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Premier makes job reductions following losses

Industry news

Premier Oil has told staff that it plans to reduce its headcount by 10% due to the drop in oil prices, with about 20 full-time employees in Aberdeen likely to be affected.

The London-headquartered company is also expected to start decommissioning work on its Balmoral platform, which has been operating in the North Sea since 1986, because it is no longer profitable.

Premier Oil last month said it suffered losses of £250million in 2014, blaming the disastrous result on the crude price drop and impairment charges of £210million relating to its North Sea fields.

The firm, whose operations stretches from the Falklands to Indonesia, had made a profit of £185million in 2013.

Delays to its £900million Solan development off Shetland contributed to the charge. Commissioning on Solan started in November with the arrival of a floating hotel to accommodate 400 people, but poor weather and low productivity in winter slowed down attempts to get it on line. It now appears that Solan is unlikely to produce first oil before the end of this year.

Last month the company said no decisions had been made regarding its North Sea workforce, but admitted it would slash spending by 23% and cut contractor rates. It offloaded its non-operated interests in the producing Scott, Telford and Rochelle fields to MOL Group for about £80million last year. And Swedish petrol firm Lundin bought its 30% stake in PL359 for around £12million.

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