26 Jan 2015
A conference has been called in Aberdeen to offer advice to oil and gas contractors as North Sea firms begin cutting thousands of jobs.
Hundreds of people are already out of work as major energy firms react to the Brent Crude slump.
Last week, Talisman Sinopec said 300 jobs from its North Sea operations are to go, including 200 contractors.
Schlumberger and BP have also revealed plans to axe hundreds of jobs in the north-east.
A number of other companies, including Premier Oil, Wood Group and Apache have also announced contractor rate cuts as margins tighten.
Against that backdrop, a number of businesses have joined forces to offer support and advice to the contractor community.
Aberdein Considine, Clydesdale Bank, Caunce O’Hara, EC Energy Contractors, FourM and Contractor MVLs, part of Johnston Carmichael, will together host ‘Explore – The Oil and Gas Contractor Conference’.
The free event – At The Park Inn by Radisson on Thursday, February 26 – will offer workers the chance to hear from a panel of experts.
"This year looks set to be a challenging year in the oil and gas sector, particularly for those working as contractors," the group said in a statement.
"A falling oil price has already seen day rate cuts and even redundancies, with more turbulence forecast in the months ahead.
"However, the contractor remains a vital asset to the energy industry - and a global technical skills shortage means that we are likely to see the demand for contracted labour continue.
"Against this landscape, Explore - The Oil and Gas Contractor Conference has been set up to consider the entire lifecycle of a contractor company, from the initial formation of a limited company to ongoing accountancy, financial planning, business banking, essential contractor insurance needs and finally a means of closing that company tax efficiently."
The reduction in pay rates for contractors comes on top of moves by firms to cut costs that will result in job losses at their operations in Scotland.
This is expected to increase the pressure on the army of service companies, with potentially serious consequences for the job market in Scotland.
Oil services tycoon Sir Ian Wood recently warned that around 10% of jobs in the North Sea supply chain could go in the next 18 months through "pretty harsh" measures to cut costs.
Tickets for the conference can be reserved by visiting Eventbrite.co.uk.
The Press and Journal Energy Voice: Conference for contractors as oil and gas cuts bite.
Aberdeen Business News: New conference for North Sea contractors amid Brent crude crisis.