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AN oil firm which predicted a boom is to axe more than 100 jobs because of a a "downturn" in the industry.

Staff at Aker Kvaerner's Aberdeen base were stunned to hear the firm plans to pay off a fifth of the workforce at its Oilfield Products operation.

The announcement comes months after the firm predicted the creation of hundreds more jobs.

Blaming the cuts on an industry slump, management at Aker Kvaerner said they would try to relocate staff to other operations, but could not rule out compulsory redundancies.

A total of 106 jobs across the board will go at the Aberdeen base, which has around 540 workers.

The firm develops and manufactures undersea products for the offshore industry.

Union chiefs, who are expected to meet with the management next week, said the news had come out of the blue.

Rab Wilson of the Amicus AEEU union said: "The oil industry has been booming offshore and I'm surprised at these cuts."

Bosses said the cuts would not affect the 1500 staff at their largest Aberdeen operation, Kvaerner Modifications, Maintenance and Operations.

Another Aberdeen-based oil services firm, Subsea 7, revealed plans yesterday to shed around 50 jobs.

Bosses blamed a merger between DSND and Halliburton's subsea division.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 3, 2002
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