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    Cnooc Rises as Crude Reserves Boost Investor Appeal (Sunday, 26 March 2017)

    26 Mar 2017, 12:00 am

    Cnooc Ltd.’s wider disclosure about its reserve base and a higher-than-expected dividend is turning more analysts positive on the company. Shares jumped the most in almost four months.

    The more-detailed look at the reserves of China’s biggest offshore oil and gas explorer released during its earnings presentation Thursday is a positive sign for the company’s long-term outlook, according to Morgan Stanley, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. and China International Capital Corp. Analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Macquarie Group Ltd. and CICC upgraded the stock.

    Cnooc rose 3.9% to HK$9.24, the biggest gain since Dec. 1, at the close in Hong Kong on Friday. The city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index gained 0.1%.

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    “This new information will alleviate investors’ concerns on Cnooc’s relatively low reserve life, which we see as a material long-term positive catalyst,” Andy Meng at Morgan Stanley wrote in note to clients. “Generous dividend payout, promising reserve outlook and impressive cost control makes us like Cnooc more post 2016 results announcement.”

    The company previously took a conservative approach to reserves booking under guidelines required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to analysts at Bernstein. On Thursday, it provided the first look under Society of Petroleum Engineers standards, which shows reserves may be at least twice as big, Neil Beveridge, head of Asia-Pacific oil and gas research at Bernstein in Hong Kong, wrote in a note to clients.

    Laban Yu at Jefferies Group LLC in Hong Kong in a research note expressed skepticism about the reserves disclosure, saying that more information is needed. The company’s long-term future depends on overseas discoveries and acquisitions, he wrote.

    Though Cnooc reported its worst-ever annual results, it was able to eke out a profit due to bigger income tax credits, cost cutting and a recovery in oil prices. Net income dropped to 637 million yuan ($92.5 million), including 12.2 billion yuan of impairments, it said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange Thursday. It issued a HK$0.23 dividend, compared with a forecast for HK$0.17 in data compiled by Bloomberg.

    Source: www.worldoil.com

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    U.S. Shale to Feed European Gas Market Battered by Winter (Sunday, 26 March 2017)

    26 Mar 2017, 12:00 am

    The heart of Europe’s gas market may finally get a helping hand from the American shale revolution as fuel is poised to cross the Atlantic to replenish depleted inventories after the coldest January in seven years.

    Northwest Europe, one of the biggest trading regions for the fuel, hasn’t yet attracted any liquefied natural gas cargoes from the U.S., which the shale boom turned into the world’s biggest gas producer. So far, sellers have favored markets in South America and Asia where prices have been higher.

    But that may be about to change with spring weather poised to damp demand and prices in the biggest consuming region of Japan and South Korea moving closer to those in the UK and the Netherlands. Supplies from the U.S. may arrive in the coming months to help replenish European stocks at their lowest level since 2013, according to Houston-based Cheniere Energy Inc., which is expanding its export plant in Louisiana.

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    “U.S. gas will find an obvious home in Europe once most other markets are filled up,” Trevor Sikorski, head of natural gas and carbon at Energy Aspects Ltd. in London, said by email. “There should be lots of gas as three trains should be operating for most of summer 2017” at Cheniere, he said.

    As Asian demand subsides with milder weather, regional prices will move closer to parity with European rates, according to Energy Aspects.

    The arbitrage for U.S. gas to both Europe and Asia is already “wide open,” Citigroup Inc. said in a report emailed Wednesday. Asian LNG prices may slide to below $5/MMbtu after May, according to the bank. That’s the price of summer gas in the UK on ICE Futures Europe in London.

    “We are looking to sell into Europe in April-May as European storage sites start refilling, but we will only sell to Europe if we see it offers a price premium,” Eric Bensaude, Cheniere’s managing director of commercial operations, said by phone from London. “The main reason why we did not sell in Europe in the winter is because other markets were paying a higher price.”

    Most U.S. LNG exports have so far gone to Latin America, with cargoes also reaching Asia and the Middle East. Supplies from Cheniere’s Sabine Pass have also arrived in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Turkey at an increasing rate over the past three months, according to London-based consultant Timera Energy, which counts BP Plc to Gazprom PJSC as clients. The company estimates that only 17% of U.S. LNG went to Europe since exports started in February 2016.

