Smedvig said it would is cut its workforce by 130 during the first quarter of 2003. That brings total staff cuts to 330 during the past two weeks. Smedvig aid that a weak rig market is to blame for the cutbacks, according to newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad. Smedvig's West Alpha and West Vanguard semisubs have not secured new contracts to replace current contracts that expire March 1, 2003. A company spokesman described the cutbacks as "dramatic."
All of Smedvig's mobile offshore fleet and permanent installations will be affected by the cuts. Currently, Smedvig employees approximately 1,800 workers based in Norway. That number will be reduced to approximately 1,450 after cutbacks.