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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Qatar Petroleum chief says no more job losses for now

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar Petroleum (QP) has wrapped up its eight-month restructuring process and has no immediate plans to lay off any more staff, the company’s president and CEO said in the first official comment on the subject.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, who took over the top job at the state-owned petroleum company last September, refused to confirm how many people were affected by the retrenchment program, which has been underway since November 2014.

QP CEO Saad Sherida al-Kaabi
QP CEO Saad Sherida al-Kaabi

However, unconfirmed reports put the figure in the thousands. As part of the cull, several long-standing and experienced staffers have apparently had their contracts terminated, including those over the official QP retirement age of 60.

Earlier this year, unnamed industry sources told Reuters that the job cuts to the organization’s 14,000-strong workforce could involve losing up to 30 percent of employees in some areas.

‘Right-sizing’

Al-Kaabi described the reorganization as a “right-sizing” to create a more streamlined company.

“We have ‘right-sized’ our organization to be more dynamic and efficient and it’s complete as per our original plans. There are no plans for a further restructuring, at least at this point of time,” the Peninsula quotes him as saying to reporters yesterday, adding that no Qatari employees were laid off during the process.

But he declined to put a figure on the number of staffers who have lost their jobs or the total number of current employees, saying: “I am ready to take any questions, but not the number of employees whose contracts were not renewed. It will hurt sentiments, which I do not want.”

RasGas
RasGas

Al-Kaabi also appears to have stopped short of promising job security for staff at QP’s subsidiary companies, which include RasGas, QatarGas, Qatalum and QChem, among others.

These firms are reviewing their requirements based on business needs and will make their own decisions on staffing, Gulf Times reported him as saying.

Plans for the corporate restructure are understood to have begun before the global oil price crashed.

However, as the world’s largest producer and exporter of liquified natural gas (LNG), Qatar has felt the impact of the dip.

“While we have no control over markets and prices, we do have control over our costs and expenditure,” Reuters reports Al-Kaabi as saying, adding that the firm had now reached a size which would make it dynamic and efficient. “This will be a stable organization going forward.”

Oil and gas focus

In addition to layoffs, QP will cease non-core business operations involving insurance, catering and service companies that will instead become part of the private sector, Al-Kaaba said, adding: “Today we have incubated them, they have grown…so it’s best to focus on our core business, oil and gas.”

At the beginning of this year, QP confirmed that it would be absorbing its wholly-owned subsidiary Qatar Petroleum International (QPI), which was formed in 2007 as a foreign investment arm, into the parent firm.

QPI had created 10 joint ventures in countries including the United States, Britain, Italy, Singapore and Egypt.

As part of the review of projects at the organization, QP also confirmed in January that it would not be proceeding with its $6.4 billion Al Karaana petrochemical project it had been due to undertake in Qatar in partnership with Shell.

However, Al-Kaabi said that QP was continuing with other international ventures, including a liquefaction plant in Texas, known as the Golden Pass.

If US regulators approve an export licence for the project, construction on it is expected to get underway next year, Bloomberg said.

“We are very ambitious internationally. We are focusing on the upstream business,” the business newswire quotes Al-Kaabi as saying.

Thoughts?

33 COMMENTS

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sadam
sadam
5 years ago

are they hiring?

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
5 years ago
Reply to  sadam

Yes, according to their website they have over 200 vacancies to be filled:

https://www.qp.com.qa/en/Careers/Pages/CurrentVacancies.aspx

Jack
Jack
5 years ago

A great leader with great character *thumps up* Let’s hope all gov or semi-gov institutes follow the same path, cutting the cost and investing in local talent and businesses.

Andrew
Andrew
5 years ago
Reply to  Jack

Maybe you didn’t read until the end of the article? The CEO has said that the future plans for QP now will be to spend money investing in overseas businesses, not investing in Qatar based businesses.

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago

Every single government company in Qatar has to do a similar move…

Andrew
Andrew
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Why do you assume that every single other company in Qatar isn’t the “right size”, to al-Kaabi’s phrase? Perhaps other companies have leaner staffing levels and aren’t in need of re-structuring.

