Oil Giant BP To Cut 10,000 Jobs Due to COVID-19 Downturn


British petroleum giant BP announced it will cut 10,000 jobs, nearly 15 percent of its workforce, amid low oil prices during the coronavirus pandemic.

BP CEO Bernard Looney said Monday that the company is hemorrhaging cash amid the economic crisis.

“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,″ Looney said in a statement to employees obtained by The Hill.

“We have to spend less money,” he added.

Job cuts will affect all employee levels within the company, including senior management, where a third of positions will be eliminated.

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BP is also planning to cut capital expenditures by $3 billion, or 25 percent.

The company, which is one of the largest gas and oil companies in the world, will likely nix cash bonuses for the year and will also freeze salary raises for senior and group leaders.

Looney pledged to protect the company’s employees on the front line of oil production.

“The majority of people affected will be in office-based jobs,” he said in a company note on Monday, explaining that most of the 10,000 employees will leave by the end of the year.

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Outgoing employees will receive severance packages in addition to support in the form of job coaching and free laptops.

“I am really sorry that this will hurt a lot of people who I know love this company as much as I do,” he stated.

Looney also spoke about BP’s February announcement that the company had planned to become a net zero emissions company by 2050.

“BP today set a new ambition to become a net zero company by 2050 or sooner, and to help the world get to net zero,” Looney said in February, according to The Guardian.

Looney said in his Monday note that the company would stick by its environmental promises.

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“To me, the broader economic picture and our own financial position just reaffirm the need to reinvent bp. While the external environment is driving us to move faster – and perhaps go deeper at this stage than we originally intended – the direction of travel remains the same,” he said.

The news from Looney comes as the oil and gas industry is reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. Supply remains low and the price of crude oil first entered negative territory in April, per MarketWatch.

The price of crude sat below $40 per barrel Monday, according to Business Insider.

BP currently employees 70,000 people across 79 countries.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.