ExxonMobil to cut European jobs

WASHINGTON • US oil and gas giant ExxonMobil Corp announced on Monday it would slash 1,600 jobs in Europe, more than 11% of its workforce in the region, as it struggles with the hit from the coronavirus downturn.

“The impact of Covid-19 on the demand for ExxonMobil’s products has increased the urgency of the ongoing efficiency work,” the Texas-based company, said in a statement.

The company said the job cuts would happen by the end of next year but did not provide any additional details saying only that “country-specific impacts will depend on the company’s local business footprint and market conditions”.

Facing decreased demand for crude caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the growing shift to green energy, ExxonMobil has seen its share value on Wall Street plummet by more than half this year.

Last week, the company was briefly overtaken in market capitalisation by NextEra Energy Inc, a green-era power company which owns two Florida electricity utilities.

ExxonMobil employs 75,000 workers worldwide, and 14,000 in Europe, said Europe is still key to its operations.

“However, significant actions are needed at this time to improve cost competitiveness and ensure the company manages through these unprecedented market conditions,” the company said.

Exxon is not alone in the energy industry in suffering from the Covid-19 crisis and the shifting market.

Anglo-Dutch group Royal Dutch Shell plc said last week it would axe 9,000 jobs, more than 10% of its workforce, by 2022 to reduce costs.

And Shell rival BP plc announced it would cut 15% of staff amounting to 10,000 jobs.

Oil services group Schlumberger said when announcing results in July it would lay off more than 21,000 employees equivalent to a quarter of staff. — AFP