Mass lay-offs leave Aberdeen reeling

The Total and Fugro groups have delivered a combined slap in the face to the North Sea sector as both companies announced lay-offs of almost 300 employees in the Scottish city of Aberdeen.

The Scotsman newspaper reported that French company Total plans to axe 94 onshore posts at its Altens headquarters in the city while the Dutch energy company Fugro Survey is planning to make 180 staff redundant from its 570 strong workforce in Aberdeen, following the takeover of rival company, Thales GeoSolutions, late last year.

A spokesman for Fugro said: "Both Aberdeen companies have been operationally successful in recent years but their combined financial performance has not been up to Fugro Group requirements, due to changing market conditions and reduced North Sea activity.

"The merger and reorganisation of the two companies is designed to enable us to return an acceptable financial performance while continuing to provide clients with a world class service," the company said.