Coronavirus: “thousands” of North Sea oil and gas jobs threatened

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North Sea platform

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The UK oil and gas industry is warning that 30,000 jobs may be lost due to the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices.

Excessive global oil supplies have pushed prices to their lowest levels in 20 years.

In a survey of its members, Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) said that many companies would find it difficult to survive.

He asked that the transition to net greenhouse gas emissions be at the heart of his recovery plan.

At its peak, a barrel of Brent crude oil sold for about $ 120.

But in the past few weeks, that amount has dropped to $ 16 without any real signs of recovery.

The industry is concerned that the problems will last much longer than the Covid-19 pandemic, which means that many workers will be laid off rather than put on leave.

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The projected job losses represent approximately one in five of the 151,000 people employed directly or indirectly by the sector.

Some job losses have already been announced and “many more” are expected to be confirmed in the coming months.

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Legend

Many North Sea workers are laid off rather than on leave


OGUK President and CEO Deirdre Michie said: “With the historic drop in oil and gas prices so soon after one of the most severe downturns in our industry, these results confirm the outlook particularly bleak for UK oil and industry.

“If the UK wants to maintain its domestic energy supply, protect jobs and build the essential infrastructure it needs to move to a zero-net future, ours is an industry worth fighting for. “

The industry has presented a three-step plan which he hopes will minimize the long-term impact.

It calls for responding to the immediate needs of the industry, followed by its industrial recovery, and then an accelerated transition to net greenhouse gas emissions.

Who wins and who loses when the price of oil drops?

By Dharshini David, Global Commercial Correspondent

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Getty Images

A fall in oil prices is normally a reason to celebrate in gas-hungry countries. The average American burns 10 liters of oil or petroleum products a day in normal times.

But for the oil-producing countries – the “global hub” – such a drop in the cost of crude oil can spell disaster and hardship for millions of people.

It is easy to understand why oil is called black gold. When the price was high, oil revenues filled the coffers of the companies and governments of the countries that produced it. This allowed people to be fed and public services to thrive.

But now having oil can be a curse rather than a blessing.

Read more here.

But green groups say government support for oil and gas must be tied to conditions.

Ryan Morrison, of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “Any support measures that aim to bring the industry back to the” status quo “of before the coronavirus will cause a new crisis further without regard for workers and communities. who will face it the hardest.

“We have already seen the industry accused of treating its workforce like a tap that can be opened and closed and the continuation of this approach where workers are the first affected by potential problems for the industry cannot Continue. “

About 30% of companies said they had successfully obtained funding from the government’s Covid-19 packages.

Another 40% said they are still exploring options.

Capital spending is expected to drop to around £ 3.5 billion – one of the lowest figures since the discovery of oil in the North Sea.

Drilling activity is forecast to drop 50% from 2019, pushing it to record levels.

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