Internal restructuring
Location of affected unit(s)
Kristiansand, Oslo, Stavanger, Molde, Arendal
Manufacturing Of Machinery And Equipment
Manufacture Of Machinery And Equipment N.E.C.
28.92 - Manufacture of machinery for mining, quarrying and construction

265 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
27 September 2016
Employment effect (start)
1 November 2016
Foreseen end date
31 December 2016


National Oilwell Varco Norway (NOVN) is undergoing a major restructuring and has announced a new round of cuts which will likely reduce the staff by 265 permanent employees. The Norwegian subsidiary of Texas-based NOV, which employs 60,000 people worldwide, currently has 1,920 employees in Norway. NOV delivers drilling equipment to ships, rigs and offshore installations, as well as services such as pipeline inspections. The fall in crude oil prices and subsequent downturn in investments and activity in the Norwegian petroleum sector has strongly hit the company. NOVN first announced a restructuring process in the summer of 2015. Since then, three rounds of cuts have been undertaken and the permanent staff has been reduced by a total of 2,920 employees:

  • The first round of restructuring, announced on 17June 2015, resulted in total cuts of 600 contracted consultants and 900 permanent employees.
  • The second round, announced on 7 December 2015, resulted in total cuts of 900 permanent employees.
  • The third round, announced on 22 April 2016, resulted in cuts of 520 permanent employees.
  • The fourth round, announced  on 27 September 2016, will likely affect 265 permanent employees.

Including the upcoming fourth round of cuts, two thirds of the staff - almost 3,200 jobs over a total of around 5,000 employees and contractors that the company had in 2015 - will be gone. The company, which was previously one of the biggest private employers in southern Norway, now faces an uncertain future with further cuts looming. The market for offshore drilling is currently plagued with massive overcapacity and analysts assume that the market for complete drilling packages for jack-up rigs and drilling ships - NOVN's main product - will not recover before 2020, at the earliest.  

Trade union representatives have stated that the process has been hard on employees, with considerable uncertainty for those still employed. They have also expressed surprise regarding the speed of the downsizing, pointing out that key competences will be lost. The restructuring process has otherwise been described as adopting an inclusive and correct behaviour from the management.



Eurofound (2016), National Oilwell Varco Norway, Internal restructuring in Norway, factsheet number 85220, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/85220.