Technip, Aker Solutions to cut 2,100 more oil jobs

HOUSTON – Two European oil field equipment companies said Wednesday they’ve cut deeper into the industry’s shrinking workforce, bringing the tally of lost or affected oil jobs up by a combined 2,100.

Executives at Paris-based oil equipment maker Technip told investors in a conference call the firm has cut 1,800 jobs in recent months, about 15 percent of which were contracted. Its workforce had peaked at 40,000 employees last summer.

Technip chief financial officer Julian Waldron said the company, which has its main U.S. offices in Houston, has pared back its fleet of oil service vessels from 36 to 21, with six others under construction in an effort to dispose of older vessels and add top-of-the-line ships to its fleet.

Job cuts have eaten $79 million in general and administrative costs year over year, Waldron said.

“We target further improvement in 2015,” he said. Technip, he added, is also cutting its capital expenditures by $342 million this year, in part to have cash available for potential acquisitions in the ongoing downturn in oil prices.

Meanwhile, Norwegian service firm Aker Solutions said it plans to cut or reassign 300 jobs in its maintenance, modifications and operations business in Norway this year.

“Activity in the MMO market in Norway has dropped considerably since last summer, causing overcapacity,” Aker Solutions’ Norway boss Per Harald Kongelf said in a written statement. “As we see it today, these challenges will continue through 2015 and possibly also into 2016.”

The firm, which has its main U.S. offices in Houston, said it will adjust its headcount in Norway through a combination of natural turnover, reassignments to other parts of the company and dismissals.