Russian oil and gas company Lukoil has cut staff numbers in Dubai by about 10 per cent as part of a restructuring of its overseas exploration and production division.

Under the company’s new model, it has two regional headquarters for its overseas operations. These are Houston and Dubai.

Previously, Dubai was the sole headquarters for the division, which is called Lukoil Overseas.

The reduction in Dubai-based staff took place over the third and fourth quarters of 2015, according to a company spokesperson that spoke to MEED in an interview.

“In the context of a redistribution of functions between the two regional centres, about 10 per cent of Dubai-based staff were relocated either to the Houston centre, or to other Lukoil regional upstream assets, for instance in Iraq or in Uzbekistan, in order to reinforce local teams,” said the spokesperson.

No Dubai-based staff were made redundant, according to the spokesman, but some employees chose to leave the company rather than relocate.

“The described restructuring process is now over and no other major relocations are planned for the time being,” the spokesperson added.

Before the restructuring, Lukoil was thought to have a headcount of between 700 and 1,000 employees in Dubai.

The firm moved its overseas arm from Moscow to Dubai in 2013 in order to support regional operations, particularly the development of the giant oil field West Qurna-2, which is located in Iraq.

Over recent months, the future of a $4bn project to develop the oil field has become increasingly uncertain due to a budget crisis in Baghdad.