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Ministers pledge support as Shell axe 475 North Sea oil jobs

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Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28By PAUL WILSON: Wednesday 25 May 2016

SCOTLAND’S oil and gas sector is reeling from yet another hammer blow after Shell announced plans to slash its UK workforce by a fifth.

The oil giant said it will cut 475 people from its UK and Ireland business. All the jobs are understood to be based in Aberdeen and the north-east.

Shell announced it will lose 2,200 jobs from its workforce globally as it grapples with lower oil prices, meaning 12,500 staff and contractor roles will be lost between the start of 2015 and the end of this year.

The company insists it will “remain a key employer in the north-east of Scotland” with about 1,700 employees.

But Unite warned that if the current rate of job losses in the oil and gas sector continues – with 150 positions going every day since the barrel price downturn – there will be no viable North Sea oil industry within a decade.

The union’s John Boland said: “We have very real fears that Shell cannot continue to operate safely offshore if it keeps shedding the workers tasked with ensuring our oil industry is safe and sustainable.”

Paul Goodfellow, Shell’s vice president for UK and Ireland, addressed staff in Aberdeen yesterday.

Afterwards, he said: “Our integration with [oil and gas company] BG provides an opportunity to accelerate our performance in this ‘lower for longer’ environment.

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