Crude oil slump puts 100 Aberdeen contractor jobs at risk as trade union chief warns of more N. Sea job losses as Shell moves to new shift pattern

Shell oil barrelsBy DARA BUTTERFIELD

Oil giant Shell has become the latest N. Sea operator to confirm that they are moving to a new three week on shift pattern for offshore workers to stay competitive.

This brings the company in line with other industry giants who have already made the move from the traditional 2 weeks on 3 weeks off rota in order to cut costs. However the firm has yet to confirm the ‘off-time’ arrangement for workers.

Jake Molloy
Jake Molloy

But last night, Jake Molloy, regional organiser, RMT Union Aberdeen, warned:

“There are going to be redundancies. You can’t move from a favourable shift pattern to an equal shift pattern without cutting staff.”

BP, which announced plans to move to the new pattern in May, has said change is expected to mean that offshore workers will work 161 days per year with 154 rota days and 7 days work at the company’s discretion. It is expected that Shell will follow a similar pattern.

A Shell spokeswoman said: “As shared previously directly with staff representatives, Shell confirms that the company will be moving to a three weeks-on working pattern offshore.

“Consultation will continue in terms of how the new work schedule is implemented, which is likely to be early 2016. This change, which mirrors similar changes in working pattern being implemented across the industry, is part of Shell’s strategy to ensure we are a competitive operator in the North Sea.”

Up to 117 offshore workers could lose their jobs at Ensco, an Aberdeen-based North Sea drilling contractor. The company has halted work on two of its rigs, blaming the slump in the oil and gas sector.



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