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Job News: Contract Switch Will Mean Layoffs In Aberdeen

Posted on 19.01.2005 - 03:17 EST in JOB NEWS by ginamc


Some staff at an oil firm's operations in Aberdeen face being made redundant after it announced a £130million deal yesterday to contract out the work.

Petrofac, the oil and gas facilities service operator, is taking over responsibility for the management of the Thistle and Heather platforms from Lundin Britain in a life-of-field contract.

Most of the staff at Lundin will transfer to Petrofac, but some will lose their jobs.

The workforce were said yesterday by Amicus regional secretary Rab Wilson to be upset at the deal.

Mr Wilson said he would be negotiating to protect workers' terms and conditions.

Lundin Britain, a subsidiary of Swedish company Lundin Petroleum, said Petrofac would become responsible for production and maintenance for the Thistle, Heather and Broom fields.

Petrofac said it would take on the majority of the offshore staff, understood to be just over 100, and a significant proportion of the onshore operations support group, about 46 Lundin staff and 20 contractors.

Lundin, which acquired the assets from Norwegian operator DNO just 14 months ago, is not leaving the UK North Sea, however.

It is retaining a core team of about 20 in Aberdeen in drilling, sub-surface, finance and key management roles.

A Lundin spokesman said it would be consulting staff until the end of March at which time a decision would be made on the number of staff being retained.

President and chief executive Ashley Heppenstall said: "We remain fully committed to our UK continental shelf business and will continue to invest in existing assets and seek new opportunities.

"This decision allows Lundin Britain to focus on its core activities - field development, exploration and acquisition."

Petrofac will also continue to perform engineering design and construction services for these facilities under a prior arrangement with Lundin Britain.

Petrofac is expected to take over responsibility for operations in the second quarter of 2005.

The Thistle and Heather platforms will become part of Petrofac's established portfolio of managed facilities in the UK sector of the North Sea.

The company already manages the Northern Producer (Galley field), Montrose, Arbroath, Kittiwake, Hewett and Bacton terminal facilities.

It also supports the operation of around 20 other fields in the North Sea.

Jim Atack, the managing director of Petrofac Facilities Management Europe, said: "These mature North Sea fields still have a long way to go. We are only half way through the production potential of the North Sea.

"Tiebacks like Broom (to Heather) demonstrate the need to keep the established infrastructure running and available to the smaller third-generation fields.

"We will be using the systems we have developed over the past 20 years to achieve the maximum possible recovery from the Heather, Thistle and Broom fields."

Petrofac's Aberdeen-based division employs about 2,500 people onshore in the UK and on North Sea installations.

The group as a whole employs more than 4,500 staff.

Source: The Press & Journal
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