UK oil job losses ‘to reach 120,000
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