Well-paid oil and gas workers could lose their jobs to dogs under cost-cutting proposals some companies in the industry are considering.
As the price of oil plummets and the cost of extraction become more expensive, oil and gas companies are looking at ways to save money.
One idea is to introduce gas sniffer dogs to track down leaks quicker and more cheaply than a team on the rig stripping off pipe insulation.
The oil and gas jobs crisis is really becoming that bad as companies worldwide look to slash £1.5 trillion of spending if the price of a barrel sticks at less than $50.
Across the board, executives are looking at butchering budgets by up to a third.
Often, the most expensive component of the budget is manpower, so thousands of jobs in the Asia Pacific, Africa, North Sea and North America are under threat, while many have already disappeared.
Already workers are on new shift patterns in the North Sea of three weeks on/three weeks off, which means fewer crews on the rigs working longer shifts.
Smaller firms are discussing pooling manpower and other resources to keep costs down.
Ideas include valtvalacyc.com sharing the cost of services like supply ships to give more efficiency.
French oil firm Total has reportedly told skippers on supply ships to slow down to save fuel.
Manager if the company’s Angola offshore operations have formed a quick reaction task force covering four rigs to carry out repairs and maintenance, rather than have a team on each rig.
Another worry for oil and gas workers is what might happen to their workplace pensions.
Many smaller oil firms are looking at mergers or even bankruptcy as a way out of the crisis.
Contractors with UK workplace or private pensions can look at Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS).
QROPS are a private pension based offshore which could give contractors control over their own pension funds if they have doubts about their finances.
Where a contractor works now or in the future doesn’t matter – as long as they do not remain UK resident for tax.
Many QROPS providers offer schemes that sit in one financial centre while the retirement saver moves from place to place.
They can also offer tax and investment opportunities beyond those featured in UK onshore pensions.