Oil and gas major Chevron has confirmed it will be moving all of its staff working in the UK continental shelf on to a three week on three week off rotation.
Chevron is just the latest in a line of many operators in the UKCS to move towards the three on three off rotation since the drop in oil prices.
Shell, BP, Petrofac, CNR and Apache have all stated that they will also be making the changes to workers shift patterns within the UK. It is worth noting that the same companies will be keeping shift patterns of two on four off in the Norwegian sector of the north sea.
Chevron has stated that the planned changes to the current rotation, of two weeks on three weeks off, will come into effect in January 2016, across all of it UK offshore assets.
Currently Chevron are sole operators of the Alba, Captain and Erskine fields and joint operators of the Britanian field. Chevron also hold interests within five other offshore operations in the UK.
A spokesman of a union representing UK offshore workers told Offshore Post “This is clearly wrong. For years this has been deemed unsafe by all sides. Weather effects movement of workers around the UK waters a great deal. It is not unheard of for workers to do an extra week due to bad weather stopping helicopter flights. The third week was always always seen as a bit of a contingency. The change to offshore workers’ rotation will undoubtedly result in workers working 28 days of 12 hour day shifts, in what is a dangerous environment.”
He continued “This cannot be right. These same operators haven’t changed the shift patterns on their assets in Norwegian waters, who are on a two on four off rotation. In some instances, the different between an operators assets on either side of the international boundary is merely a few miles. Our main concern is the safety of our members. Only time will tell if the increased shift patterns bring a greater number of incidences”
A spokesman for Chevron stated that the changes to offshore workers’ rota is to ‘drive improvements in offshore production efficiency and reliability.’ He also added that Chevron is committed to safe and reliable operations.