Scotland business

Shell to cut 475 North Sea jobs - mainly in Aberdeen

Shell oil rig Image copyright AP

Shell is to cut 475 jobs in the North Sea, with most of the losses at its headquarters in Aberdeen.

Some posts offshore and at its plants at Mossmorran in Fife and St Fergus in Aberdeenshire will also be affected.

The job cuts follow Shell's takeover of oil and gas exploration firm BG Group, and what was described as a "lower for longer" oil price environment.

The cuts come on top of more than 10,000 job losses Shell announced over the past two years.

In February, falling oil prices prompted Shell to post its steepest fall in full-year earnings for 13 years.

'Reduce cost base'

"Despite the improvements that we have made to our business, current market conditions remain challenging," said Shell UK and Ireland vice president Paul Goodfellow.

"Our integration with BG provides an opportunity to accelerate our performance in this 'lower for longer' environment.

"We need to reduce our cost base, improve production efficiency and have an organisation that best fits our combined portfolio and business plans."

The latest lay-offs will be implemented by the end of this year. That will take the total number of staff and contractor roles lost from Shell from the start of 2015 to the end of 2016 to at least 12,500.

Shell announced 7,500 job losses last year, and a further 2,800 job cuts at the beginning of this year.

'Difficult time'

Scotland's energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said: "While Shell remains committed to retaining a significant presence in the North Sea, it has been clear since the merger with BG Group that Shell intended to reduce its headcount.

"However, that will not make the news today less difficult for those whose jobs are at risk.

"I will be visiting the north east as an urgent early priority to meet with the sector, those affected by the downturn and to underline our ongoing commitment and support for the oil and gas industry and the economy and communities of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire."

Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said: "The announcement of these job losses marks a difficult time for the workforce and their families in the north east of Scotland.

"The UK government will do all it can to support the workers, and the industry as a whole."

Jake Molloy, of the RMT union, said: "I find it astonishing that Shell keep on cutting jobs while retaining their assets and saying that won't have an impact on safety."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites