oil

It smells like tanker scorch.

Start
Long considered the kings of the world, oil tankers are now in turmoil. Confronted with the fall of crude oil, oil companies are laying off workers at every turn. Since the summer of 2014, more than 350,000 jobs have been lost, not counting the devastating effects on the numerous subcontractors in the industry.
 
Ahe industry's manufacturers, who now sell their products at lower prices, are experiencing one of the most serious crises in the last twenty years. At the beginning of the year, the British company BP announced 4,000 job cuts in exploration and production. This represents a drop of 17% in the workforce concerned. Petrobras, the Brazilian oil major, is forecasting a 25% drop in its investments. All this is the consequence of a barrel price that has been divided by four in less than two years. The pressure on these companies is considerable. The broader oil sector has reduced its investments by several hundred billion dollars. Hence the cutbacks in personnel.
 
For oil company employees who keep their jobs, the conditions are increasingly difficult. Some companies are seeking to impose ever more intense work schedules and lower compensation. According to the site NovethicThis is the case across the Channel with Wood Group. According to the British shipping and rail union RMT, the oil company, which works for Shell in the North Sea, intends to impose four to five extra weeks of work per year. It also wants to increase the pace of rotations: offshore employees would now have to spend three weeks at sea, followed by three weeks off, as opposed to two weeks / two weeks so far. Unusual in this environment, employees are going on strike! This is the case in some companies working offshore in the North Sea, where no strike action has taken place in almost... 30 years!
 
The world of oil is changing under the battering of the global economy and climate change. Renewable energies have become the new stars at the expense of fossil fuels. A change that is inevitably painful.
Geneviève Férone-Creuzet is a specialist in energy and more particularly oil. She has published "Le crépuscule fossile" (Stock) and has confided in a long interview forthcoming in the next issue of The Big Question from UP' Magazine. She observes how oil seems to be cursed today. It has been " in many ways a blessing for the last century. It has eradicated certain diseases. It has profoundly improved our well-being and our standard of living in every way. But it has also fostered population growth, a society of cars, abundance and over-consumption that today weighs heavily on our environment and has led to the disappearance of interesting alternative and sustainable lifestyles. The curse is also the curse on oil-producing countries caught up in total dependence and an extremely violent geopolitical game. "
 
The "oil lords" do not always understand the change and the reversal of fortune that befalls them. They have built real empires on black gold, they have been kingmakers and have profoundly shaped world geopolitics. « It's hard for these fossil lords to think of themselves as bad when they have shaped progress. Above all, there is the will not to let go of the rent that has made them so rich and powerful", Geneviève Férone analysis. She adds: "You want to tell them "live with your time"! "
In the 20th century, continues G. Férone, " the tankers were pioneers, conquerors who took absolutely incredible risks. There are no greater Conservatives today. They are completely fossilized, with an army of lobbyists who are incapable of thinking about change. "And least of all, their new enemy, climate change.
 
Faced with what looks like a form of denial, it is the major players in global finance who are positioning themselves to accelerate the changeover of the oil industry. The ears of investors can hear the sirens of environmental advocates and those who want to put an end to fossil civilization. They are therefore putting themselves in a radical reaction. Not out of altruism, but for reasons related to the displacement of rent and economic interests. Geneviève Férone says: " If the world's biggest financiers, banks, major insurance companies and pension funds start to think that investing in fossil fuels is detrimental to future returns, this will give a strong signal and encourage the development of renewable energies.. »
 
In this violent transition, it is, as always, the employees who are left out in the cold. The redundancies in the oil sector are only a foretaste of even wider social crises in the sector. Subcontractors and shadow workers, those who transport oil on ships, or those who drill in appalling working conditions, are being degraded and enslaved even more violently. Novethic says that, as many companies' results have plunged into the red, they are being forced to cut their costs. Even if, in some cases, it indirectly encourages genuine modern slavery.. »
 
Header image: REUTERS/Ceerwan Aziz
 
 
 
 
 

 

partner

 

Why not enjoy unlimited reading of UP'? Subscribe from €1.90 per week.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
CSR
Previous article

From CSR to the transformation of business models

green money
Next article

Will the banks save the climate?

Latest articles from ECONOMY

JOIN

THE CIRCLE OF THOSE WHO WANT TO UNDERSTAND OUR TIME OF TRANSITION, LOOK AT THE WORLD WITH OPEN EYES AND ACT.
logo-UP-menu150

Already registered? I'm connecting

In order to contribute to the information effort on the current coronavirus crisis, UP' proposes to its readers a free entry to the latest published articles related to this theme.

→ Register for free to continue reading.

JOIN

THE CIRCLE OF THOSE WHO WANT TO UNDERSTAND OUR TIME OF TRANSITION, LOOK AT THE WORLD WITH OPEN EYES AND ACT

You have received 3 free articles to discover UP'.

Enjoy unlimited access to our content!

From $1.99 per week only.
0 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
WhatsApp
Email
Print