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Downsizing is expected at Agip (+update)

November 10 2014, 16:45

By Laura Suleimenova

According to the information provided by Gulbolat Amangaliyeva, the Head of regional department of employment coordination and social programs, as of November 1, 1904 people were employed at the offshore complex of the North Caspian project, including 1424 people from Kazakhstan. At the onshore complex – over 6,5 thousand people (including 6 253 Kazakhstan citizens) were employed.

These figures were provided to the state body by Agip KCO. The last time workforce was laid off at PSN LLP - 116 people. Later the company re-employed only a few people.

According to data provided by Agip KCO, no other layoffs in the near future are expected at Kashagan project.

The big number of workforce occupied at the onshore complex can be explained by the ongoing construction of 4 million tons sulfur storage at Karabatan, as well as railway loading rack. In the near future the construction of reservoir water treatment plant is about to start.

But what nearly two thousand people are doing in the offshore complex where oil production is suspended, is absolutely not clear.

However, another open question is with regards to redundancy of the employees in the main Agip KCO company (the number of employees - 2 515). According to Agip KCO employees, at a recent meeting it was announced that the status of the employer has been changed and now it is not an agency company. In this regard the employees were made aware of the future redundancies, but no terms were specified.

According to my interlocutors from Agip KKO, there are about 300 employees in a ‘suspended’ position, including the Astana office that is planned to be transferred to Atyrau.  

- Currently the transition from an old model to the one and optimization process is ongoing that is scheduled to be completed at the end of April-May of next year. Duplicated positions of the North Caspian project operator -  NCOC will be made redundant. Reorganization will also cover management and financial departments. After moving from Astana, there will be only a few employees left - to carry out representative functions, - shared the information our source in Astana.

Another source informs there is no job cut schedule in place yet. Agip KCO has been renamed to  NCOC NV (joint-stock company) - new company created on the basis of Agip KCO within the framework of Phase 2 (Gate2).  By the way, in many Agip KCO offices the signs with old company name have been replaced. The office in Astana received the name NCOC BV (limited liability partnership):

The issue of either elimination or merging of the Astana branch and NCPOC with NCOC NV is still under consideration. Phase 3 envisages the amalgamation of all companies by April, 2015 into one company - NCOC NV.

According to the source, currently the employees are interviewed before transfer to the new company. In any case, major losses in numbers cannot be avoided.

Thus, after serious redundancies, expected at the North Caspian project in the spring of the next year, hundreds of qualified specialists with high salary expectations will lose their jobs. 

Perhaps, the part of them will be handy to TCO’s Future Growth Project (FGP) in Tengiz. The regional department of employment coordination noted that as per the signed memorandum, TCO is currently providing information to the local authorities about personnel requirements and those are mainly engineering positions.

- According to TCO information, the preparation activities are under way where over 2 thousand employees of contracting companies are engaged, -says G. Amangalieva.

To recall, the start-up of the plant is scheduled for 2019. The cost of the project is $40 billion and at the construction peak there will be occupied up to 20 thousand people there.

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