The low level of investment and activity in the oil and gas sector has prompted offshore company Aker Solutions to lay off another 600 workers in Oslo, Moss, Tranby and Ågotnes. The new round of layoffs brings the total up to more than 2,000 over the past two years.
“It’s especially difficult for the employees involved,” Per Harald Kongelf, head of Aker Solutions in Norway, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Monday. He tied the layoffs to “the general situation in the oil service market globally, and also in Norway, where there’s a very low level of activity.”
The new job losses come on top of around 1,000 last year and more the year before. They’re occurring mostly in Aker Solutions’ subsea division, with the job cuts to be carried out through severance packages, attrition and layoffs.
Employees were warned of the looming cuts at company meetings on Monday. Aker Solutions is restructuring its global subsea operations to improve development of underwater technology and other products that are expected to become more important in key markets outside Norway.
Kongelf told NRK that he thinks the oil service industry is in its most demanding period for a long time. “It’s necessary to take all the steps we can to gain control over operations,” he said.
Aker Solutions still has around 15,000 employees in nearly 20 countries. Around 7,000 of them work in the subsea division, 2,500 of them in Norway.
The reduction of 600 jobs in Norway comes as cuts also are being made in staffing worldwide, Kongelf said.