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Companies have axed North Sea jobs and projects Reuters

Union leaders are holding a summit in Aberdeen, Scotland after a number of companies axed jobs and projects in the North Sea, following the plunge in oil prices.

Offshore body Oil and Gas UK will also join the unions to talk about the future of industry in the wake of oil prices crashing 60% over the last six months.

RMT union said the bodies would discuss the "ongoing threat to jobs and the long-term security of the UK's energy supplies" while it would also push energy groups to put a halt to job cuts.

"RMT believes that these big, wealthy companies are forcing offshore workers to bear the brunt of what we see as a complete failure to plan for a downturn like the one we have been plunged into due to the slump in oil prices," said RMT general secretary Mick Cash.

"Instead they have gone for a short-term slash-and-burn approach that will have long-term implications for the future of the entire industry and the security of the UK's energy supplies.

"RMT, along with our sister unions, is meeting with Oil and Gas UK where we will be pushing for a halt to the job cuts programme and an emergency package of measures to stave off the destruction of both jobs and infrastructure."

The plunge in oil prices have hit energy companies hard over the last six months, causing swathes of groups to cancel projects and cut back on staff, in a bid to remain profitable.

Brent futures contract is hovering around $48.38 per barrel (bbl) while US crude oil is still around a six year low of $46.50/bbl.

In stark contrast to current figures, back in 2013 and 2012 oil prices averaged $100/bbl.

In the summer of 2014, oil peaked at $115/bbl.

BP told workers on 15 January that it will axe 200 jobs and 100 contractor roles that are involved in its North Sea operations.

The energy company employs around 4,000 staff in the North Sea, with a total of 15,000 in the UK.

Shell and Chevron have also slashed headcount.

At the end of 2014, Brindex, an independent association of energy explorers warned the UK energy industry was "close to collapse" because the majority of new projects are no longer profitable with oil prices below $60/bbl.