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UK offshore regulator says 5,500 jobs lost in oil market downturn

07 September 2015

Britain's offshore oil and gas sector has lost 5,500 jobs since late last year, the country's new Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) said on September 9. The figure was given in a report summarising the OGA’s first months of operation, and confirms how badly the sector has been affected by the decline in oil prices which have fallen by 55% since June 2014.

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UK offshore oil companies are facing some of the industry's highest operating costs in one of the world's most mature basins. North Sea operators, including Shell, BP, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, have all announced staff cuts, a trend that has raised concerns about an emerging skills gap.

The OGA, established as an executive body five months ago, is tasked with helping offshore operators recover as much North Sea oil and gas as possible. The sector still employs around 375,000 people and remains an important source of tax revenue for the government.

UK oil production has fallen to the lowest since output started in the mid-1970s.

In the report, the OGA said it had helped mediate commercial discussions between companies involved in the running of Theddlethorpe gas terminal, and the Sullom Voe terminal on the Shetland Islands, key facilities in the North Sea but which are expensive to operate.


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