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Centrica says done with E&P layoffs

UK utility has reduced headcount in business unit by about 95 since July, does not expect any more this year

UK utility Centrica said it does not plan to lay off any more people from its exploration and production business this year after reducing its European E&P team by about 95 over the last six months.

Most recently, Centrica cut 25 jobs from its Aberdeen office, bringing the total there to about 310 employees, a spokesman confirmed. He said the full team in Europe is now at just over 615, down from 710 in July.

Last April, Centrica said it planned to eliminate about 3000 positions company-wide in a bid to save about £200 million ($243.3 million), part of its £750 million per annum cost efficiency programme.

The spokesman said the most recent layoffs were a part of those previously announced layoffs.

"This has no impact on our areas of focus for the E&P business – we're focused on the North Sea and Morecambe Bay, and looking at how we maximise the potential of our assets here," he said.

"We do not expect any further redundancies in the E&P business this year," he added.

He called the layoffs a "difficult but necessary decision to reduce the number of roles in our E&P team".

Last year, Centrica announced plans to invest about Nkr5.4 billion ($629 million) in its Oda field project off Norway, a planned 13-kilometre tieback to Aker BP's Ula field platform. The price tag represents a 40% cost reduction over two years.

It will be Centrica's first operated development off Norway. Start-up is expected in 2019.