• STV
  • MySTV

One in six oil and gas workers in UK face axe, survey finds

Report into the state of the offshore industry 'the most negative yet', authors say.

Offshore jobs: North Sea contractors are 'less confident' about their prospects than a year ago (file pic).
Offshore jobs: North Sea contractors are 'less confident' about their prospects than a year ago (file pic). STV

Oil and gas operators in the North Sea plan to lay off one in six UK-based workers this year as industry confidence remains low, a survey has found.

The latest industry study is the "most negative" yet, according to a partner at its sponsors, law firm Bond Dickinson.

The report found three-quarters of North Sea oil and gas contractors are "less confident" about their prospects than they were a year ago, although confidence levels have marginally improved from their record low in November.

Operators surveyed reported a 15% fall in UK staff in the past 12 months and expect a further 17% of staff to lose their jobs this year - almost triple the 6% predicted six months ago.

For contractors, there was a 13% reported weighted average reduction in their UK-based headcount in the 12 months to March 2016

About one in four companies (24%) said their top priority is cutting costs, while 42% cited increasing efficiency and productivity as their main concern.

The joint survey by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce and the Fraser of Allander Institute found 14% of contractors reported working at or above optimum levels in the UK Continental Shelf compared to 79% three years ago.

The level of demand, commodity price and economic climate are cited as the top factors limiting activity in the North Sea.

Some 42% of firms expect to reduce investment in the next two years, while 12% plan to increase it.

One projected area of growth is decommissioning, with 85% of contractors expecting to increase their involvement in this sector in the next three to five years - up from 79% six months ago.

Questioned on the EU referendum, 45% of respondents said it was difficult to reach a clear view over whether or not a Brexit vote would be positive for the industry, 20% said it would make little difference, 27% said it would be "unhelpful" and 7% believed it would be positive.

Uisdean Vass, oil and gas partner at Bond Dickinson, said: "Six months ago I described the 23rd Oil and Gas Survey as the most negative we had experienced. Unfortunately this, the 24th survey has surpassed it.

"The uncertainty which all those in the industry face at the moment regarding their livelihoods continues and any slowdown in the shedding of jobs does not appear to be materialising."

Russell Borthwick, chief executive at Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: "In the previous two surveys we carried out, we found confidence had hit record lows, with an all-time low in November 2015.

"This time, while the figure is still firmly in negative territory, it has marginally improved, which may perhaps show we are near the bottom of the curve."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.