Dutch workers to stage protest as Borr Drilling wants to close Beverwijk office

Workers’ union Nautilus together with Paragon Offshore employees in The Netherlands will on Monday stage a protest hoping to prevent a dismissal of more than 70 workers.

According to Nautilus, offshore driller Borr Drilling, which has recently acquired Paragon Offshore, plans to close the former Paragon Offshore office in Beverwijk, “which is presenting a threat to the jobs of more than 70 employees working in the office or on the offshore platforms.”

The trade union has said:”Borr Drilling refuses to conclude a good social plan with the trade union. Paragon employees have therefore rejected the employer’s last offer en masse and demand a good social plan.”

Nautilus official Bert Klein stated: ‘We have been talking to Borr since May, and our efforts are focused on preventing dismissals. If redundancies cannot be avoided, the objective is to secure a social plan that must at least comply with what is normally agreed in the Netherlands. This means clearly more than just the legally-regulated transition payment. A company that wants to present itself as a world player, in our opinion, should also adopt that attitude when it comes to parting with employees.

Klein added: “We also still doubt the need for these redundancies and are concerned that there seems to be social dumping. In our discussions, however, Borr keeps repeating that they cannot do any more than just pay the transition allowance. A company that recently invested more than one billion US dollars cannot offer a good social plan – that could be agreed with comparable companies in the Netherlands – because it does not have sufficient resources? That is too crazy for words!”

Offshore Energy Today has reached out to Borr Drilling, seeking comment. We will update the article if we get a response.

The protest will be held on Monday, June 25, from 13.30 to 14.30 hours at Trawler quay 26 – IJmuiden.

Utilization recovery Yes, but not without cuts

Borr Drilling, founded just two years ago, has taken the offshore drilling market by storm as it quickly became one of the largest jack-up rig owners in the world.

The company first bought two jack-ups from bankrupt Hercules Offshore, then in bought the entire jack-up fleet from Transocean, and earlier this year it bought Paragon Offshore. It recently also ordered 5 newbuild jack-ups from Keppel for $745 million.

While building an admirable fleet, the company is also working to remove excess rigs from the jack-up rig market. The company has recently sold 14 old jack-up rigs en bloc to a non-drilling company as part of its rationalization program following Paragon Offshore takeover.

What is more, a recent report by Rystad Energy has shown that so far this year Borr and Paragon combined have decided to scrap 26 ageing jack-ups.

This compares to 17 units retired among all companies globally in 2017.
Rystad Energy’s analysis has shown that Borr Drilling would emerge with the largest and youngest jack-up fleet if rigs over 35 years were retired in the short term.

“While it is unlikely that all rigs over 35 years will be retired, it illustrates that recovery in utilization is achievable, though not without some cuts. Looked at in consideration of Borr’s fleet, it also shows that the company’s strategy has put it well positioned against its nearest competitors as the market picks back up. Not only is the company’s fleet newer, but it has specialized in jack-ups and has positioned itself well for underserved markets like West Africa,” Oddmund Føre, Vice President of Offshore Rig Analysis at Rystad Energy said.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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