Last Friday the Norwegian division of the offshore firm Subsea 7 won a contract worth NOK 2.2 billion (USD 300 million) for work on the Maria oil and gas field in the Norwegian Sea. That wasn’t enough to prevent Subsea 7 from announcing on Tuesday that it would need to lay off 190 workers in Norway because of “difficult business and economic conditions” in the oil and gas market, and a declining workload.
Subsea 7’s global workforce is being cut by around 2,500 by 2016. This week’s layoffs come in addition to 130 layoffs announced last autumn, after oil prices took a dive and business started to dry up.
They came even though the firm won the contract from Wintershall, Germany’s largest internationally active oil and gas producer, for pipeline and subsea construction on its Maria field off the coast of Northern Norway. According to Subsea 7’s boss in Norway, the contract meant that fewer workers would be laid off than otherwise, at a time of rising unemployment industry-wide.
“We have to adjust to the market and position ourselves for the future growth we expect in the Norwegian market,” Monica Bjørkmann, head of Subsea 7’s Norwegian operations, told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) on Wednesday. She said the process of determining who would need to leave the company was underway and expected to be concluded before the summer holidays.
“We managed to secure some jobs but unfortunately not all,” Bjørkmann tld DN. Subsea 7 currently has 1,060 employees in Norway working at offices in Stavanger, Oslo, Tromsø, Kristiansund and Grimstad, along with supply bases at Dusavik and Vigra.