ENERGY & OFFSHORE | Staff Reporter, Singapore

More job cuts on the cards as oil and gas players struggle to stay afloat

Almost 2 out of five firms want to reduce staff.

More oil and gas companies in Singapore are looking to trim their headcount as oil prices continue to hover at record lows.

A report by technical advisory firm DNV GL revealed that half of O&G companies in the city-state see cost management as their top priority this year, significantly higher than the global average of 41%.

To cut costs, 37% of respondents said that the most prioritized is to reduce headcount, up from 14% in 2015. This signals further job losses, the survey said.

Meanwhile, 87% of senior oil and gas professionals in Singapore felt that their organization had been successful in achieving its cost-efficiency targets over the past year, higher than the global average of 74%.

"Singapore’s oil and gas professionals remain cautious about the business outlook but it is encouraging to see that the vast majority believe their organizations were successful in meeting cost-efficiency targets in 2015. However, more job cuts can be expected to control costs," said Arve Johan Kalleklev, regional manager for South East Asia.

The survey also showed that 66% of Singaporean respondents are preparing for a sustained period of low oil prices, lower than the global average of 73%.

The share of Singaporean respondents who cited difficulties in accessing capital as one of the biggest was also 10 percentage points higher than the global average, the report said.

Even in the current price environment, 58% of respondents said that they remain focused on R&D and innovation, 9 percentage points higher than the global average.

"The good news is that Singaporeans are balancing this with a longer-term view of cost management; optimizing the efficiency of production and greater standardization of tools and processes are being cited as important ways to drive cost-efficiency," Kalleklev said.

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