UK oil company reduces its workforce to cut costs in response to low oil price and charges from Deepwater Horizon incident

UK oil company BP plans to lay off a total of 7000 staff after reporting an overall loss of $6.5 billion (£4.5 billion) in 2015. The company’s underlying operational profit measure dropped 51% relative to 2014, to $5.9 billion. The new plans represent a cut of approximately 9% of BP’s global workforce.

The cuts will affect staff and contractor roles across both arms of the company. The ‘upstream’ segment, which is responsible for oil and natural gas production, will suffer cuts of 4000 jobs during 2016. An additional 3000 jobs will be cut from the ‘downstream’ segment, responsible for product manufacture and marketing, by the end of 2017.

The move comes as part of an effort to reduce costs in the wake of falling oil prices and lower than expected gas marketing and trading results. BP also paid a charge of $440 million over the last quarter associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, bringing the current total charge for the incident to $55 billion.