Oil and gas industry ‘on the brink’ with thousands of jobs at risk, union warns

The sun rises behind a redundant oil platform
The sun rises behind a redundant oil platform (PA Archive)
12:27pm, Thu 19 Nov 2020
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The UK’s offshore oil and gas sector is on the brink of tens of thousands of job losses without government support, a trade union has said.

Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union general secretary Mick Cash warned offshore workers are at risk of being “dumped” as the industry looks to protect profits.

Mr Cash also said net-zero carbon emissions targets are in jeopardy without tax relief for decommissioning in the sector.

“The crisis offshore started with plummeting oil prices in January,” Mr Cash said.

“After the pandemic took hold, RMT demanded that ministers deliver a package of measures to ensure that offshore oil and gas workers aren’t dumped by the industry in a rush to protect profits and dividends.

“Yet today we still have had nothing from government whilst thousands of jobs are lost.

“Employers continue to estimate 30,000 job losses by October 2021.”

Mr Cash added: “Exploration and production plans exist for 2.5 billion barrels of oil but the required investment has disappeared.

“If the government doesn’t follow RMT’s advice and use decommissioning rate relief to protect jobs, skills, investment and resources, then offshore workers’ skills and livelihoods will disappear along with any prospects of a Just Transition to a net-zero carbon economy.

“We cannot let that happen.”

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