The world’s biggest oil rig builder, Keppel Corp., had reduced its direct workforce by 2,620 in the quarter through December at its offshore and marine division, as reported in Bloomberg. In fact, the unit shed about 10,600 workers – of which 3,800 were in Singapore – for the whole of last year.
Additionally, Keppel stated in October that its senior managers and directors were taking a cut in their salaries. Fourth-quarter earnings were dented by additional provisions for impairment of S$313 million.
Chief executive officer Loh Chin Hua at Keppel commented: “The painful but necessary measures to rightsize our O&M division must continue.”
“What we’re going through is a very long, harsh winter,” Loh later added on in the report.
Additionally, the Singapore-based company had mothballed two overseas facilities earlier. Shares of the company declined last Friday, after having rallied more than 30% in the past year on expectations the oil rebound will spur a revival.
In the report, he mentioned how business is not per usual, and the decision to mothball yards was taken to make the division “stronger and more efficient”.
Although “oil prices are starting to pick up” and that’s a good thing, Loh highlighted: “But we are also realistic and it might take a while before it will flow down and it’s an overbuilt market.”
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