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Shetland

Europe

High winds halt tanker berthings at Sullom Voe

Oil tanker berthings at the Sullom Voe oil terminal in Shetland have been suspended until at least the early hours of tomorrow morning because of high winds, port authority and trade sources said today.

Oil & Gas

Job consultation launched at Sullom Voe Terminal

Talks are being held with Wood Group and Bilfinger Industrial Services staff working at the Sullom Voe Terminal in Shetland over the future of up to more than 200 positions. Wood Group is in discussions regarding around 90 positions at the BP-operated terminal following a review of its personnel requirements brought on by changes being made to work on the site. Meanwhile Bilfinger Industrial Services said it had also initiated consultation due to changes in seasonal workloads and winter working conditions.

Markets

Petrofac hit by losses from increase in Shetland project costs

Petrofac has posted a net loss for the first half of the year which was affected by an increase in costs from its Laggan-Tormore project in the Shetland Islands. The company said net loss for the period was $133million, compared with a net profit of $136million a year earlier. Petrofac has incurred $236million in loss on the delayed Shetland Islands project so far this year.

Other News

Top law officer’s bid to get black box is delayed

Scotland's top law officer will have to wait until the end of the year to find out if prosecutors can get early access to the black box from a doomed helicopter. Four oil workers died when the Super Puma AS332-L2 aircraft plunged into the sea off Shetland in August 2013. Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland launched a legal challenge at the Court of Session earlier this year to try to speed up an investigation into the tragedy.

Other News

Scatsta to reduce staff at airport in Shetland in wake of oil price decline

Shetland’s busy oil airport at Scatsta is set to cut staff by almost a third in response to the offshore industry contracting its North Sea operations in the wake of the oil price decline. Airport operators Serco have confirmed they are looking to reduce their headcount by between 25% and 35% by the end of the year. The move comes after Bristow Helicopters announced it was in consultation with staff over jobs earlier this month.

Markets

Petrofac market value drops as Shetland operations costs rise

A fresh profits warning on the troubled Laggan-Tormore gas terminal development hit the share price of service giant Petrofac yesterday. Almost £350million was wiped off Petrofac’s market value as shares slid 10% to 912.5p. The firm admitted it would lose a further £130million on the Total-operated project, in addition to the £154million in losses it took on the scheme in 2014. This on a project value of £800million. Ayman Asfari, Petrofac’s Chief Executive listed a number of difficulties facing the development of the loss-making gas terminal that included industrial action and the high cost of doing business in the North Sea.

Markets

Petrofac to incur additional $195million cost on Shetland Gas Plant

Petrofac is set to incur a further $195million charge on the Laggan-Tormore project as a result of continued delays. The company is currently building the Shetland Gas Plant for Total after signing a £800million deal in 2010 for engineering, procurement, supply, construction and commissioning of the site. Petrofac has previously said it expected to recognise no further profit or loss on the project over the remainder of the contract duration.

Health, Safety & Environment

Shetland Gas Plant worker dies

An oil worker has passed away after becoming unwell at the Shetland Gas Plant (SGP). An oil worker has passed away after becoming unwell at the Shetland Gas Plant (SGP). The 61-year-old, who worked for services company Petrofac, said the man had become unwell on site and was taken to Bain Hospital in Lerwick before being transferred to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. A Petrofac spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that a Shetland Gas Plant worker sadly passed away today (Thursday 26 March 2015).

Renewables/Energy Transition

Appeal against large-scale Shetland windfarm dismissed

Judges at the UK Supreme Court have dismissed an appeal against plans to build a large-scale wind farm in the Shetland Islands. Environmental campaigners at Sustainable Shetland challenged a decision to allow more than 100 turbines to be installed across three different areas on the islands. The group argued that when the Scottish Government backed the plans for the Viking wind farm project, which could provide energy for up to 175,000 homes, it failed to take into account “positive obligations” under European Union environmental legislation to protect the rare whimbrel bird and bring its population levels up to “favourable conservation status".

Health, Safety & Environment

Minister in firing line for oil disaster snub

A UK Government minister was under fire last night for refusing to meet the widows of the oil workers who died in the 2013 Super Puma crash. Labour MP Frank Doran said he was “extremely disappointed” Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin had declined an invitation to meet families and the survivors who were on-board the doomed flight. Sarah Darnley, 45, from Elgin, Gary McCrossan, 59, from Inverness, George Allison, 57, from Winchester and Duncan Munro, 46, from Bishop Auckland died when the aircraft plunged into the sea near Sumburgh in Shetland in August last year.

People

Sullom Voe faces worker strike ballot

Construction workers upgrading the BP-run oil terminal at Sullom Voe in Shetland are to be balloted on industrial action over pay and conditions. Around 500 staff are seeking improvements to their terms and conditions to mirror those afforded their counterparts working on Total’s new gas plant next door. Concessions being sought include travel payments, compensation for getting stuck at the airport, harmonisation of terms and conditions for local workers, and a renegotiation of shift patterns.

Oil & Gas

Shetland gas plant held up

French oil company Total has finally admitted its new £800million Shetland gas plant will not be completed this year. A company spokesman said it was likely to be ready during the first three months of the 2015, about nine months behind schedule. Following months of denial and a profit warning from main contractor Petrofac last month, Total issued a short statement yesterday.

Oil & Gas

Offshore worker evacuated from Shetland platform

An offshore worker was airlifted to hospital last night after falling on a North Sea platform. The 64-year-old man is believed to have fallen from a ladder aboard TAQA's Eider platform, 112 miles north-east of Shetland, at 10pm.

Oil & Gas

Petrofac predicts 2015 losses from Laggan-Tormore

Petrofac said it expects its IES net profit for 2015 to drop by around $45million after assessing a number of ongoing projects. The company said the current change in oil prices and “expectation on delivery” of certain IES projects had been behind the estimated reduction. Within the next year, the company said the Laggan-Tormore project in Shetland, would result in “no profit or loss”.

Oil & Gas

Dutch-firm awarded contract by BP

Dutch-firm Fugro GEOS has been awarded a contract by oil giant BP for the provision of wellhead and riser monitoring services. The contact will support BP drilling activities for the Quad 204 redevelopment of the Schiehallion field west of Shetland.