The oil industry crisis isn’t over for the Norwegian subsidiary of Dutch oil company Shell. Its Shell Norge unit plans to lay off 75 full-time employees later this year, plus another 156 workers hired in on a temporary basis.
The job cuts come as work winds down on Shell’s Draugen platform in the Norwegian Sea and at its gas plant at Nyhamna in Aukra. “We have had store projects underway both on Draugen and at Nyhamna,” Jan Soppeland, communications director for Shell Norge, told state broadcaster NRK. “These projects led to some extraordinary activity with a need for lots of people, but as they near completion, we also have to adjust the organization.”
Most of those losing their jobs are engineers at Nyhamna. Shell plans to start offering severance packages but Soppeland claimed the company had no plans to cut back further, countering the opinions of some Shell workers who think the company is losing interest in its Norwegian operations.
“That’s not the signals we’re getting from the parent company globally,” Soppeland told NRK. “We have full focus on our exploration activities. We were allotted seven licenses quite recently, and that’s in fact a record number for Shell in Norway.”
Shell will be left with around 600 employees in Norway after the latest round of layoffs. “We view that as a stable level given the jobs we have today, and staffing that’s large enough to search for new opportunities in Norway that Shell is very interested in,” he said.