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North Sea

Dear Mr Robertson: ‘I’m living the crisis’

Austen Russell said MSP Dennis Robertson’s comments about the current state of the North Sea oil and gas industry felt like a “kick in the teeth”. The 38-year-old has been tirelessly looking for work every day since he was made redundant from his job with a pipe lay company last October where he worked as a technical supervisor. He had his first break in the industry 18 years ago when he started out as a well test trainee.

Oil & Gas

Brae Alpha shut down moves into tenth day

A North Sea platform is believed to have entered its tenth day in shut down as investigations continue into the cause of a gas leak on board the installation. Production was shut down on Marathon’s Brae Alpha platform on Boxing Day after an alarm was raised. It is believed 73 workers remain on board the platform which is about 155miles north east of Aberdeen.

Oil & Gas

Shell, BG competition decision delayed in Australia

A decision on Shell's takeover of BG Group by Australia's competition watchdog has been postponed until the middle of November. The move follows an earlier deferral last month by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). It said last month that market participants had expressed concerns the takeover may harm gas supply competition in eastern Australia.

Health, Safety & Environment

Oil company pleads guilty to breaching safe workplace duties after death of workers

An oil company has pleaded guilty to breaching its duty to provide a safe workplace after the death of two workers on a rig. Stena Drilling Australia is expected to be sentenced next month after entering the plea at a Magistrates Court in Victoria. It followed the deaths of floorman Peter Meddens and toolpusher Barry Denholm who had been working on the Stena Clyde mobile offshore drilling unit.

Oil & Gas

Unions could ‘jeopardise’ future investment after OCA no vote

North Sea oil workers could be jeopardising future investment in the North Sea if they choose to ballot over strike action, according to a top industrial relations expert. Unions voted against a package offered by the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) earlier this week, a move which could lead them back to the negotiating table or a potential strike not seen since the 1980s. Sean Saluja, a partner at Burness Paull and head of their employment division, said the decline in oil price since last year had been more “significant” than the industry had previously anticipated.

Oil & Gas

Petrobras workers on strike

Brazilian oil workers have begun a 24 hour strike in an effort to halt moves to shrink state-run oil company Petrobas. Union workers, led by FUP – the country’s largest federation of oil workers for refineries and oil platforms – called for employees to walk off their jobs on Thursday at midnight. Petrobas has announced plans to sell $15.1billion of assets by the end of 2016 in a bid to pay down debt.

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.

Oil & Gas

In the pipeline: North Sea workers to vote over strike

North sea oil workers could be set to down tools as unions move to ballot over possible strike action following changes to working conditions. Unite and GMB union members of the Offshore Contractor Association (OCA) will vote on whether to take industrial action after talks with industry bosses in London broke down on Friday. Contractors refused to negotiate over shift pattern changes from two weeks on/three weeks off to three weeks on/three weeks off and cuts to pension payments, sick pay and holiday leave.