Britain's oil industry is set to lose a further 45,000 jobs in 2016, according to the former chairman of Wood Group.
Sir Ian Wood, who is also the author of the Wood Review on the future of the industry, has estimated the number of UK jobs in the field will fall to around 320,000 this year.
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The Times reports him saying: “We lost 65,000 jobs in the last year... And I don’t think the losses have slowed down.”
Wood said the industry is losing 150 jobs a day on average and that 2015's pace has been retained.
According to Oil and Gas UK, there were 375,000 jobs in the industry in September 2015, down from 440,000 at the end of 2014.
In January, BP said it planned to cut 600 jobs from its North Sea operations – around one-fifth of the workforce. And similar cuts have been announced by Shell, Chevron, Talisman Sinopec. Petrofac and others.
Wood said the industry will recover but emphasised the need to find ways of protecting skills and infrastructure. He said: “This is not the end of the [North Sea] oil and gas industry.”
The price of a barrel of Brent crude is currently around $40. This is down from an average of nearly $100 in 2014.