Published in Oil Industry News on September 2016
Scotland’s First Minister has vowed to “maximise” the opportunities for the Scottish economy from the dismantling of oil platforms in the North Sea.
Dundee is well-placed to reap the rewards of a £17bn oil decommissioning industry, but the Scottish Government has been accused of not doing enough to help Scots firms to capitalise.
In her programme for government speech Nicola Sturgeon said that, as well as “supporting a healthy future” for oil and gas, she is “determined that our economy gets maximum benefit from planned decommissioning”.
She said Scottish Enterprise is developing a comprehensive Decommissioning Action Plan to “help to maximise the economic return to the Scottish economy”.
Willie Rennie, the Scottish Liberal Democrats leader, said Scotland needs more than “vague promises of an action plan on decommissioning”.
Charles Hammond, of Forth Ports, which has invested £10m preparing the Port of Dundee for the decommissioning market, said: “We call on the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise to provide the support required to ensure that these jobs can come to Dundee for the benefit of the Scottish economy as a whole.”
OCG Offshore Co-ordinating Group State of the Industry report (Feb 2016)
highlights that investment and planning are required to maximise the economic benifits from the Oil & Gas sectors` decommisioning programme of offshore istallations
A future worth fighting for “Despite the crisis currently affecting our members in the North Sea, the offshore unions are convinced there is a future worth fighting for. But building a sustainable future demands that the industry’s response to current challenges must be based on collaboration, innovation and common high standards and a mature assessment of why costs in the UKCS continue to be higher than similar jurisdictions. The economic benefits of the industry will not be maximised by undermining safety and job security or allowing the pool of skilled labour to evaporate. Thorough and substantive dialogue between unions, employers and Government will be central in determining a positive future for the industry as well as dealing with current issues.
“Therefore the OCG has identified the following priorities as the minimum required to provide a secure future for North Sea workers:
A coherent plan for maximising economic benefit from the North Sea must be developed. This should address opportunities for standardisation and simplification, and for diversification (e.g. renewables and Carbon Capture and Storage) as well as developing an approach to decommissioning which seeks to maximise UK employment opportunities over an appropriate timescales.
In order to halt and ultimately reverse the rapid race to the bottom in employment standards, employers must continue to abide by national collective agreements. Workers’ health and safety must remain paramount – it is essential that operators, contractors and regulatory agencies work with unions to ensure reporting systems are operating fairly and efficiently and that workers are empowered to raise concerns and not disadvantaged by doing so.
Employment of foreign nationals on exploitative sub-national minimum wage contracts in shipping must end as must the flagging out of helicopter transport – the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) should have the power to set and police minimum standards.
Workers who have been made redundant or at imminent risk of redundancy must be supported to find skilled employment at similar rates of pay; this should involve properly resourced, targeted retraining opportunities.
The oil and gas companies should cease demanding cuts from contractors that have a direct and detrimental impact on jobs and safety – the OGA should be given powers to intervene to prevent such damaging abuses of market power.
“The OCG will also seek meetings with the relevant authorities to discuss a fiscal regime for the North Sea which is fair, robust and fit for purpose.”
Pat Rafferty, Unite
Steve Todd, RMT
Alan Ritchie, GMB
Jim McAuslan, BALPA
Steve Doran, Nautilus
Grahame Smith, STUC
Get protected at work whether you are on an operational or stacked installation
Join Unite online today!
Unite is the largest trade union in for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS
Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union