LONDON, April 20 (UPI) -- Days after hinting at staffing cuts, regional field services company Aker Solutions said it won a contract to help a Norwegian company develop the Barents Sea.
For an undisclosed sum, Aker said it reached an agreement with the Norwegian subsidiary of Lundin Petroleum to help with pre-engineering work at oil fields in the Barents Sea.
"We are pleased to have this opportunity to work long term with Lundin," Per Harald Kongelf, head of Aker's Norwegian operations, said in a statement. "The company's focus on the southern Barents Sea fits well with our technology and engineering expertise for even the most challenging conditions."
The Norwegian government estimates that half of the roughly 18 billion barrels of oil equivalent has yet to be discovered in its territorial waters are in the Barents Sea, with the rest distributed in the North and Norwegian Seas.
Field services companies like Aker are struggling to navigate a market weakened by a lingering depression in the energy sector, characterized by historically low crude oil prices. Lower oil prices means energy companies have less capital to invest in exploration and production activity.
Aker earlier this week said a new manufacturing and technology center in Brazil will employ about 850 people. Closer to home, the company said around 250 jobs may be cut as it works to reduce its British work force. Aker employs 15,000 people globally and the domestic cuts represent about 10 percent of its local staff.
British energy company BP in January announced plans to trim around 600 from its payroll to ensure it remains competitive in the North Sea.