Energy giant ConocoPhillips said yesterday that it would lay off about 450 workers across the UK, dealing a blow to hopes for a North Sea recovery.
ConocoPhillips has 1,300 staff members and contractors in the UK, including about 700 in Aberdeen.
The job losses will be spread out over the next two years and it is not yet clear how many Granite-City-based workers will be affected.
The redundancies are a consequence of ConocoPhillips’ plans to halt production from a number of North Sea fields served by a gas terminal in Lincolnshire.
A spokeswoman for the company said: “It is anticipated that around 450 positions will be lost across ConocoPhillips UK assets between 1 October 2018 and April 2020.
“This is following a voluntary redundancy programme, being carried out due to cessation of our southern North Sea production through the Theddlethorpe Gas Terminal later this year.”
Willie Wallace, regional officer for the Unite trade union, said the job losses poured cold water on recent predictions that the sector will stabilise in 2018.
Mr Wallace also said he expected ConocoPhillips’ move to have an impact on jobs in Aberdeen.
The installations are in the southern North Sea, but staff members in Aberdeen are likely to be involved in operating them, he said.
Ross Thomson, Scottish Conservative MP for Aberdeen South, said: “This will obviously be very worrying news for employees at ConocoPhillips in Aberdeen.
“I will be urgently seeking further information on exactly how many posts in the city may be affected.
“The timing of the announcement is surprising given recent signs of a recovery in the North Sea sector.
“It is particularly disappointing to hear this just a day after BP has announced it is developing two new fields in the UK continental shelf capable of producing 30,000 barrels of oil a day.”
Scottish Labour’s energy spokesman, Lewis Macdonald MSP said: “Job losses of this scale show the oil jobs crisis is far from over.”
Recommended for you
Read the latest opinion pieces from our Energy Voice columnists
- Standardising specifications: a new approach
- OPINION: Victim’s son fears another Piper Alpha is ‘just around the corner’
- OPINION: Contractor lawyers in demand as firms reluctant to return to bloated workforces
- OPINION: Are Electric Vehicles changing BP’s business model?
- OPINION: Where helicopter safety is concerned, regulations matter