprise with public shareholders in Hong Kong, pose a big challenge to the world’s largest oil companies. They’re counting on demand from China and other developing countries to keep their businesses growing as energy consumption falls in more advanced economies. “Plenty of people are talking about the peak in Chinese coal, but not many are talking about the peak in Chinese diesel demand, or Chinese oil generally,” said Mark C. Lewis, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux in Paris who has written on how oil companies should broaden their activities to produce all forms of energy. “It is shocking.”
An oil worker has died and more than a dozen others have been injured after a fire broke out on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The incident happened on the Pemex operated Abkatun Alpha platform in the Bay of Campeche earlier today. A spokeswoman for Pemex confirmed one person had been killed while 16 others had also been hurt. Two of the workers are believed to be in a serious condition.