North-east job losses are thought to be “inevitable” if a potential merger involving two offshore giants takes place, a union boss warned last night.
Energy services firm TechnipFMC and US-based multinational Halliburton are understood to be locked in high-level talks about a possible unification of services.
London, Paris and Houston-headquartered TechnipFMC is in the process of splitting into two separate companies.
Energy Voice understands the group plans to unite its technology and services arm, TechnipFMC (RemainCo), with Halliburton.
Technip Energies (SpinCo) would continue to operate as a standalone business.
It is understood the merger is likely to take place after the full separation of TechnipFMC in the second quarter of 2020.
Jake Molloy, regional organiser for offshore union RMT, warned the deal could mean job losses both onshore and offshore.
Mr Molloy said: “It’s inevitable there will be some reduction there, but it’s difficult to say by how much at this stage.
“TechnipFMC have a big group of people based in Westhill, so there will be nervousness about this. With any coming together, there’s always a degree of attrition.”
TechnipFMC said it did not comment on “rumour”, adding it was “engaged in a spin-off transaction to create two industry-leading, independent, publicly traded companies”.
Halliburton also refused to comment.
The US firm is chiefly interested in TechnipFMC’s subsea business, according to sources.
One industry insider said the talks were prompted by a desire to compete more effectively with the recent subsea integration agreement between Subsea 7 and Schlumberger.
Another source confirmed that conversations were underway and part of a “long-standing commercial alliance” between the two firms.
TechnipFMC employs nearly 37,000 people worldwide, including more than 1,000 in the Aberdeen area. Halliburton has hundreds of employees in the Granite City.