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Shell to Lay Off 200 Gulf of Mexico Rig Workers

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Shell to Lay Off 200 Gulf of Mexico Rig Workers

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A Shell platform in the Gulf of Mexico (courtesy RDS)

By MarEx 2016-07-25 

Shell has announced plans to trim about 200 jobs from its Gulf of Mexico deepwater operations.

“We are making these changes in order to remain competitive and better position Shell’s Gulf of Mexico projects for future growth,” spokeswoman Kimberly Windon told the AP.

The cuts will affect personnel on nine facilities, and will reduce the oil major’s workforce in the region by about one quarter. Some will be transferred to other operations where openings are available.

Shell did not mention any projects that would be scaled back or slowed as a result of the staff reduction. Windon told the Times-Picayune that the firm intended to assign more roles to each remaining employee’s job description, and to use technology to improve efficiency. Shell said in a statement that safety would remain the company’s top priority as it moves to reduce overhead.

Shell, which recently merged with BG Group, has announced intentions to reduce headcount by 2,200 positions worldwide. It has already been reducing shoreside personnel in the Gulf region, including at its engineering offices in New Orleans.

This latest round of layoffs continues a trend in offshore and in E&P generally, which as a sector has shed 350,000 positions worldwide since the start of the downturn in 2014 (according to Graves & Co., a consultancy in Houston). Transocean, BP, Maersk Drilling and Pioneer have all announced offshore Gulf of Mexico staff reductions this year, as have many of their suppliers and contractors.

Profits at Royal Dutch Shell were down in the first quarter, at $800 million (versus $4.8 billion in the same period last year). Earnings were also down from the previous quarter, when Shell brought in $1.8 billion.

Separately, Shell expects workers employed by the Wood Group at its North Sea legacy Brent field platforms – Shearwater, Gannet, Nelson, Curlew, Brent Alpha, Brent Bravo and Brent Charlie – to strike on Tuesday. It will be the first such industrial action in the UK North Sea in 20 years.

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