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Another oil major to cut North Sea jobs

US firm ConocoPhillips has become the latest oil major to warn of job losses in the UK North Sea, although it refused to say how many or where exactly the axe is likely to fall. ConocoPhillips, which is poised to take over as the biggest oil producer in the region in terms of production volume by the end of this year, told the Press and Journal it had recently launched a review of its UK business. It added: “Like other operators in the North Sea, we are focused on improving the operating efficiency and production outlook for our business. “We have now started a consultation process with staff relating to organisational restructuring to establish a model to drive our UK business forward in an efficient and sustainable manner. “We do anticipate some redundancies but at this stage the actual number has not yet been defined.” ConocoPhillips is the world’s largest oil and gas exploration and production company. It currently employs about 1,000 people directly and a further 600 contract workers in the UK. A spokeswoman for the firm said the totals included about 700 staff and 400 contractors working out of Aberdeen. The group’s Granite City-based UK business either operates or has stakes in assets including the Britannia field and its satellites, Judy/Joanne, Jade, Jasmine, CMS, Galleon, LOGGS, Saturn Unit, V-Fields, Victor, Viking, Calder, Darwen, Crossens, Asland, Millom, Dalton, Clair, MacCulloch and Nicol. Onshore, the company has interests in the Rivers terminal at Barrow-in-Furness, the Teesside oil terminal at Seal Sands, Middlesbrough, and Theddlethorpe gas plant in Lincolnshire. Its job cutting comes hot on the heels of BP launching a cost reduction exercise in the North Sea in line with rivals such as Shell and Chevron which have axed hundreds of roles as low oil prices and high overheads take their toll. BP has declined to reveal the likely impact of its review on its 4,000-strong North Sea workforce.

Special Features

Shell acts on industry’s skills crisis

Amid the growing need for skilled workers in the engineering industry, Shell has confirmed its investment in a programme aimed to inspire the next generation. Tomorrow's Engineers, run by Engineering UK, aims to tackle the skills crisis by encouraging and inspiring more students to study, and pursue, a career in science, technology, engineering or maths.


Shell oil accord signals energy shift for ICA

Empresas ICA SAB’s contract to supply engineering services for Royal Dutch Shell Plc in Canada is signaling to investors that the Mexican construction company is seeking energy projects abroad to cut debt and boost profit. Mexico’s largest construction company surged 4.6 percent in the past two sessions, the biggest back-to-back increase in more than five months, after announcing a $264 million contract with partner Fluor Corp. to build well pads for heavy-oil extraction at Shell’s Carmon Creek project in Alberta. The worst performer among Mexico’s industrial and construction stocks this year, ICA has tumbled about 10 percent, while global peers gained about 19 percent. The contract with Shell, Europe’s biggest oil company, will boost ICA’s net income and open the door for increased participation in crude projects domestically and abroad through the joint venture with Fluor, Monex Casa de Bolsa analyst Roberto Solano said. “This type of contract is like a key that can open opportunities to similar projects in the future,” Solano said yesterday in an interview from Mexico City. “Participating in this project generates a favorable scenario for the company when considering new projects in Mexico as the energy sector opens.” Mexico’s landmark 2013 energy law opens the country’s energy industry to private competition for the first time since 1938 to help stem declining crude production.

Energy Technology

Shell invests £1million to bridge skills gap

Oil giant Shell has invested £1million in a programme aimed at helping address the UK’s critical shortage of scientists and engineers. The Perkins Review of Engineering Skills, published last year, called for urgent action from employers to address this shortage. Shell’s three-year funding, which has been invested in the Tomorrow’s Engineer’s Programme, will enable the programme to expand into more than 500 new schools across the UK.

Oil & Gas

Shells asks for five-year extension in Alaska

A letter obtained by an environmental campaign group from Shell to the US government shows the oil major asked for a five-year extension to its drilling leases in the Arctic waters. The company wrote a letter in July to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement to ask for more time to discover oil in waters North of Alaska.

Oil & Gas

Shell produces first oil on Malaysian platform

Oil giant Shell has produced its first oil from the Gumusut-Kakap floating platform off the coast of Malaysia. It is the latest in a series of Shell deep-water contracts and the platform is expected to reach an annual production of around 135,000 barrels per day (bpd) once fully ramped up.

Oil & Gas

Shell launches sea bed rescue for lost container

A sea bed rescue has been launched by Shell after a large container plunged into the North Sea from its Brent Alpha platform. The container is still to be retrieved, but has been placed on the sea bed at a depth of 140 metres by personnel after the Normand Subsea Dive Support Vessel (DSV) was brought in to retrieve it.


UK’s FTSE 100 Index falls for third day as Shell, BP lead drop

UK stocks declined for a third day, their longest streak of losses in a month, as oil companies led the benchmark FTSE 100 Index lower. Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Class B shares, which have a UK source for tax purposes, slid 1.6%. BP Plc retreated 1%. Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc gained 2.9% as Citigroup Inc. recommended buying the stock. Quindell Plc gained 5.6% after saying a court ruled in its favour in libel proceedings against short seller Gotham City Research LLC.