North-east oilfield support services firm Asco has struck a deal worth more than £50million with Marathon Oil UK for work in the North Sea. The five-year contract will see Asco provide a range of integrated oilfield services to support Marathon’s Brae field operations. Commenting on the award, Craig Lennox, Asco’s chief executive for Europe, said: “Asco has supported Marathon Oil for many years and we are delighted to secure a new long term contract with them.
Marathon Oil is said to be seeking bids for its interest in four onshore exploration blocks in East Africa. The company is looking to focus on its blocks in the US shale formations.
Marathon Oil is expected to reduce its headcount by around 10% as it looks to lower costs. The company said it between 350-400 jobs would be affected by the decision. It is expected staff affected will be based in the US.
Marathon Oil has estimated its investment and exploration budget will be 20% lower for 2015. The company said the capital program of around $4.5billion for next year will reflect a significant weighting to the company’s high return investment opportunities in the US as well as lower exploration spending. Marathon said the “continuing dynamic change” in crude oil markets, together with the expected impact to oilfield service cost, mean it will need additional time before the budget is finalised.
North Sea oil workers at Marathon Oil are considering industrial action after bosses cut their satellite television and daily newspaper subscriptions.