The BP Whiting Refinery is planning to cut an unspecified number of jobs. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the London-based energy company made the decision after a $16.8 billion loss in the second quarter resulting from falling crude oil prices due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to The Times, BP is also looking to reduce its carbon emissions and has set a goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. BP Chief Executive Officer Bernard Looney announced the company would cut about 10,000 jobs worldwide, most by the end of the year.
“Doing so requires reinventing the company, including a global organization redesign,” BP spokeswoman Sarah Howell said. “The Whiting refinery is reviewing our organizational structure and remains committed to our core value of maintaining safe operations.”
Howell declined to answer questions about specifics, such as how many jobs would be affected and if the workforce reduction would be achieved by layoffs or buyouts, the publication reported.
“The majority of people affected will be in office-based jobs,” Looney said. “We are protecting the frontline of the company and, as always, prioritizing safe and reliable operations.”
The Times reports the company will try to help displaced workers by providing them with a laptop, giving them professional coaching on job-seeking and helping them launch new careers. Looney promised “substantial severance packages.”
“Everyone on the BP leadership team realizes these decisions will mean significant, life-changing consequences for thousands of colleagues and friends,” said Looney. “And I am really sorry that this will hurt a lot of people who I know love this company as much as I do. And so we have spent a lot of time working on how we can do more than we normally do in these circumstances.”
BP Whiting currently employs around 1,700 people, about half of which are represented by the United Steelworkers union. USW Local 7-1 was notified that BP wanted to cut union jobs, according to The Times.