OIL giant BP is to to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide as it struggles to cope with the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
It is thought 2,000 UK workers could be laid off in the cull, which is part of a plan to cut operating costs by £1.9billion a year.
In an email to staff, chief executive Bernard Looney said: ‘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.’ BP employs 70,000 worldwide and saw its net debt increase by £4.7billion during the first quarter.
It said the cuts would ‘significantly impact senior levels of management’ with most redundancies made by the end of this year.
‘The majority of people affected will be in office-based jobs,’ Mr Looney told staff.
‘We are protecting the frontline of the company and, as always, prioritising safe and reliable operations.’ The number of top leadership roles will be cut by a third. The senior executives who remain will not receive any pay rises until at least next March, while BP will give no cash bonuses this year.
The news comes less than two months after the company increased the dividend paid to shareholders — a decision staff may be questioning now that jobs are on the line.
Long-term rival Shell decided to slash its dividend by two thirds, the first time that the payout has been lowered since World War II.