Gullfaks B downsizes

March 1, 1999, 08:15 CET

The number of people operating Gullfaks B is being slimmed down with effect from 1 March.

Removing 22 crew and cutting the catering staff will leave 102 employees with jobs on the Statoil platform in the North Sea.

This means in turn that Gullfaks B has a normal staffing of 46 people when no drilling, heavy downhole operations, maintenance or turnaround work is being pursued.

"We're making this cutback to improve the platform's earnings capability," explains operations superintendent Bjørg Aalstad. "Our constant aim has been to avoid redundancies, and we've met that target."

She explains that surplus personnel have been transferred to other Statoil installations off Norway, such as Troll A in the North Sea and the Heidrun, Norne and Åsgard developments in the Norwegian Sea.

The downsizing process has been under way since 1996, with active participation from the unions.

"We've been involved from the start and able to influence the process," comments Dag Unner Mongstad in the Norwegian Oil and Petrochemical Workers Union (Nopef).

"The way we've worked could serve as a model for similar processes off Norway. It's taught us that we've got to be careful to check what guidance is provided by the pay system and other general policies adopted by the company."

Some of the work associated with operating Gullfaks B will be transferred to land. In addition, equipment requiring less maintenance is being introduced.

And personnel from other installations will lend a hand during heavy drilling and downhole operations.

Gullfaks B has been on stream for 11 years, and is currently flowing about 95,000 barrels per day. It also produces about twice that amount of water. The main Gullfaks reservoir is expected to remain in production until 2016.