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Oil major BP to cut 15% of workforce

[LONDON] BP will cut about 15 per cent of its workforce in response to the coronavirus crisis and as part of chief executive officer (CEO) Bernard Looney's plan to shift the oil and gas major to renewable energy, it said on Monday.

Mr Looney told employees in a global online call that the London-based company will cut 10,000 jobs from the current 70,100.

"We will now begin a process that will see close to 10,000 people leaving BP – most by the end of this year," Mr Looney said in a statement.

Reuters had earlier reported the planned job cuts, citing three company sources.

The affected roles will be mostly senior office-based positions and not front-line operational staff, the company said of the cuts that follow April's announcement of a 25 per cent reduction in 2020 spending after the coronavirus pandemic brought an unprecedented drop in demand for oil.

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BP also said it would find US$2.50 billion in cost savings by the end of 2021 through the digitalisation and integration of its businesses.

The job reductions are also part of Mr Looney's drive to make the 111-year-old oil company more nimble as it prepares for the shift to low-carbon energy, the sources said.

"It was always part of the plan to make BP a leaner, faster-moving and lower-carbon company," Mr Looney said.

Mr Looney last month announced a large round of senior management appointments, halving the size of BP's leaderhip team under his plan to reshape the company's structure.

Shortly after taking office in February, the 49-year-old CEO said that he was creating 11 divisions to "reinvent" BP and dismantle the traditional structure dominated by its oil and gas production business and its refining, marketing and trading division.

Chevron Corp, the second-largest US oil producer, last month said that it will cut between 10 per cent and 15 per cent of its global workforce as part of an ongoing restructuring.

Royal Dutch Shell, meanwhile, has initiated a voluntary redundancy programme.


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