Image courtesy of BP.

BP said Thursday it will cut 300 jobs at its UK North Sea operations as part of a larger $976 million restructuring plan.

The company expects 100 contractors and 200 employees to be laid off.

Most of the cuts will affect onshore workers, BBC said.

BP broke the news to its North Sea staff in Aberdeen, Scotland earlier this week.

The layoffs are part of a restructuring plan announced in December that outlined hundreds of back office job cuts, primarily in the UK and the United States.

The restructuring is expected to cost about $976 million.

The move comes as BP gears up for the penalty phase of the Deepwater Horizon trial set to start later this month in Louisiana.

BP faces up to $18 billion in federal fines for the 2010 spill that killed 11 people.

“However, given the well-documented challenges of operating in this maturing region and in toughening market conditions, we are taking specific steps to ensure our business remains competitive and robust, and we are aligning with the wider industry,” BP told BBC.

North Sea operators were already contending with rising operations costs, slumping output and declining reserves before oil prices began to plummet last year.

Months of slumping oil prices have prompted BP to accelerate its restructuring plans in the area.

Wood Mackenzie said if prices remain under $60 per barrel upstreams could slash investment in the North Sea down to $10 billion this year from $19 billion in 2014.

A recent survey conducted by Rigzone showed that over two third of oil and gas workers in Scotland and the UK North Sea are worried about the impact low oil prices will have on offshore projects within the next five years.


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