    “After Latin America, Europe is the next cheapest destination for U.S. exports from a shipping cost perspective,” Timera said this month in a report. “As U.S. export volumes grow, significant volumes are likely to land in Europe, or to displace cargoes that flow to Europe from elsewhere.”

    The third line, or train, at Sabine Pass has been approved for production and exports, while train 4 is near commissioning.

    Cheniere’s marketing unit doesn’t have to pay the fixed fees the company charges companies with LNG supply contracts, including Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Such costs add to export prices of the fuel.

    Still, insufficient differences between U.S. and European gas prices may keep those cargoes at “minimal quantities,” said Zach Allen, president of energy consultancy Pan Eurasian Enterprises in Raleigh, North Carolina, who’s tracked the LNG market for more than a decade.

    Competition will also come from Russia and Norway. They produce gas at a lower cost than U.S LNG and ship it via pipelines instead of on tankers. Russia’s Gazprom is also targeting Europe’s low inventories to help it sell a record volume to its highest-paying consumer.

    It takes about two weeks to transport a cargo from Sabine Pass to France and as long as a month to India. U.S cargoes have no restriction on final destination, which means that companies with several supply options can ship to markets with highest prices.

    “This is the evolution for the LNG market, it ends up where it’s needed most, Steve Hill, executive vice president for gas and energy marketing and trading at Shell, told reporters on Feb 20. “If it’s in the UK, that’s where it will come.”

    Source: www.worldoil.com

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    Offshore Achievement Awards Celebrate Industry Innovation, Collaboration, Performance (Saturday, 25 March 2017)

    25 Mar 2017, 1:00 pm

    Shining lights in the offshore oil and gas industry were recognized in a black tie dinner in Aberdeen last night.

    Some 500 industry professionals attending the SPE Offshore Achievement Awards, which celebrates innovation, collaboration and exceptional performance within the UK offshore energy sector and is supported by OE.

    Twelve companies and individuals were award winners at the event, which also saw Oonagh Werngren (pictured, right) being presented with the accolade for Significant Contribution.

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    JDR Cable Systems collected two awards, for Export Achievement and Great Large Company, while Enpro Subsea was named Great Small Company.

    Marianne McKevitt of BP (pictured, left) received the Young Professional award, while Sam Lisney of Petrofac EPS West (pictured, middle) was named winner of the Above & Beyond category.

    Further companies completing the list of winners included M-FLOW Technologies, Delphian Ballistics, Cape, Exnics, TAQA, and Maersk Oil, Amec Foster Wheeler and Bilfinger Salamis for a collaborative contracting strategy.

    Ian Phillips, chairman of award organizers SPE Aberdeen said: “Once again, the finalists and winners of this year’s Offshore Achievement Awards have showcased the important work that continues to take place in our industry.

    “In the first few months of 2017, we have seen improved prospects for the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), which has in turn created a slightly more positive sentiment. It is crucial that we harness and use this enthusiasm to continue collaborating, innovating, creating efficiencies and developing best practice."

    Significant Contribution winner Oonagh Werngren was recognized for work including her former role as operations director at Oil & Gas UK, where she was responsible for establishing a number of pan-industry projects to increase exploration and production in the UKCS.

    She was also previously president of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain, one of only two women to hold the position in over 50 years, and has held non-executive director roles for the Oil and Gas Innovation Centre and the Industry Technology Facilitator, as well as The Girls’ Network. In 2011, she was awarded an MBE for services to the oil and gas industry.

    Werngren said: “I’ve been involved in a number of major industry projects during the last four decades, and would like to express deep gratitude to all the colleagues I have worked with during this time.

    “I am also inspired by the recent activities to acquire and release new seismic data, which will contribute significantly to our geological knowledge of the remaining North Sea resources. It is heartening that exploration and production companies are showing signs of growing optimism and, providing fresh investment comes into the basin and costs are kept under control, there are good reasons to believe that confidence is slowly returning to the sector.”

