A second round of redundancies has been made at a North East firm as the oil and gas crisis continues to grip the industry.
Washington-based Oil Consultants was forced to halt its growth plans in March and axe several roles because of the drop in oil prices which saw Brent Crude barrel prices plummet from $115 to around $50.
At the time the firm, which places highly specialised workers into oil and offshore jobs around the world, said less than 10 administrative staff had been made redundant as many of its clients were forced to reconsider their projects and the staff employed to carry them out.
The loss of staff follows larger job losses at a number of oil companies in the region, including Archer, Deep Ocean and Flexlife.
Now, following a review of the company’s internal processes, a further number of redundancies have been made.
Chief executive officer Helen Smith said the firm’s actions had been made to protect the business from future risks.
Mrs Smith said: “As we all know the oil industry is really suffering quite significantly in relation to the reduction in oil prices.
“Our clients are finding it hard and earlier in the week I read a report which said around 100,000 jobs in the industry have been lost.
“For us it does mean we have strong relationships with our clients, and we are seeing an impact based on the problems they are suffering.
“We have looked very hard at our operational processes and worked out that we can have some of the activities we do multi-tasked, so have undergone a restructure which has resulted in a small number, less than 10, redundancies.”
Mrs Smith said as the company has undergone significant growth, heavy administration support teams were put in place – teams which have now been slimmed down.
As a result, the firm now employs around 50 people in all, meaning more than a quarter (28%) have lost their jobs from the 70 people employed at the firm before the oil crisis hit.
Remaining staff at the Washington office will also take on new tasks.
Mrs Smith continued: “There is no change to the offices in America and Australia and we think we are in a very strong position now. We have ‘right-sized’ ourselves for the future so I don’t anticipate there will be any significant changes in the future.
“We have remarkably strong relationships with our clients who say we are in a good position to support them. I feel the business is very strong and they report to us that we have strong market share.
“We aren’t the only ones to have been affected in this way – a lot of other agencies have been affected too.”