Harbour blames windfall tax for job cuts
Harbour is the biggest North Sea operator
Harbour Energy, the North Sea’s largest oil and gas producer, has blamed the energy profits levy, or windfall tax, for cutting 350 jobs.
Scottish staff expected to bear the brunt of the redundancies as the company said the charge introduced by the UK Government last year would prompt it to scale back UK operations.
It is consulting with with its 1,200 onshore staff, mostly based in Aberdeen.
The levy was initially introduced last May by Rishi Sunak, then chancellor, and was hiked by his successor Jeremy Hunt in his autumn statement. It means oil and gas firms now pay 75% on additional UK profits until 2028, despite the oil price falling over that time.
A number of oil and gas majors have said they will pause investments while others, such as Shell, have said they will refocus their plans on other regions.
Harbour, formed by a merger of Premier Oil and Chrysaor two years ago, produced the equivalent of 208,000 barrels of oil per day last year, making it the largest company by that measure on the UK continental shelf.
A spokesman said: “When we announced the review in January, we said that as a result of the energy profits levy, which results in an effective tax rate of 75% in the UK regardless of the level of oil and gas prices in the market or realised, we have had to reassess our future activity level in the UK.
“We have confirmed that we expect to have around 350 fewer onshore jobs in our UK business unit, from a baseline of approximately 1,200. We are very conscious of the impact of this news on our people, and we are carrying out the review fairly and with consideration for everyone who is affected.”
It said the figures do not include UK and international corporate roles or those among its offshore workforce although it expects the impact in the latter to be “significantly lower”.