    The 2017 Offshore Achievement Award winners in each category are:

    • Emerging Technology Award: M-FLOW Technologies
    • Innovator Award: Delphian Ballistics
    • Safety Innovations Award: Cape
    • Environmental Innovation Award: Exnics
    • Export Achievement Award: JDR Cable Systems
    • Collaboration Award: Maersk Oil/Amec Foster Wheeler/Bilfinger Salamis
    • Outstanding Skills Development Programme Award: TAQA
    • Young Professional Award: Marianne McKevitt, BP. Highly commended – Mandy Johnstone, N-Sea
    • Above & Beyond Award: Sam Lisney, Petrofac EPS, West. Highly commended - Bob Banks, Petrofac EPS, West
    • Great Small Company Award: Enpro Subsea
    • Great Large Company Award: JDR Cable Systems
    • Significant Contribution Award: Oonagh Werngren

    Source: www.oedigital.com

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    Anadarko Announces Multi-billion-dollar Capital Program (Friday, 24 March 2017)

    24 Mar 2017, 8:00 pm

     Anadarko Petroleum Corporation recently announced its 2017 initial capital program of $4.5 to $4.7 billion along with its 2017 initial capital expectations and guidance.

    "In 2017, we plan to allocate approximately 80% of our total capital program toward our U.S. onshore upstream and midstream activities, and our expanded position in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico," said Al Walker, Anadarko Chairman, President and CEO. "These investments provide the foundation for our increased five-year oil growth expectations of more than 15% on a compounded annual basis at current prices, and we are prepared to be flexible throughout the year if we see the opportunity in the Delaware and DJ basins to accelerate activity to capture additional value. Furthermore, sustained oil production from our deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Algeria and Ghana assets is expected to generate significant free cash flow to support growth and fund future value creation through exploration success and our LNG business."

    U.S. onshore

    During 2016, Anadarko high-graded its U.S. onshore portfolio by divesting a number of natural-gas-weighted assets and concentrating its top-tier positions in the Delaware and DJ basins, which resulted in an expected 25% increase in liquids composition from the U.S. onshore relative to 2015 on a same-store-sales basis.

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    In the Delaware Basin in West Texas, Anadarko increased its estimated net resources in the Wolfcamp A formation by about 50% to more than 3 Bboe of net resources. In addition, the company estimates it has more than 1 Bboe of incremental potential upside on its acreage in the Wolfcamp B, C and D formations, the Bone Spring, and Avalon Shale opportunities. In 2017, the company plans to invest approximately $820 million in Delaware Basin upstream activities, with an additional $560 million of Anadarko capital allocated toward the expansion of its midstream backbone to enable future growth. Anadarko plans to average 10 to 14 operated drilling rigs during the year and drill more than 150 operated mid-lateral-equivalent wells.

    In the DJ Basin of northeast Colorado, Anadarko increased its estimated net resources by about 33% as a result of improved recoveries and additional down-spacing opportunities. The company now estimates it has more than 2 Bboe of net resources within its development area, with additional upside on its acreage in the greater DJ Basin. In 2017, Anadarko plans to invest approximately $840 million in DJ Basin upstream activities, average five to six operated rigs and drill approximately 290 mid-lateral-equivalent wells.

    "We expect our current 2017 U.S. onshore capital allocation to deliver significant oil growth toward the end of the year as we overcome the effects of last year's reduced activity levels on our shorter-cycle onshore opportunities," added Walker. "We anticipate achieving an exit rate of approximately 50,000 boped in the Delaware Basin, which is more than 80% higher than 2016, and in the DJ Basin, we expect our oil-production exit rate to be about 100,000 bpd, a 30% increase over the prior year."

    Deepwater, international operations

    In 2017, Anadarko expects to invest approximately $1.1 billion in its deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Algeria and Ghana assets.

    In the Gulf of Mexico, the company plans to continue leveraging its premier infrastructure position and drill approximately seven development tiebacks during the year. In addition, Anadarko expects to benefit from a full year of production from the recently acquired Freeport-McMoRan properties, which doubled Anadarko's sales volumes to more than 160,000 boed at the end of last year. Minimal capital investments are expected to be required in 2017 to maintain the steady, long-lived, high-margin oil production provided by the company's strong cash-generating assets in Algeria and offshore Ghana.

