Update: Silver lining for Shell employees as Chrysaor looks to hire

Oil major Shell today announced plans to cut 90 onshore positions at its UK North Sea business in Aberdeen.

But there is hope for those affected – the firm which agreed to buy a package of North Sea assets from Shell earlier this year is hiring.

In January, Shell announced a deal to sell its interests in nine UK North Sea fields and a 10% stake in Schiehallion, west of Shetland, to Chrysaor for up to £3billion. The deal is expected to go through in the second half of 2017.

It is hoped that a large number of employees affected by the cuts at Shell will find a role at Chrysaor, which recently agreed terms to become the third and biggest tenant in The Capitol office development in Union Street, Aberdeen.

A spokesman for Chrysaor said the North Sea newcomer was advertising just under 100 onshore vacancies and that the two companies were working together to “minimise the possibility of job losses”.

The spokesman said Chrysaor was in the process of boosting its headcount ahead of its “go-live date”.

He said the vacancies were being advertised on Shell’s systems so that affected employees can review them and apply.

A Shell spokeswoman said: “We need to alert staff to the upcoming changes before a separate open resourcing process for jobs transferring to Chrysaor under the recently announced asset sale closes.

“Many of the staff likely to be affected by the reductions have the right skills and capabilities to be competitive for the roles transferring to Chrysaor.”

The impacted roles at Shell cover a range of positions across Shell’s onshore support organisation in Aberdeen.

It is understood that half of the positions are currently filled by full-time Shell employees, while the rest are staffed by agency workers.

Shell did say the job losses were not all related to the divestment of assets to Chrysaor.

It said the cuts were part of efforts to ensure Shell operated a “sustainable and competitive business” in the North Sea post-divestment.

Steve Phimister, upstream vice president for the UK and Ireland, said: “We intend to reduce the size of the organisation by approximately 90 onshore positions by the end of 2017. Offshore roles will not be impacted by this decision.

“Our aim is to ensure our organisation is appropriate to support our drive to become the most competitive and resilient oil and gas business in the UK continental shelf.

“We are committed to the UK North Sea and see considerable future value and opportunity; we remain a significant employer, and aim to continue to invest significantly in the North Sea in the coming years.”

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