BP still cutting jobs years after divestitures tied to Gulf spill, now faces oil-price slump

IndustriesAssociated Press

BP PLC is still reducing jobs as is shrinks in the aftermath of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and the company might provide more details when it meets with investors this week.

Published reports over the weekend in the UK tied ongoing cuts to the decline of nearly 40 percent in the price of Brent crude oil since summer.

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Brett Clanton, a BP spokesman in Houston, declined to say whether oil prices were causing the company to speed up layoffs, and he declined to put a number on the job cuts. An executive tied the cuts to a "simplification" plan that started after the company began to sell off assets following the 2010 well blowout and oil spill.

Brian Gilvary, BP's finance director, told The Sunday Times newspaper that with the simplification plan, "headcounts are starting to come down across all of our activities." He said that the cuts covered "essentially the layers above operations."

London-based BP has about 84,000 employees including nearly 20,000 in the U.S.

The company said in March that spill-related compensation and other costs were nearing $43 billion. BP said it had sold $38 billion worth of assets over three years and planned to sell off another $10 billion by the end of 2015. As it shrinks, the company has been simplifying its structure, including combining back-office operations such as auditing and communications.

Company executives are scheduled to discuss their plans and forecasts with investors Wednesday in London.

BP's U.S.-traded shares fell $1.11, or 2.8 percent, to close at $38.87 on Monday. They have dropped 27 percent since early July. Other oil stocks have also tumbled along with the falling price of crude oil.