MOSCOW (MRC) -- Exxon Mobil Corp announced it will lay off about 1,900 employees in the United States as the COVID-19 pandemic batters energy demand and prices, reported Reuters.
Exxon was once the largest US publicly traded company, but has been cutting costs due to a collapse in oil demand and ill-timed bets on new oilfields and expansions. It has promised to shed more than USD10 billion this year in project spending and cut operating expenses 15%.
The company lost nearly USD1.7 billion in the first six months of the year and is expected to post another quarterly loss on Friday.
Exxon said the job cuts, part of a global reorganization, will come mainly from its Houston, Texas office and will include voluntary and involuntary cuts.
"The impact of COVID-19 on the demand for Exxon Mobil's products has increased the urgency of the ongoing efficiency work," the company said in a statement.
Employees who are separated through involuntary programs will receive severance and outplacement services.
Exxon had nearly 75,000 global employees at the end of 2019, but has been reviewing its businesses on a country-by-country basis. Earlier this month it said it would cut 1,600 jobs in Europe. It has also announced cuts in Australia.
Prior to the pandemic, Chief Executive Darren Woods pursued an ambitious spending plan to boost oil output and turn around sagging profits on a bet that a growing global middle class would demand more of its products.
Exxon on Wednesday said it would continue to hold stable its quarterly shareholder dividend payments, which cost it nearly USD15 billion per year.
Its shares were trading up 2.3% higher at USD32.29 on Thursday.
As MRC wrote before, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc also have outlined up to 15% workforce cuts. Chevron Corp’s planned cuts of 10%-15% would imply a reduction of between 4,500 and 6,750 jobs. It will also cut roughly another 570 positions as part of its acquisition of Noble Energy.
We remind that earlier this month, US oil giant ExxonMobil announced it plans to reduce its European workforce by up to 1,600 across the company"s affiliates by the end of 2021 as part of its global review. Exxon said country-specific cuts will depend on the oil major's local business footprint and market conditions, after the COVID-19 pandemic hammered demand for its products and crude prices tanked.
We also remind that ExxonMobil has undertaken a planned shutdown at its cracker in Singapore. The company halted operations at the cracker for maintenance on September 14, 2020. The cracker is expected to remain off-line till end-October, 2020. Located at Jurong Island, Singapore, the cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 1 million mt/year and a propylene production capacity of 450,000 mt/year.
Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,496,500 tonnes in the first eight months of 2020, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of all ethylene polymers increased, except for linear low desnity polyethylene (LLDPE). At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 767,2900 tonnes in the eight months of 2020 (calculated using the formula - production minus exports plus imports - and not counting producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply increased exclusively of PP random copolymer.
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.