Statoil cuts costs with nearly 240 jobs

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Norwegian oil company Statoil, which earlier has caught criticism over its decision to outsource various operations and sell off its gasoline stations, announced Tuesday that another 240 jobs will soon disappear because they’re too costly. Finance director Torgrim Reitan won’t rule out more job cuts in the future.

“The people in these staff and support functions do a fantastic job,” Reitan told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “But doing these jobs ourselves is very expensive, so we’re doing this to save money.”

Most of the jobs on the chopping block are within information technology (IT), property operations and accounting. “After a thorough evaluation, we’ve concluded that there’s a solid business rationale for outsourcing these jobs,” Reitan said. A total of 209 Statoil employees in Norway are affected by the outsourcing, along with another 30 abroad.

Reitan stressed that most of the people holding the outsourced positions, at least 80 percent, will be offered new jobs with the companies that will take over the work, including Capgemini, Coor Service Management and Accenture.

“We are obligated to review all our costs and do what we can to operate more efficiently,” Reitan said. Since the state is a major shareholder in Statoil, which pays high tax rates in Norway, he stressed that money saved on Statoil’s operations benefits Norwegians in general.

Statoil’s labour unions aren’t happy with the outsourcing trend. Reitan claimed Statoil has had a “tight dialogue” with the unions and that the company “will take care of our colleagues in the best possible way.” Those Statoil employees who don’t get job offers from the external firms will likely be offered severance packages.

Statoil has signalled that as many as 1,000 positions may disappear by 2020, so Reitan warned that more job cuts are likely as the organization changes its structure. “We’ve been in a state of change for 40 years and we have to continue that,” he said. “We have a long tradition of addressing problems early and doing things when we can before we have to. This is another example of that.”

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund