BP to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide amid coronavirus pandemic

CEO says roles will be office-based and come mostly this year

LONDON (AP) — 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.

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Chief Executive Bernard Looney said that the cuts will affect office-based roles in BP's global workforce of 70,000 people and come mostly this year. The changes are expected to significantly affect senior levels, cutting the number of group leaders by a third.

“We are protecting the frontline of the company and, as always, prioritizing safe and reliable operations,” Looney said after a call with his staff.

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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.

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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.

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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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