Oil Search, Santos add to industry job losses

Oil Search and Santos are both cutting jobs as the companies look to survive the COVID-19 pandemic and the oil price crash.

Approximately 100 Oil Search staff have lost their jobs after the company moved to reduce operating costs in response to current market conditions.

The cuts were made to Oil Search’s offices in Sydney and Anchorage, Alaska, while its board and executive team will also take a 20 per cent salary reduction for the next six months.

The move comes in response to the oil price crash and the COVID-19 pandemic, with the company having already suspended all upcoming discretionary activities, other than those required to maintain production of oil and gas from its Papua New Guinea facilities.

Oil Search Managing Director Dr Keiran Wulff said the decision had been “very difficult”.

“We have treated our team members with respect and will continue to offer them support through the hard times ahead,” he said.

“It is uncertain how long the current COVID-19 crisis and low oil price environment will last.

“The actions taken will ensure our company is in the best position possible to ride out the current global economic challenges.”

According to The Australian Financial Review, Santos will cut 150 jobs and shut down its office for two weeks over the Easter break, requiring approximately 500 employees to take annual or long service leave.

The company has already announced a 38 per cent reduction on 2020 capital expenditure and has delayed a making a final investment decision on the $7 billion Barossa project.

The job cuts add to a tough fortnight for oil and gas after Woodside slashed hundreds of jobs in Western Australia.

More cuts are feared as large operators including Chevron and Beach Energy look to reduce operating costs in order to survive the crisis.

For more information visit the Oil Search website.

If you have news you would like featured in The Australian Pipeliner contact Managing Editor David Convery at dconvery@gs-press.com.au

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