SHARE
Image courtesy of Pesgb inbox/Youtube.

The head of exploration at BP will leave the oil giant this year amid a plan to simplify the company’s upstream segment.

According to Reuters, Richard Herbert will leave BP in June, about two years after rejoining the company following a stint at Talisman Energy.

BP told Reuters that the departure follows a decision to simplify the company’s upstream executive team.

The company added that it will group the exploration, global projects, reservoir developments and technology units together with those units reporting to COO of Developments and Technology James Dupree.

Howard Leach, current head of technical functions in exploration, will serve as the interim head of exploration.

“Herbert simply didn’t get a chance to drill a lot of wells … given where BP stood post-Macondo and where the oil price went,” a source close to BP told Reuters.

Herbert has not commented on the matter.

BP currently expects total organic capital expenditure in 2016 to be around $17 billion.

The company said that, in the event of continued low oil prices, it sees flexibility to move its capital spend to between $15 to $17 billion in 2017.

BP reported a $583 million loss in the first quarter as low oil prices squeezed upstream profits.

The company reported a $583 million loss in the first quarter compared to a $2.60 billion profit a year ago and a replacement cost (RC) loss of $485 million, down from a RC profit of $2.10 billion in the first quarter of 2015.

The company’s upstream unit fell to a $1.23 billion loss before interest and tax compared to a $390 million profit in the first quarter of 2015.

Production for the quarter rose 5.2 percent year-over-year to 2.428 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

BP said it expects second quarter 2016 reported production to be lower than the first quarter, reflecting PSA entitlement impacts and seasonal turnaround and maintenance activity.

Net cash provided by operating activities for the first quarter held steady from year ago levels at $1.9 billion.

BP said in January that it will slash 4,000 upstream jobs as part of a broader restructuring plan.

The cuts are part of a $3.5 billion restructuring program and will trim BP’s global upstream headcount down to about 20,000.