Oil firm lays off 30 staff

Kampala.

French Oil company Total EandP Uganda limited, has laid off about 30 staff in a bid to cut costs over the currently minimal business environment in the oil sector in Uganda.

Daily Monitor has learnt, that the workers, majority field workers, who have been redundant, received the announcement early this week, since the company finished most of the intense activities in the Albertine region and only awaits a production licence from government to move forward into production.

In a statement by the corporate affairs director Ahlem Friga-Noy, the completion of the exploration phase means all drilling operations and related activities have been completed and all necessary data for the development phase have been gathered.

While moving forward with government on finalising key required steps towards development, there is substantial reduction of operations and related activities.

“Therefore, Total EandP Uganda has to adapt to the pace of the project, while also taking into account recent trends in the international crude oil price and their impact on our capital intensive industry.”

Ms Noy , according to the statement said: “To adapt to the current level of activity and the need to reduce costs, synergies with partners in terms of infrastructure and equipment, have been promoted. Total EandP, for example, is now sharing infrastructure with its partner, UK’s Tullow Oil PLC in Buliisa.”

“To manage the manpower redundancy borne out of the decreased activity, Total EandP has made efforts in the interim to assign some local personnel to either other company affiliates abroad or on pertinent international training.
Notwithstanding, Total EandP has been obliged to also demobilise staff, both in the field and in Kampala. This process started in December 2014 with the demobilisation of expatriates and now with locally recruited staff,” reads the statement.

Other oil companies
Total and other players, Tullow and China’s Cnooc are equally feeling the pinch of the lukewarm activities and have been forced to cut back on costs through several measures.
Tullow started laying off workers early last year and last month retrenched about 120 workers.

Total EandP’s new general manager Mr Francois Rafin, was the first to be recalled in January this year after only being in the job for less than nine months.

Total EandP started operations in Uganda in 2012. The oil company is credited for introducing new technology in the oil industry, as it drilled the first horizontal well in East Africa and first 3D cable-less seismic technology onshore in Africa.

About total EandP
The French firm operates in the sensitive environment in EA-1, located in the Murchison Falls National Park where animals such as giraffes and elephants sometimes roam around the oil fields.

Issues
Cutting costs. The company has reduced its staff to cut back on costs.
Reduced oil activity.The delay in issuing production licences to this company could partly explain this move to downsize operations.
Oil prices fall. Global oil prices fell from a high of $120 a barrel in September 2014 to an average of $50, forcing oil companies globally to adjust their expenditure plans.

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SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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