BP set to cut more than 10,000 jobs as coronavirus decimates demand for oil

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Oil giant BP has announced plans to cut more than 10,000 jobs across the world, following a global decline in demand for oil due to the coronavirus crisis.

Yesterday, BP told its staff on that 15% will leave by the end of 2020. Uo to 2,000 of the cuts could come in the UK.

CEO Bernard Looney blamed a drop in the oil price for the cuts. 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.

“It was always part of the plan to make BP a leaner, faster-moving and lower carbon company. Then the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. 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.”


Industry reaction

Professor David Elmes, who leads the Global Energy Research Network at Warwick Business School and has more than 20 years experience in the energy industry, said: “The job losses at BP are symptomatic of the wider challenges facing the industry. Coronavirus has reduced oil demand and the price per barrel has plummeted, but that has happened in a wider context of short-term and long-term decline.

“Some industry forecasts had acknowledged a flattening off in long-term demand last year, before the pandemic began.

“All firms in the sector will all be looking at how they can cut costs, shift their activities to the lowest cost field, trim investment, and thinking hard about what dividend they can pay.

“BP and the other European-based international companies have already said they will become less focused on oil and gas over time. If this situation continues, there will be intense discussions about what can they do to move faster.”

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