Up to 100 jobs are thought to be at risk from Premier Oil’s plans to terminate vessel owner Teekay’s contract for a North Sea field.
But talks with another operator, Hibiscus, about redeploying the vessel to the Malaysian firm’s Marigold field, offshore UK, have provided a glimpse of hope.
Premier Oil has served Teekay with notice to remove the Voyageur floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel from the Huntington field, according to the minutes of a”townhall” meeting seen by Energy Voice.
In the document, Teekay said it would seek to “minimise any compulsory job losses by absorbing as many affected employees as possible within the wider organisation”, but warned that redundancy “could not be ruled out”.
One worker claimed 80 to 100 jobs were at risk, adding that many of the workers were residents of north-east Scotland.
Teekay had been in negotiations to win a one-year extension to keep Voyageur on Huntington.
But Premier told Teekay that a “recent and progressive drop in production, together with forecasted production levels, meant that it was not economically viable to continue on Huntington”.
The field’s output has dropped to 2,500 barrels of oil per day, according to the minutes, which stated Voyageur could be removed early in summer 2020.
Stig Morten Helland, Teekay’s Aberdeen-based head of UK operations, told staff members the outcome was “not expected or ideal”.
But, offering some hope, he said no other vessel owners were in contention for the Marigold field deal with Hibiscus.
Hibiscus revealed in November that it intended to develop a number of assets in the UK North Sea, including Marigold, 155 miles north-east of Aberdeen, using an FPSO.
A spokeswoman for Teekay said: “Teekay Offshore can confirm that Premier Oil has issued a notice of termination for the contract of the Voyageur Spirit on Huntington.
“We continue to work with Premier in planning for demobilisation from the field whilst engaging in various opportunities with other operators to redeploy the Voyageur Spirit in the UK.”
Premier Oil declined to comment.
Premier acquired a 40% non-operated interest in Huntington, 125 miles east of Aberdeen, in 2009 as a result of the Oilexco acquisition.
First oil was achieved in 2013.
Premier increased it equity to 100% of through the acquisition of E.ON’s UK North Sea assets in 2016.