BLOG: Oil, Gas Job Cuts Due to Brexit Likely

BLOG: Oil, Gas Job Cuts Due to Brexit Likely
There will likely be oil and gas job cuts as a result of the UK's decision to leave the European Union, according to a Rigzone Twitter poll.

Oil and gas jobs will likely be cut as a result of the UK's decision to leave the European Union, according to a Rigzone poll on social media platform Twitter.
 

Out of 192 respondents, 52 percent of voters stated that they expected Brexit to lead to layoffs in 2017 and beyond. Twenty-six percent of these people replied ‘probably’ when asked if the development would result in staff cuts, with the remaining 26 percent responding with ‘definitely’.

Overall, 48 percent of respondents believe that Brexit won’t result in job cuts, with 36 percent of voters answering ‘probably not’ and 12 percent responding with ‘definitely not’.

Andreas Exarheas
Andreas Exarheas, Associate Editor, Rigzone
Associate Editor, Rigzone

The poll goes against previous oil and gas company predictions and suggestions said to Rigzone, which played down the likelihood of negative effects as a result of the UK’s divorce from the EU. Companies and organizations involved in the oil and gas sector forecasted that the decision was unlikely to have a major adverse impact on the country’s oil and gas industry.

Airswift, one of the world's biggest oil and gas recruitment firms, even went as far as suggesting that the split could be a good thing for the sector.

"Leaving the EU could ultimately signal a more prosperous future for the UK North Sea,” Airswift CEO Peter Searle told Rigzone at the time.

Following the vote, Engie CEO Isabelle Kocher said the decision did not affect the firm’s view of Britain, where it currently employs around 17,000 people, and BP plc announced that its headquarters would remain in the United Kingdom, despite the results.

Further suggesting a lack of negative effects as a result of Brexit, FirstEnergy outlined that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union would make “little difference” to the crude oil markets.

“Brexit may slow an oil price rise, but will not prevent it,” said the oil and gas advisory firm in a brief research note sent to Rigzone.

Escalating Uncertainty

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017, which would spark a two year timeframe in which the UK and EU could settle their separation, under treaty provisions. Therefore, if May sticks to her current plan, we should know just how bad (or not) Brexit will be for the oil and gas sector by the end of the first quarter of 2019.

Until this exit is complete, it’s very difficult to precisely predict what the effects of the UK’s decision to leave the EU will be on the oil and gas industry. The fact that more mixed opinions are coming to light as the Brexit saga progresses signifies an escalating uncertainty around the development though, which is rarely good news in commodity sectors.

A graduate in journalism from Cardiff University, Andreas has eight years of experience as a business journalist. Email Andreas at andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com

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