    Deepwater, international exploration, LNG

    Exploration and LNG development continue to be differentiating components of Anadarko's business. In 2017, the company expects to invest approximately $770 million in its deepwater and international exploration program and LNG project in Mozambique.

    During the year, Anadarko plans to drill up to 10 exploration/appraisal wells in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Côte d'Ivoire, and Colombia, where Anadarko recently added to its previous exploration success with another discovery at the Purple Angel prospect.

    The company expects to continue advancing the Mozambique LNG project where it has made good progress on the legal and contractual framework, and recently submitted a Development Plan to the Government of Mozambique for the Golfinho/Atum discoveries.

    Source: www.worldoil.com

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    U.S. Shale to Feed European Gas Market Battered by Winter (Friday, 24 March 2017)

    24 Mar 2017, 5:00 pm

    Northwest Europe, one of the biggest trading regions for the fuel, hasn’t yet attracted any liquefied natural gas cargoes from the U.S., which the shale boom turned into the world’s biggest gas producer. So far, sellers have favored markets in South America and Asia where prices have been higher.

    But that may be about to change with spring weather poised to damp demand and prices in the biggest consuming region of Japan and South Korea moving closer to those in the UK and the Netherlands. Supplies from the U.S. may arrive in the coming months to help replenish European stocks at their lowest level since 2013, according to Houston-based Cheniere Energy Inc., which is expanding its export plant in Louisiana.

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    “U.S. gas will find an obvious home in Europe once most other markets are filled up,” Trevor Sikorski, head of natural gas and carbon at Energy Aspects Ltd. in London, said by email. “There should be lots of gas as three trains should be operating for most of summer 2017” at Cheniere, he said.

    As Asian demand subsides with milder weather, regional prices will move closer to parity with European rates, according to Energy Aspects.

    The arbitrage for U.S. gas to both Europe and Asia is already “wide open,” Citigroup Inc. said in a report emailed Wednesday. Asian LNG prices may slide to below $5/MMbtu after May, according to the bank. That’s the price of summer gas in the UK on ICE Futures Europe in London.

    “We are looking to sell into Europe in April-May as European storage sites start refilling, but we will only sell to Europe if we see it offers a price premium,” Eric Bensaude, Cheniere’s managing director of commercial operations, said by phone from London. “The main reason why we did not sell in Europe in the winter is because other markets were paying a higher price.”

    Most U.S. LNG exports have so far gone to Latin America, with cargoes also reaching Asia and the Middle East. Supplies from Cheniere’s Sabine Pass have also arrived in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Turkey at an increasing rate over the past three months, according to London-based consultant Timera Energy, which counts BP Plc to Gazprom PJSC as clients. The company estimates that only 17% of U.S. LNG went to Europe since exports started in February 2016.

    “After Latin America, Europe is the next cheapest destination for U.S. exports from a shipping cost perspective,” Timera said this month in a report. “As U.S. export volumes grow, significant volumes are likely to land in Europe, or to displace cargoes that flow to Europe from elsewhere.”

    The third line, or train, at Sabine Pass has been approved for production and exports, while train 4 is near commissioning.

    Cheniere’s marketing unit doesn’t have to pay the fixed fees the company charges companies with LNG supply contracts, including Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Such costs add to export prices of the fuel.

    Still, insufficient differences between U.S. and European gas prices may keep those cargoes at “minimal quantities,” said Zach Allen, president of energy consultancy Pan Eurasian Enterprises in Raleigh, North Carolina, who’s tracked the LNG market for more than a decade.

    Competition will also come from Russia and Norway. They produce gas at a lower cost than U.S LNG and ship it via pipelines instead of on tankers. Russia’s Gazprom is also targeting Europe’s low inventories to help it sell a record volume to its highest-paying consumer.

    It takes about two weeks to transport a cargo from Sabine Pass to France and as long as a month to India. U.S cargoes have no restriction on final destination, which means that companies with several supply options can ship to markets with highest prices.

    “This is the evolution for the LNG market, it ends up where it’s needed most, Steve Hill, executive vice president for gas and energy marketing and trading at Shell, told reporters on Feb 20. “If it’s in the UK, that’s where it will come.”

