UK oil job losses ‘to reach 120,000

Pakistan Observer - - 14 -

LON­DON—The num­ber of jobs lost as a re­sult of the down­turn in the UK oil and gas sec­tor could top 120,000 by the end of this year, ac­cord­ing to a re­port. New em­ploy­ment fig­ures based on the lat­est pub­lished data have been re­leased by in­dus­try trade body Oil & Gas UK. Oil & Gas UK es­ti­mated 84,000 jobs linked to the in­dus­try went in 2015, with 40,000 losses ex­pected this year. The anal­y­sis, car­ried out by mar­ket­ing ser­vices com­pany Ex­pe­rian, fore­casts that in 2016 just over 330,000 jobs in the UK will be de­liv­ered through or sup­ported by oil and gas pro­duc­tion.

Th­ese jobs are across the whole coun­try and cover: l Di­rect em­ploy­ment pro­vided by com­pa­nies in­volved in the ex­trac­tion of crude oil and nat­u­ral gas and sup­ply chain com­pa­nies who di­rectly sup­port this ac­tiv­ity l In­di­rect em­ploy­ment across the ex­ten­sive sup­ply chain which also ex­ports goods and ser­vices over­seas l In­duced jobs cre­ated by the sec­tor’s spend­ing in the wider econ­omy, such as in ho­tels, cater­ing and taxis

Brent crude is cur­rently trad­ing at around $50 a bar­rel, less than half the price it was in 2014 when jobs linked to the sec­tor peaked at over 450,000. Jobs sup­ported fell by an es­ti­mated 84,000 to around 370,000 in 2015, and are fore­cast to have fallen a fur­ther 40,000 by the end of this year. Deirdre Michie, CEO of Oil & Gas UK, said: “We can­not un­der­es­ti­mate the im­pact the global down­turn in the in­dus­try is hav­ing on the UK econ­omy, nor the per­sonal toll for those who have lost their jobs, and the ef­fect on their fam­i­lies and col­leagues.”

Michie said: “We rec­og­nize this and are do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to sup­port th­ese peo­ple, work­ing with the UK and Scot­tish Gov­ern­ments through their task forces to find suit­able al­ter­na­tive em­ploy­ment, as well as with the unions as we go through th­ese dif­fi­cult times.” The CEO said: “The in­dus­try has been spend­ing more than it is earn­ing since the oil price slump to­ward the end of 2014. This is not sus­tain­able and com­pa­nies have been faced with some very dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions. To sur­vive, the in­dus­try has had no choice but to im­prove its per­for­mance. It is look­ing to find ef­fi­cien­cies to re­store com­pet­i­tive­ness, to at­tract in­vest­ment and stim­u­late ac­tiv­ity in the North Sea.

With up to 20 bil­lion bar­rels of oil and gas still to re­cover, this re­gion is still very much open for busi­ness.” The in­dus­try will be com­ing to­gether next week at Oil & Gas UK’s An­nual Con­fer­ence in Aberdeen to con­sider how it man­ages its way safely through the cur­rent down­turn and how it can emerge in a com­pet­i­tive form that will safe­guard the 330,000 plus jobs it still sup­ports.—AP

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