BP says it is planning to lay off 10,000 jobs following a global slump in demand for oil due to the coronavirus crisis.
The company had paused redundancies during the peak of the pandemic but told employees yesterday that around 15% will leave by the end of 2020.
BP has not said how many jobs will be laid off within the UK but it’s thought the figure may be near 2,000.
Chief executive Bernard Looney blamed a drop by the oil price for the cuts.
In an email to staff, he said: “The oil price has plunged well below the level we need to turn a profit.
“We are spending much, much more than we make – I am talking millions of dollars, every day.”
Countries across the world have ordered people to remain indoors and not travel, which has caused a slump in demand for oil. As a result, the value of oil fell to but $20 a barrel at the height of the crisis, but a 3rd of the $66 it cost at the beginning of the year. it’s since partly recovered to around $42 a barrel.
That has taken a toll on the industry, sparking warnings that 30,000 UK jobs may be lost as a results of the crisis.
BP employs around 15,000 people within the UK. The firm’s office-based workers are expected in contact the brunt of the redundancies, which can not affect any of its retail staff.
“It was always part of the plan to make BP a leaner, faster-moving and lower carbon company,” Mr Looney – who took over as the boss of BP in February – said in his email to staff on Monday.
“Then the COVID-19 pandemic took hold,” he said. “You are already aware that, beyond the clear human tragedy, there has been widespread economic fallout, along with consequences for our industry and our company.”
Deirdre Michie, the chief executive of industry group Oil and Gas UK (OGUK), said the planned redundancies highlighted the “very real and personal” impact of the coronavirus pandemic on jobs and livelihoods.
“There is a serious risk the UK loses the skills it needs not only to meet existing energy demands from domestic resources, but also to meet the UK’s climate ambitions,” she said.