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BP to axe 600 as oil crisis deepens in North Sea

BP plans to cut 600 jobs from its North Sea headcount as it faces “toughening market conditions”.

The cutback amounts to about 20% the 3,000 staff and agency contractors working for the company in the region.

Of these 1,800 are in Aberdeen, 500 are employed offshore, 200 are based at Sullom Voe on Shetland, 200 are in the Grangemouth area, while a further 250 are in South Korea on contracts linked to BP’s Quad 204 and Claire Ridge developments.

Mark Thomas, regional president for BP North Sea, said the company is committed to the region, despite the planned job losses.

He said: “We are committed to the North Sea and see a long term future for our business here. For example, in 2016, we are continuing to invest around $2billion of capital into North Sea projects and a further $2 billion in running our North Sea operations. This will sustain many hundreds of jobs both in BP North Sea and our supply chain going forward.

“However, in toughening market conditions and given the well-documented challenges of operating in this maturing region, we need to take specific steps to ensure our business remains competitive and robust.

“An inevitable outcome of this will be an impact on headcount and we expect a reduction of around 600 staff and agency contractor roles by the end of 2017, with the majority of these taking place this year.

“We are speaking to our staff and agency contractor management and will work with those affected over the coming months.”

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “This will be an anxious time for BP workers and their families who are affected by this news.

“The Scottish Government will work closely with BP and with those who face redundancy to help them into alternative employment through our initiative for responding to redundancy situations, Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE).

“The Scottish Government is fully committed to working with the oil and gas industry during these challenging times. Our Energy Jobs Taskforce is co-ordinating action and laying a solid foundation for a truly modernised North Sea oil industry and has helped support more than 2,500 individuals and 100 employers through the current downturn.

“Given the challenges presented by lower oil prices and an increasingly complex operating environment, a key role for government will be to ensure that the fiscal regime is stable, predictable and that headline tax rates in the UK Continental Shelf remain internationally competitive.”

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