Aker faces 'M&M staff cuts'

Jobs at risk: at Aker Solutions

Aker Solutions is reported to be looking to slash up to 200 staff due to spending cutbacks by oil companies in the area of maintenance and modification of offshore platforms.

The Norwegian engineering contractor is feeling the fallout of cost-reduction efforts by the likes of Statoil, which earlier this year announced swingeing budget cuts across several business areas as it seeks to boost profitability after seeing its investment returns hit by soaring costs.

Aker Solutions held information meetings on Wednesday for employees working with maintenance and modification (M&M) in Stavanger, Bergen and mid-Norway, Norwegian state TV channel NRK reported.

“We cannot rule rule out manpower cuts but will make every effort to find alternative solutions,” Aker Solutions’ communications chief Bunny Nooryani told the channel.

She said the workforce reduction could affect as many as 200 personnel, although the contractor was also looking at the possibility of transferring workers to other parts of its organisation both within and outside Norway.

Nooryani said the M&M business had been hit by lower activity in recent years as oil companies cut back on investments, with fewer contract awards and project delays as well as increased competition.

“At the same time, we see increasing demand for our M&M services in other parts of the world, such as Canada, Brunei and the UK,” she added.

Aker Solutions was though awarded Nkr3 billion ($494 million) worth of additional M&M work with Statoil for installations off Norway late last year before the state-owned giant announced the proposed cutbacks.

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