Economy

BP to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide amid virus pandemic

British energy giant BP on Monday announced plans to axe “close to 10,000” jobs, or almost 15 percent of its global workforce, after the coronavirus pandemic slashed demand for oil. “We will now begin a process that will see close to 10,000 people leaving BP — most by the end of this year,” chief executive Bernard Looney said in a staff email seen by media.

Energy company BP said Monday that its global workforce will be trimmed by 10,000 jobs as the COVID-19 pandemic slams the oil and gas industry.

Chief Executive Bernard Looney said that the roles will be office-based and come mostly this year. The company’s current global workforce is 70,000.

The changes are expected to significantly impact senior levels, cutting the number of group leaders by a third. The company said it will make the senior structure flatter.

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 U.S. price of oil went below zero in April for the first time ever.

The U.S. 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.

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