Roger and I are both otherwise engaged this weekend and so no time for the regular blowout. Instead I bring a single story from the Canadian Globe and Mail. Reporter Eric Reguly was in Aberdeen last week. I helped arrange a few meetings for him and we met for dinner. Eric is the European correspondent based in Rome and the article gives a fairly gloomy view of the outlook for the North Sea oil industry.
“The North Sea was struggling even at $100 [U.S.] oil,” EnQuest chief executive officer Amjad Bseisu says from his London office. “I think we’re in a defining moment for the North Sea. We could either see precipitous decline or the industry will have to reinvent itself.”
“Jo Mcgregor, director of McGregor Consultants, an agency that finds drilling and engineering professionals for oil projects worldwide, says Aberdeen has battled its way through several downturns, but that “this one feels different” because the price was rude enough to fall in the absence of a recession and OPEC, by not cutting output, is no longer following its once-predictable script. “People here are really scared,” she says.”
“Jake Molloy, regional organizer in Aberdeen for the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), says employment levels will plunge as projects are curtailed or cancelled and cost-cutting becomes the industry mantra. The cover of its February union bulletin features an the image of a man holding a bloody straight razor with the title “Death by 1000 cuts.”
“Of the 30,000 or so offshore workers in the British North Sea, he expects as many as 6,000 to disappear by the summer and fully third to be gone by the end of the year.”
Please use this post as an open thread to post links to and discuss the latest energy and climate stories. I am to be travelling from Thursday for one week and so posts may become a little less frequent.