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  Andrew

I meant every single government company/institution. I have fixed it 🙂

Rane de Beer
Rane de Beer
5 years ago

Why would giving the numbers of people that were retrenched/fired/not rehired/right-sized ‘hurt sentiments’? Can anyone explain? Surely the hurt is in being left without a job; knowing that thousands are suffering the same plight won’t make it any worse, and may even give you a sense of comradery…

Student
Student
5 years ago
Reply to  Rane de Beer

He’s probably referring to the people who are still employed. Seeing staff being fired around you is known to take its toll on motivation and, consequently, productivity.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
5 years ago
Reply to  Rane de Beer

He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

Skippy1111
Skippy1111
5 years ago

chief executive Saad Sherida al-Kaabi “declined to reveal the scope of the staff cuts or the current number
of the company’s employees, but said no Qatari citizens had been let go, only foreigners.”

As every one knows, foreigners aren’t really considered people in Qatar so it’s really not an issue that about 3000 people ave been ‘let go’ ar, more accurately , fired.

I’ve heard of several people who have been arrested due to outstanding loans based upon their employment with QP, arrested & detained until they can repay these loans immediately. but no Qatari’s, only foreigners.

I would suggest though that QP is a very badly run company as obviously if only foreigners have been terminated then tey were not important and not needed, so who ever made the mistake of employing them in the first place should be fired, unless if course it was a Qatari
Most companies, when they restructure & downsize retrench employees based upon skill, experience, ability and job necessity ..but here in Qatar obviously the most important consideration is where they were born..those lazy useless foreigners

M
M
5 years ago
Reply to  Skippy1111

This is the strategy of the country, to protect their people. plus, the foriegners are just visitors, they will eventually leave. They are here only for the money, AND the ones they were fired (90%) were lazy, dont know thier job, dont do anything, they jast came to QP cause some of their relative work here so they made it easy for them.. oh and soooooo many did not even have an education, just faked ones.

They were aware of it long before it starts, still they went and took loans, thinking that QP will pay for them, since they were being fired from the company. they thought they will get away with this.

Skippy1111
Skippy1111
5 years ago
Reply to  M

M, where to begin with your obtuse opinion..
This country has no strategy..how to protect their people? host the Largest US military base while at the same time invite Al Quaeda & the Taliban to open offices in the same country, support the Muslim Brotherhood ( the only democratic elected govt in Egypt’s recent history ) while it’s neighbour Saudi Arabia is opposed to the MB.
Maybe it’s just my opinion but supporting armed terrorists groups, civil uprising and groups such as Hamas who are opposed to Monarchical regimes to the detriment of relations of Suadi, Bahrain, the UAE etc isnt the best way to protect one’s people, generally it’s makes them a target.
Giving Qataris jobs simply because they are Qataris isn’t protection either, it’s protectionism..wrapping them in cotton wool instead of putting them in the real world where they have to compete and earn employment and rewards based upon merit.
The foreigners are just visitors unless they choose to make this their home and become residents – they will choose to make Qatar their home if there is opportunity and they are rewarded for their efforts, much as happens all over the world.
A good company will want the best employees, regardless of were they are from; the US, England, Australia, China etc all try to hire the best & brightest to increase the value of their companies and subsequently offer rewards to attract the best & brightest.
If the foreign visitors just leave eventually it is because there is nothing to hold them here, if you want to attract the best ten you have to make it attractive.
You claim the ones who were fired were just lazy, based upon what evidence? – they didn’t know thier ( their ) job? – had a faked education? or perhaps you mean fake qualifications..
My experience here is that the expats work incredibly hard and in fact do most of the work, for example, my company has a visa department which employees 7 Qataris and one Philippino.
Their job is to organise visa’s & visa renewals, which pretty much involves dealing with the Immigration dept, not a lot of work.
Guess who does all the work ..the fillipino, she gets things done while the Qataris come in at 9:30am, have tea and leave at 1pm ( this is before ramadan hours )
If as you claim, the foreigners are lazy and have no qualifications then who is responsible? who hired them? Who is held to account? Could it be the qatari who hired them but didnt check to se if they were qualified or had work experience and recommendation? – Is the Qatari fired for incompetence?
My experience in the company i work for is that the Qataris are generally lazy & useless because they have a permanent position , highly paid with an annual increase and no motivation or challenge to work hard to secure their position or get a better job because they have the job based upon where they were born. I don’t want to generalise but i have to say the company i work for is very large and that is the overall perception.
As for the loans, people take out loans based upon their contracts and tenure..i know plenty of people with standard car loans here who have worked here for years, work hard & are good at their jobs but who have recently realised, after this QP issue, that it does not mean anything..to be arrested as soon as you are fired to ensure you repay your loan is not a decent modern work practice, and in a country where you can not leave until you have been granted an exit permit it is not necessary.
The one commodity this country lacks is common sense.
Now, i can see from your post that you hate foreigners so i suggest you avoid them at all costs, best to avoid restaurants, take ways, shops, service stations, hospitals etc etc..any and all of the service sector..you will want to stick to those shops that only employee qatari’s to serve you..best of luck.