    Source: World Oil

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    BREAKING: Trump Administration Issues Official Approval for Keystone XL Pipeline (Friday, 24 March 2017)

    24 Mar 2017, 3:00 pm

    The announcement, by the State Department, reversed the position of the Obama administration. It followed a 60-day review that was set in motion as one of the first acts of President Trump’s tenure.

    The pipeline has been the focus of a long fight between environmentalists and the project’s advocates, who say it would further the goals of energy independence and economic growth. When President Barack Obama rejected the project in late 2015, he said it would undermine American leadership in curbing reliance on carbon fuels.

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    The announcement on Friday said the State Department “considered a range of factors, including, but not limited to, foreign policy; energy security; environmental, cultural and economic impacts; and compliance with applicable law and policy.”

    The new secretary of state, Rex W. Tillerson, formerly chief executive of Exxon Mobil, had recused himself from the decision. The announcement said the permit was signed by the under secretary of state for political affairs, Thomas A. Shannon Jr.

    The pipeline still faces hurdles before it is built. It needs the approval of the Nebraska Public Service Commission and local landowners who are concerned about their water and land rights. Protests are likely since the project has become an important symbol for the environmental movement, with the Canadian oil sands among the most carbon-intensive oil supplies. Mining the oil sands requires vast amounts of energy for extraction and processing.

    In addition, interest among many oil companies in the oil sands is waning amid sluggish oil prices. Situated in the sub-Arctic boreal forest, the oil sands are expensive to extract. Statoil and Total, two European energy giants, have abandoned their production projects. In recent weeks, Royal Dutch Shell agreed to sell most of its oil sands assets for $8.5 billion. And Exxon Mobil wrote down 3.5 billion barrels of reserves, conceding they were not economically attractive to develop for the next few years at least.

    Nevertheless, Canadian production continues to grow as projects conceived when prices were higher continue to come on line. And the Keystone effort is central to the future of TransCanada, the pipeline builder and a major force in the Canadian oil patch.

    The United States Chamber of Commerce and other business groups applauded the administration’s action. Jack Gerard, the president and chief executive of the American Petroleum Institute, the primary industry lobbying arm, said the decision was “welcome news” and “critical to creating American jobs, growing the economy and making our nation more energy secure.’’

    Opponents said the pipeline was unnecessary at a time when American oil production was soaring and future demand had been put in question by increasingly efficient cars, electric cars and growing concerns over climate change.

    “The Keystone pipeline would be a straw running through the heart of America to transport the dirtiest oil in the world to the thirstiest foreign markets,” said Senator Edward J. Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat.

    Originally planned to open in 2012, the Keystone XL would transport up to 830,000 barrels a day of Canadian and North Dakota crude to Steele City, Neb., where it would connect with existing pipelines to deliver the sludgy oil to refineries in Texas and Louisiana for processing. Most of the refined product would probably be exported, or it might enable domestic producers to export more oil produced in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

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    When the project was in the planning stages, the United States was highly dependent on oil from the Middle East. But in recent years, domestic production has nearly doubled, and the United States now exports increasing amounts of oil and natural gas. Oil prices have been slashed in half over the last three years, although many analysts predict that petroleum prices will rebound in the next decade, when the pipeline would come on line.

    For Canada, and especially Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the pipeline represents a mixed blessing. Mr. Trudeau publicly supports the pipeline as a tool to boost Canada’s economy, but an increase in oil sands production could undercut his commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions as promised in the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

    Protests helped sway the Obama administration to reject the project, and environmentalists have been further emboldened by demonstrations last year in North Dakota, mostly by Native American groups, that have delayed another project, the Dakota Access Pipeline.

    Environmental groups are already promising to aid local groups in blocking the Keystone pipeline’s construction. “We’ll use every tool in the kit to stop this dangerous tar sands oil pipeline project,” said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

    The project would provide for thousands of construction jobs, and has attracted the support of several labor unions.

    President Trump has made infrastructure building a centerpiece of his efforts to spur economic growth. At the beginning of his term he instructed the Commerce Department to establish a plan that requires that new pipelines be constructed with American-made materials like steel. But the White House has since suggested that the Keystone project would not be subjected to those rules since it is not a new project.

