Oil jobs under threat at three North-East firms

GE Oil & Gas in Peterhead
GE Oil & Gas in Peterhead

North-East oil workers face the threat of further layoffs as three companies, including a Peterhead facility, announce plans for redundancies.

GE Oil & Gas, ACE Winches and Taqa have all indicated that they may need to cut their workforce to survive in the current economy.

Peterhead oil supply company GE Oil & Gas say they may be forced to make redundancies due to “increasingly challenging market conditions”.

In a statement Ivar Simensen, the firm’s communications manager, said: “This proposal is not something that we take lightly, but we believe that it is the right approach for the long-term health of the business.

“Before any final decision is taken regarding the implementation of this proposal, the company is fully committed to engaging in formal consultation for a minimum period of 45 days.”

A statement from ACE Winches indicated 60 positions may be “at risk” in their company.

It said: “ACE Winches, like many others in the oilfield services sector, has been proactively managing its business during the downturn within the oil and gas industry.

“The company has responded by implementing a number of cost reduction initiatives and efficiency drives to reduce costs and better align the business with the current market environment.

“As part of this process the company is reviewing headcount and it is expected that approximately 60 positions may be placed “at risk” of redundancy.”

Addressing the situation at GE Oil & Gas Stewart Stevenson, MSP, said: “This is disappointing news for Peterhead and for those employed at the company.

“The significant changes in the UK tax over recent years have loaded extra costs onto the industry and created uncertainty just at the time when world oil prices were not helping.

“However with the company remaining in the town, they will be in a position to exploit the new opportunities which will certainly arise in future.”

Regarding ACE Winches Eilidh Whiteford MP said: “This will come as worrying news for employees at Ace Winches. Alex Salmond and I will be doing everything in our power to assist workers in a time of uncertainty.”

The plans for redundancies all being announced at a similar time will come as a hard blow for those working in oil sector in the area.

Stuart Pratt, Councillor for Peterhead South and Cruden, said: “We are sorry for anyone that is losing their jobs.

“The council will be quite happy to get involved and see if there is anything that can be done.”