BP to slash 10,000 jobs worldwide this year

Energy giant BP announced on Monday that its global workforce will be cut by 10,000 jobs following the widespread economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting slump in oil prices, news wires reported. The company’s current global workforce is 70,000.

“The oil price has plunged well below the level we need to turn a profit. We are spending much, much more than we make,” BP CEO Bernard Looney said in a webcast to employees. “We will now begin a process that will see close to 10,000 people leaving BP, most by the end of this year,” he said. Looney noted that the senior rungs of BP’s workforce would “bear the biggest impacts,” and that the company’s new structure would see the number of most senior-level jobs halved and the number of group leaders slashed by a third. “The majority of people affected will be in office-based jobs. We are protecting the frontline of the company and, as always, prioritising safe and reliable operations,” he pointed out.

The job cuts come amid a time of tremendous change for BP. The energy producer has said it wants to eliminate or offset all carbon emissions from its operations and the oil and gas it sells to customers by 2050, an ambitious target born out of pressure to help combat climate change and keep making money.

The global energy industry has meanwhile been hit hard by the pandemic as the widespread limits on business, travel and public life reduced the need for oil, gas and other fuels. Supply was also particularly high when the outbreak began, creating a perfect storm for the industry. With storage facilities filling up, the US price of oil went below zero in April for the first time ever.

The US contract for oil began the year at over $60 a barrel, collapsed to below -$37 in April and recovered to about $39 a barrel as of Monday.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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