Subsea 7 axes 410 posts as oil downturn bites

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Offshore engineer Subsea 7 has announced “regrettable” plans to axe 410 jobs in the UK following a downturn in activity triggered by falling oil prices.

The Norwegian firm employs about 1,800 people in Aberdeen and said the cuts would affect onshore staff and contractors in the city and at its London office.

Phil Simons, Subsea 7’s vice-president for the UK and Canada, said: “These proposed redundancies follow a continued trend of project delays and cancellations witnessed across the UK’s oil and gas industry that have impacted our activity levels, making it necessary to size our business base to align with our workload as well as consolidate various functions across the UK.

“We need to retain sufficient capacity to execute existing work and win new awards, while maintaining our core expertise in preparation for when the activity levels pick up again. In the meantime, we remain committed to implementing the necessary cost reduction measures and efficiency improvements to protect our business through the downturn.”

The cuts are part of 2,500 job losses planned by the group, which has a global workforce of about 13,000 and is also planning to cut the size of its fleet.

The move came as marine engineering group James Fisher struck a deal to pay £14.8 million for the assets and intellectual property rights of an Aberdeen-based dredging specialist.

X-Subsea fell into administration at the end of last month, triggering 20 immediate redundancies. The remaining six staff have also now been laid off.

Joint administrator Iain Fraser, of FRP Advisory, said: “There was international interest in the assets and we are pleased that they will be retained in Aberdeenshire and hopeful that new employment opportunities might arise following the sale.”