Statoil cuts get serious

Bookmark and Share

Ongoing cost-cutting at Norwegian state oil company Statoil has become so detailed that it has left some analysts and even affected employees laughing. This week it turned serious, and was blamed for more than 200 job losses at a major developer of oil and gas installations.

The laughter rang out last week over news that Statoil’s cost cuts included the loss of fresh shrimps and baked bread in company canteens, the highly publicized loss of coffee at helicopter terminals and fewer newspaper subscriptions for employees. “We’re just laughing about this, everyone is,” Carl Christian Bache, an analyst at Nordea Securities told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN).

Several hundred geologists who were supposed to attend a company conference in Trondheim were also told to stay home last month because Statoil needed to cut costs.”The Geoseminar has grown in recent years and was evaluated as too big,” Statoil spokesman Jannik Lindbæk told DN. That irritated many of the geologists expecting to attend.

This week, the cuts got worse when Aibel AS, one of Norway’s largest players within the design and development of oil and gas platforms announced it needed to lay off 230 workers at its operations in Stavanger, Haugesund, Bergen, Harstad and Stjørda. The reason: Statoil has been Aibel’s biggest customer, and decided to cut back on new projects.

“Statoil and everyone in the branch has a challenge because of high costs,” an Aibel spokesperson told newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad. “When the cuts and changes are so massive, it hurts the whole branch.”

The staff cuts include around 180 engineers, purchasing managers and administrators.

newsinenglish.no staff