London — BP will cut 3% of jobs in its upstream unit this year, amounting to more than 500 positions, it said Tuesday as it pursues further efficiency gains following job losses across the industry.
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In a statement the UK major said the cuts would occur across its global upstream business, which employs around 18,000 people, and mainly through "natural attrition," meaning staff retirement or redeployment to other parts of the business.
The BP cuts are "aimed at further improving the efficiency and competitiveness of its organization," the company said. "This is part of the ongoing process across BP to modernize its business to adopt more efficient ways of working and also to further simplify its organization and increase efficiency."
CEO Bob Dudley said last month he was not going to "plan the company" on the basis of recently higher oil prices, saying he regarded $75/b as "off the highway."
BP faces a struggle to reduce one of the highest levels of indebtedness among the publicly listed oil and gas majors, despite strong first-quarter financial results.
It has saved money through some big asset sales, particularly in its North Sea heartland, where it sold operating stakes in the Sullom Voe terminal and Forties pipeline last year, and separated off its Norwegian assets into an upstream joint venture, Aker BP, in 2016.