The North Mainland of the Shetland Islands is feeling the effects of the oil and gas industry downturn, with many hospitality workers being laid off. Several hotels in the region have been forced to reduce their workforce. They claim that oil and gas contractors and companies are shifting to Sella Ness to accommodate their workers.
Busta House stated that at this time of year, it usually employs 16 to 17 staff to cope with the workload. However, the hotel now manages its operations with just eight workers. Hotel Manager Joel D’eathe said that the downturn in the oil and gas industry had made a difference to the business, and now Sella Ness was taking away a lot of business from the island.
D’eathe pointed out that BP was now accommodating its staff at Sella Ness and this had adversely affected Busta House. He was certain that it had also affected other hotels in the region that depend on oil and gas companies to generate business.
In 2016, BP announced that it would not be going ahead with the construction of a gas sweetening plant on the Shetland Islands. This project was estimated to be worth £500 million. BP stated that it was looking at a more affordable way to meet the gas sweetening requirements.
Total has also finished the construction of the Shetland Gas Plant in the region. As a result, the company is no longer making use of hotels to accommodate its workers.
In March 2016, Shetland FM, a service provision company, was awarded a contract by BP to provide accommodation for its oil and gas contractors, rotational employees and shift employees. The company stated that even though BP was not going ahead with the gas sweetening project, the contract would continue.
BP and Total have justified using Sella Ness to house staff rather than North Mainland, saying that their staff are just a few minutes from the work site.