Lay-offs continue in GCC Oil and Gas Companies : Expats on edges

Lay-offs continue in GCC Oil and Gas Companies : Expats on edges

Submitted by Editor on Tue, 2016-01-19 15:10 Saudi Arabia: The latest news doing the rounds are massive job cuts by oil and oil dependent industries across the globe, especially oil rich countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar. According to the latest report Qatar’s oil-and-gas industry is expected to close out 2015 with more job cuts, this time at semi-state run RasGas.Tough the organization has not confirmed the layoffs or the number of people expected to go, but it is understood that around 250 of its expat staff will be affected starting this week. According to Doha News, when asked about the cuts, RasGas sent a statement to Doha News saying that “internal structural changes” were necessary due to “the current environment in the industry.”RasGas, a joint stock company established in 2001 by Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil, has a total workforce of more than 3,000 people, according to the company’s website. Plummeting global oil prices, which now stand around $44 a barrel, have forced a number of companies in the industry to review their expenditures. Last month, Maersk Oil said in a statement that it was cutting its Qatar workforce by up to 12 percent, in line with its global headcount reduction, as it sheds 1,250 jobs of employees and contractors world-wide during 2015.Analysts expect the pressure to continue into 2016 and companies will remain cost-focused to grow in this market. All will focus on cutting operating cost maintaining the ongoing projects. Further job cuts are expected in constrictions and contracting sectors.The RasGas job cuts are not unexpected as its parent company Qatar Petroleum (QP) has already cut around 3,000 jobs during an eight-month corporate restructuring that began at the end of last year. As part of its cull, several long-standing and experienced staffers apparently had their contracts terminated, including those over the official QP retirement age of 60. According to sources it is expected to cut around 14,000 job by the end of Q1 OF 2016.Meanwhile, oilfield service providers Baker Hughes Inc and Halliburton Co plan to cut thousands of jobs as drilling activity slows further due to a steep fall in crude oil prices. Global oil prices have tumbled almost 60 percent since June, hitting five-year lows as growing production and tepid global demand has caused a supply glut and prompted oil producers to scale back spending.Oil drilling companies such as Halliburton, Baker Hughes, Schlumburger, WaetherFord have already downsized their staff strength by 25 percent from their Saudi Arabia facilities. Most of them are from Asian countries, predominantly from India. Industry leader Schlumberger said it would cut 9,000 jobs, underscore the abrupt slowdown in drilling activity seen in the past two months.Many Indian expats who went on annual vocation returning alone leaving their families back home, anticipating their names in the next termination list. Reports of layoffs are having devastating effect on expatriate families. Unprecedented scenario in the market have left majority of expats in confusion and they now trying to pave for them back in India, which is not easy as scars of global recession is still sailing in the Indian market too.It is yet to predict blood bath for GCC oil market in the coming days, however, Oil  producing firms have given all the indication that it will not rosy days as in the past when oil price was $120 per barrel.