BP to cut 10,000 jobs as it shifts to renewable energy

Energy giant says move to shed 15% of workforce also prompted by Covid-19 crisis

British energy giant BP announced plans to axe ‘close to 10,000 jobs’. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty

British energy giant BP announced plans to axe ‘close to 10,000 jobs’. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty

 

BP will cut about 15 per cent of its workforce in response to the coronavirus crisis and as part of chief executive 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 would 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.

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

 

BP also said it would find $2.5 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 leadership team under his plan to reshape the company’s structure.

Shortly after taking office in February, the 49-year-old chief executive said 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, the second-largest US oil producer, last month said it would cut 10-15 per cent of its global workforce as part of an ongoing restructuring. Royal Dutch Shell, meanwhile, has initiated a voluntary redundancy programme. – Reuters