BP sheds 800 jobs in North Sea

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The Independent Online

BP, the oil giant, is to shed 800 jobs among its contract workers as part of a restructuring of its North Sea operations.

The job losses will be spread between contract staff in Aberdeen, offshore, and at locations around the UK including Sullom Voe in Shetland, Bacton in Norfolk and the Hartlepool, Teesside, site where a complex North Sea oil and gas system comes ashore.

The job losses come as a consequence of a cost-cutting programme announced in March which has already resulted in 500 job cuts among BP's own staff.

BP said in its March announcement that it will review how many contract workers it needed.

"We completed that review this week and 800 jobs are to go. Some of those 800 people will be redeployed by the contract companies. What we have done is say there are 800 contract positions that we no longer require," a company spokesman said yesterday.

BP emphasised that these redundancies were unrelated to the new tax on North Sea revenues imposed in this year's Budget. The industry has said the tax will lead to tens of thousands of job losses.

Yesterday's decision reduces the headcount of contract employees from 3,300 to 2,500. BP's North Sea staff now stands at 2,600.