    Source: NYTimes

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    Danish Government Presents New North Sea Oil Agreement (Friday, 24 March 2017)

    24 Mar 2017, 2:00 pm

    The government, in collaboration with the parties Socialdemokratiet, Dansk Folkeparti, Socialistisk Folkeparti and Radikale, has unveiled a fully-financed agreement designed to ensure a future for oil production in the North Sea.

    The agreement supports a two-figure billion kroner amount to be invested in oil and gas extraction in the North Sea by, among other things, completely re-building the ageing Tyra fields. The investments will allow for the possibility to generate up to 26 billion kroner for the state coffers looking ahead to 2042.

    “It’s in Denmark’s interest to continue oil and gas production in the North Sea in order to maintain our supply security and independence from energy from unstable areas of the world,” said Lars Christian Lilleholt, the energy and climate minister.

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    “The government has set an ambitious goal to make Denmark independent of fossil fuels by 2050 and for at least 50 percent of our energy needs to be covered by sustainable energy by 2030. That demands great investment in the coming decades, and the income from the North Sea will play an important role.”

    DUC and cover

    In order to promote investment in oil and gas production in the North Sea, the government has decided to reduce the tax on oil and gas production from 2017-2025. But should the price of oil increase, as is expected by the state, then the oil companies will pay back the tax rebate.

    The government has also reached an agreement with the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC) concerning the full reconstruction of the Tyra field. DUC will support a number of initiatives aimed at improving the infrastructure and making it more attractive to develop smaller oil fields in the North Sea.

    Danish oil production in the North Sea has stagnated in recent years to the point where it’s at the same level it was in 1992.

    A rundown of the agreement:

    – DUC will undertake a full renovation of the Tyra field in the North Sea

    – the renovation will allow the extraction of an expected 129 million barrels of oil

    – access to the infrastructure in the Danish part of the North Sea by third parties will be improved

    – a pool of 100 million kroner for green initiatives in relation to oil and gas extraction will be established

    – an improved investment window of 2017-2015 will be established where the framework will include:

    * raising the hydrocarbon rebate over a six-year period from 5 percent to 6.5 percent annually

    * raising the rate for balance depreciation on hydrocarbon tax from 15 to 20 percent

    * the deduction point for the two aforementioned rebates will be changed from the time when investments go into service until the point of payment

    * if oil prices increase to at least 75 dollars per barrel, as expected by the state, companies must start paying back the tax rebate

    * the temporary tax rebate means less revenue for the state. This is funded by the introduction of proceeds from the Danish Growth Fund and Denmark’s Export Credit Agency and by the abolition of the advanced VAT scheme

    Source: cphpost.dk

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    Oil Worker Discrimination - 'Employers Misguided' Says Business Minister Margot James (Friday, 24 March 2017)

    24 Mar 2017, 1:00 pm

    The claims of discrimination first emerged last month when Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin wrote to UK Employment Minister Damian Hinds.

    Ms Martin had been contacted by constituents who had been told in interviews and job advertisements they were not eligible for the role because of their oil and gas experience.

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    More than 120,000 people have lost their jobs across the UK since the global decline in energy prices since 2014.

    Following the issue being highlighted in the press by Ms Martin, she received a response to her concerns from the UK Government earlier this week.

    Business Minister Margot James said that while some instances of discrimination had been recorded the government did not believe it to be an issue that was ‘widespread’.

    Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin now plans to write once again to the government, with examples of discrimination she has received from Oil and Gas Peoples survey.

    She said: “It is clear from the survey carried out by Oil and Gas People that many workers feel that they are being discriminated against in prospective jobs despite having many transferrable skills.

    “At the heart of this all are the people who have been made redundant, who simply want to go back to their day jobs.

    “It is important we continue to highlight this issue. The assumption that workers will return to industry once the oil and gas sector picks up is most often not the case.

    “Many workers are genuinely looking to leave the sector but find themselves tarred with the same brush based on the assumption they will leave as soon as the industry picks up.

    "I believe the reluctance by employers to consider this highly skilled and motivated workforce to be misguided because I know that their skill sets are respected both across the UK and around the world.”

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