Oil and gas company Neptune Energy is looking to reduce its workforce by 400 positions, half of which are contractor roles, citing the impact of the COVID-19 and a drop in oil prices.
"We anticipate approximately 400 roles across nine countries to be impacted by these proposals, with around half of these staff positions and half contractor positions. The impacted roles would be office-based and operations would not be impacted by these proposals," Neptune said in a statement sent to Offshore Engineer. Neptune's current workforce - including staff and contractors - is around 1,900.
"The decision to make these proposals was not made lightly, and follows the deferral of project and exploration activities to reduce costs this year as we announced at our full year results in March. The challenges facing the global oil and gas industry are clear and we know we must take further steps in order to emerge stronger and in a position to continue making a positive contribution to society’s energy needs," Neptune Energy said.
Jim House, Neptune Energy CEO said earlier this week that like all energy companies, Neptune has been impacted, with revenues this year – and probably next year – expected to be correspondingly down compared with where they were last year.
"In response, we have successfully increased our lending facility, reduced our expenditure across the business by some 30% this year and our shareholders have agreed not to receive a dividend in 2020," he said.
In a long letter sent to Neptune Energy employees this week explaining the situation, and the reasons behind the proposal to lay off 400 workers, House said: "Our activity set has moderated and, regrettably, this means we must also reshape the size of our organization accordingly. Therefore, we anticipate we should be operating globally with around 400 fewer roles, which would mean that a number of valued Neptune colleagues would leave our business. We expect around half to be staff roles and half to be contractor roles," he said.
"The decisions we came to are in no way a reflection on our people or their work. We must face market conditions and move forward with changes that will positively affect every part of our business. Everyone will be impacted in some way – and almost every team will likely reduce somewhat in size under these proposed conditions."
"We are fortunate to have a highly skilled and competent team at Neptune. The reality is we must lose some of our people, but my genuine hope is that those who leave the business will take their skills and talents to other companies who will benefit just as we have before."
In a statement sent to Offshore Engineer, Neptune Energy said the company had place measures which will, subject to the [lay off] proposals proceeding, provide outplacement support for individuals who leave the business to help secure alternative employment.