Sad but unavoidable. That is pretty much what Norwegian union Maersk Ansattes Forening (MAF) says in a statement on its website after the announcement that Maersk Drilling will likely lay off 180 to 190 employees in Norway.
"It is very regrettable that someone will lose their job, but as the situation looks now, this will likely be unavoidable," says the MAF.
The union informs that the layoffs will occur according to the principle of seniority in terms deciding which employees are let go.
Maersk Drilling's CEO in Norway, Jakob Korsgaard, tells Norwegian newspaper Aftonbladet that the layoffs are the result of a challenging situation on the Norwegian shelf.
"And there are no real signs of improvements. Two mobile drilling installations will go off contract in the third and fourth quarter 2015. None of these were obvious candidates for the Johan Sverdrup expansion," he tells Aftonbladet.
The loss of Norwegian oil jobs is nothing new these days. Before the latest announcement from Maersk Drilling, Norway had lost 22,122 jobs in the sector since August 2014.
It is also not the first time this year that the Maersk Group's drilling company is forced to lay off employees. In early February, Maersk Drilling announced that the company had adopted a cost reduction and efficiency program that included, among other factors, eliminating 90 jobs from the company's headquarters north of Copenhagen. Of these, 40-50 would be laid off.
The sliding oil price in the past year has forced Maersk Drilling to adapt to a new reality and make cuts in the company's activities.
"In order to remain competitive in this market we have to look at ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency. One way to reduce costs is to reduce the number of employees at our headquarters," said Claus V. Hemmingsen, Maersk Drilling CEO and member of the Maersk Group Executive Board, in February.