Oil and gas supermajor ExxonMobil will be cutting 1,600 jobs in Europe as part of efforts to rein in costs, the company said this week.
“Proposed changes are subject to local information and consultation processes as applicable in each country and result from insight gained through reorganizations and work-process changes made over the past several years to improve efficiency and reduce costs,” Exxon said in a statement, adding, “The impact of COVID-19 on the demand for ExxonMobil’s products has increased the urgency of the ongoing efficiency work.”
The most valuable energy company in the U.S. and one of the most valuable in the world has been hard hit by the oil price collapse brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. The company swung into a loss in the first quarter of the year and then booked another loss for the second quarter. It now expects to post a negative net result for the third quarter as well. This has weighed both on its share price and on investor sentiment, prompting the company to hurry up with cost cuts.
As part of these efforts, the supermajor has been seriously reducing its presence in Europe’s oil and gas sector. After exiting Norway, Exxon has put up for sale North Sea assets that last year were estimated to be worth up to $2 billion but now, with the oil price collapse and the pandemic, may have become cheaper. The company last year sold its Norwegian operations to local Var Energi for $4.5 billion.
Exxon would be selling stakes in 15 fields, which would this year contribute a combined 37,000 bpd to the company’s total output. Two exploration blocks and Exxon’s stakes in pipeline networks in the region are also on the table. So far, about half a dozen companies have expressed interest in the assets.