Almost a fifth of North Sea oil companies ‘expect to make further cuts in their workforce next year’

Almost 22% of oil and gas businesses have reduced their staff by more than 10% during 2020, according to new research

The Big Zero report

Almost a fifth of North Sea oil and gas companies expect to make further redundancies in 2021.

That’s according to a new survey conducted by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the independent research unit of the University of Strathclyde Fraser of Allander Institute and the professional services firm KPMG UK, which suggests almost half of firms have already reduced their staff as a result of a decline in operations.

Almost 22% of those who are reporting reductions estimate the decline equates to more than 10% of their workforce.

The findings of the research also demonstrate more than three-quarters of firms used at least one of the government’s Covid-19 schemes on offer – a total of 83% of contractors furloughed employees in 2020, affecting 35% of the workforce on average.

Nearly 82% of the respondents predict a decrease in their revenue in 2020 and approximately 78% of businesses are less confident about activities going forward, according to the survey to which responded a total of 100 firms employing 22,665 workers in the UK.

The report also shows 69% of contractors expect to be involved in renewables in the next three to five years.

Martin Findlay, a Senior Partner at KPMG in Aberdeen, said: “From the significant oil price decline, which started earlier in the year, to a global pandemic, and localised lockdown in Aberdeen, the oil and gas industry has, once again, endured profound challenge and uncertainty.

Climate change and diversification, once seen as a threat to the industry, also offers new opportunities and our findings suggest the sector is starting to embrace change.”

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