Aker Solutions makes further cuts in subsea business

Norwegian oilfield services provider Aker Solutions is downsizing workforce in its Norwegian subsea business.

The company informed the workers on Tuesday citing a continued market slowdown as a reason behind the decision.

About 500 permanent positions at facilities in Fornebu, Stokke, Moss and Tranby in Norway may be affected, Aker Solution said. Adjustments will be made through normal employee turnover, reassignments to other parts of the company and redundancies, Aker Solutions said.

“Activity in the Norwegian offshore services market has declined considerably over the past year as oil companies scale back spending and postpone projects,” said Per Harald Kongelf, head of Aker Solutions’ Norwegian operations. “This has made it necessary to reduce capacity in parts of our business.”

The adjustments come in addition to capacity reductions announced earlier this year of as many as 200 positions in the company’s subsea services business in Ågotnes, Norway, and about 300 positions in its Norwegian maintenance, modifications and operations unit. Outside of Norway, the company is reducing capacity by about 400 permanent positions this year, primarily in the subsea area.

Aker Solutions has also initiated a process to strengthen the structure of its global subsea business, it said, adding it expects to provide more detailed information toward the end of the year.

“We see a need to streamline our organizational set-up to reduce complexity and boost efficiency,” said Alan Brunnen, head of the company’s subsea business. “This will enable leaner processes and strengthen overall operations.”

Aker Solutions has about 16,000 permanent employees in approximately 20 countries. About 8,000 employees are in the subsea area, of which around 3,000 are in Norway. The rest are in countries including Brazil, Angola, Malaysia, the U.S. and the UK.

While experiencing the slowdown in Norway, the company is expanding internationally and, as Aker Solutions puts it, is well-positioned in key subsea markets. Africa accounted for 37 percent of Aker Solutions’ NOK 44 billion order backlog at the end of the second quarter of 2015, compared with 30 percent for Norway, helped by major subsea contracts in Angola and Congo, it added.

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