M
M
5 years ago
Reply to  Skippy1111

First of all do not divert the subject to Al-Qaida and the US millitary, thats a whole other subject.

I talked from experience and personally knowing those people. You basically talk about your company, and I am talking about the company in matter. and obviously you generalize based on the few Qataris you know.

yes there are good and bad, and you have to accept that this fact applies to foriegners too. and as i said I spook from experience.
and I can give evidence too.

I have many many Qataris and froriegners friends.. They are all dear to me.. that has not to do with loving or hating. but obviously you speak about your self, and whats more obviouse is that you HATE Qataris and Qatar, then tell me…why are you still here? not the US or China or UK? dont start by telling me its your home, cause obviously its not.

eventually, I spooke from experience, and respect your opinion, but its only your opinion..it wont change anything.

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
5 years ago
Reply to  Skippy1111

Generalising would be like “Filipino employees work hard”, not “Qataris are lazy and useless”, that’s bigotry, you can try it yourself, by replacing the word “Qatari” with the term “Blacks” and see how it sounds

Saleem
Saleem
5 years ago
Reply to  Skippy1111

Most of your type clearly don’t like Qatar, yet remain attached to it like leeches. I recommend you follow your own advice and leave too.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
5 years ago
Reply to  M

No, the foreigners are residents, tourists are visitors.

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
5 years ago
Reply to  Skippy1111

“I would suggest though that QP is a very badly run company as obviously if only foreigners have been terminated then tey were not important and not needed, so who ever made the mistake of employing them in the first place should be fired, unless if course it was a Qatari”

That’s a bit of flawed logic, if the company is downsizing, right-sizing or restructuring, the objective is not just firing people deemed to be extraneous, the key is the word “structuring” A lot of Qataris and expats have probably also had their jobs changed, moved departments, job descriptions combined etc.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

Great time to buy a car, bad time to be in jail. It’s a bit over crowded now and it’s hard to pay off your loan when imprisoned. To be fair jail for debtors is equal opportunity in Qatar, many Qataris in jail as well.

Skippy1111
Skippy1111
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

debtors prison? i think Qatar needs to implement work house’s..along with the kafala system it seems to be a opportune time to re-invent 18th century dickensian england.

Andrew
Andrew
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

You don’t need to worry too much about the Qataris who are in jail, or facing jail, for their debts. There is a local charity raising money to help secure their release:

DOHA: Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Foundation for Humanitarian Services (RAF) has launched a campaign to collect donations to rescue 20 Qatari citizens jailed for defaulting on loan payments.

Their debt ranges from QR120,000 to QR1.5m, Al Sharq reports.

RAF will publish one case every day with details of debt to be paid by the defaulter to attract donors.

The charity wants these men and women out of the prison before Eid Al Adha so they can rejoin their families, said Dr Yahya bin Hamad, Deputy Director, Local Projects, RAF.

http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/news/qatar/345502/raf-donation-drive-to-secure-release-of-20-qataris-in-jail

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Are there cases of former QP staff now in jail following this “right-sizing” plan?

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

I’m hearing defintley among the Filipinos so probably other nats as well. Stupid idiots for taking such big loans in the first place. Just greedy.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I’m actually curious to know why do such people take these big loans? I mean, they come here for the higher pay, with the intent of saving so they can one day go back home and have a better life.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Two reasons mainly, greed and the banks throw money at them. The irresponsible lending of the banks is one huge factor. Then when people lose their jobs they “cash” the security cheques knowing they will bounce and then report them to the police to be arrested. Quite disgusting really.

terracotta
terracotta
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

could be baseless rumours as well. who knows

Misha
Misha
5 years ago

The staff over 60 yrs have their contracts renewed on a yearly basis and it’s on a case by case basis every year so they knew they might have to leave at any point.

I think QP did need to resize but the inefficiency comes from both expats and locals. The hardworking ones that still have a job will have to work even more now.

Gangster
Gangster
5 years ago

Protecting their trash! Give credits to those who worked hard than those who are sitting pretty and just keeping chitchatting…. Work work work time is precious!!!!

Saleem
Saleem
5 years ago
Reply to  Gangster

They kept you here, trash should have been disposed, I agree.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
5 years ago
Reply to  Gangster

Deleting for stereotyping.

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