BP axes North Sea staff
British Petroleum has announced it is to cut 200 jobs and at least 100 contractors as part of planned job cuts in the wake of the falling price of oil.
The oil company is also expected to lower pay for contractors, staff heard in a briefing in Aberdeen. Cuts were announced last month as part of a major restructuring of the company in response to the falling oil price.
UK Energy secretary Ed Davey and Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael will meet with industry leaders in Aberdeen later. Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said “These are worrying times for our valued North Sea Oil & Gas sector and they can be assured that I am committed to providing support where possible.”
Yesterday, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was in Aberdeen to announce a new Energy Jobs Taskforce to support the industry, which will be chaired by Scottish Enterprise chief executive Lena Wilson. Sturgeon said the UK Government must respond to requests to change the tax regime on the North Sea oil industry.
“The recent drop in the price of a barrel of crude oil, combined with the mismanagement of oil and gas fiscal policy by the UK Government, and other challenges facing the industry, pose a threat to a number of jobs,” Sturgeon said.
Scottish Labour’s Finance spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said the falling oil price was the biggest threat to Scottish jobs since the closure of steel plant Ravenscraig in 1992.
Launching a report on the effect of the falling oil price called Protecting Jobs, Protecting Public Services, she said: “Oil jobs appear to be an afterthought for the First Minister, who only contacted Union officials in Aberdeen to arrange a meeting on Monday. We know why the SNP are sitting on their hands. If they take the oil crisis seriously, it undermines their entire electoral strategy. The SNP’s General Election campaign revolves around binning Barnett. This would mean a straight choice between huge jobs losses in the oil industry or billions of pounds of cuts to public services.”