Energy sector job losses mount for Norway

The number of jobs open in the oil and gas field in Norway under pressure from lower oil prices, the government said. File Photo by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI

OSLO, Norway, Sept. 8 (UPI) — The government of Norway said Thursday the number of jobs tied to the production of oil and natural gas declined during the second quarter.

In total, the government said there were 10 percent fewer jobs available across the country in the second quarter than during the first.

“The decrease continued in mining and quarrying — an industry dominated by the production of oil and gas,” the government said. “There were 200 job vacancies in the 2nd quarter of 2016, compared to 600 in the same quarter of 2015.”

Four years ago, the number of job vacancies in mining and quarrying was around 2,500.

The government’s statistics office said total investments in oil and gas extraction, and pipeline transport for the year are estimated to reach just under $20 billion, a 1.5 percent decline from the previous full-year estimate. Total investments in oil, gas, mining and other parts of the electricity supply will reach $26 billion, a figure that’s 12.3 percent lower than last year.

The decline in investments and jobs comes even though oil production for July, the last full month for which the government has data, was 9 percent higher than the government expected at 1.7 million barrels.

The government, however, noted that the increase was more or less a given because several offshore oil fields were closed for maintenance in June. Total gas production followed similar trends, coming in higher than expected, but lower than the same time last year and below early 2016 peaks, which followed seasonal trends.

An August report Norway’s central bank said the decline in oil prices since late 2014 has been the primary factor in the increasing rate of unemployment. The bank said the pressure is unlikely to be temporary and that some workers tied to the oil industry will likely have to find jobs in other industries.


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