MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil Corp is assessing possible worldwide job cuts, a spokesman said, after the company announced a voluntary lay-off program in Australia, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.
Exxon is the latest oil major to embark on axing jobs spurred by a historic collapse in fuel demand because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The company has slashed capital spending this year by 30% to around USD23 billion and said in August it planned both capital and operating expense cuts to defend its dividend after reporting losses in the first and second quarters.
“We have evaluations underway on a country-by-country basis to assess possible additional efficiencies to right-size our business and make it stronger for the future,” spokesman Casey Norton, based at the company headquarters in Irving, Texas, said in emailed comments to Reuters.
The comments mark a shift, after Exxon told Reuters in July it had no plans for layoffs due to the pandemic and no percentage targets to reduce its workforce through this year’s employee reviews.
In Australia, Exxon said on Wednesday it had completed a review of its current and future project work in the country and was seeking volunteers to quit the company.
“This program will ensure the company manages through these unprecedented market conditions,” it said in a statement.
“Until other study work is complete, it would be premature to draw conclusions for other countries,” Norton said.
Exxon is looking to sell its 50% stake in the Bass Strait oil and gas joint venture in southeastern Australia, which analysts have estimated could fetch up to USD3 billion.
Analysts have speculated it could also sell or close its Altona plant in Melbourne, Australia’s oldest refinery.
As MRC informed earlier, ExxonMobil has put off for a year work on its refinery expansion in Beaumont, Texas. The expansion project is now slated to be online sometime in 2023, versus the original 2022 proposal. Bloomberg first reported the delay. ExxonMobil declined to confirm the story, noting that it does not comment on the status of individual projects. The company "is evaluating all appropriate steps to significantly reduce capital and operating expenses in the near term as a result of market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and commodity price decreases," the company said in a statement.
Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia dropped in January-June 2020 by 7% year on year to 328,000 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the main decrease in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia rose in the first six months of 2020 by 21% year on year to 105,300 tonnes. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.
ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.