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BP has announced plans to cut 3,000 jobs from its downstream segment by the end of 2017, in addition to the 4,000 positions being axed from its upstream division announced last month.

The job cuts announced in January will include 600 jobs from its operations in the North Sea and would come from its oil exploration and production business.

BP’s total number of upstream employees worldwide is expected to shrink below 20,000 by the end of 2016.

With the slump in oil prices, the oil major has reported that its profits have fallen by 51% to $5.9bn compared with $12.1bn it reported in 2014.

For the fourth quarter of 2015, the company’s downstream segment reported an underlying pre-tax replacement cost profit of $1.2bn, which is same as that reported for the fourth quarter.

During this period, the upstream segment reported an underlying pre-tax replacement cost loss of $0.7bn compared with a profit of $2.2bn in 2014.

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BP said over the past five quarters it has recorded around $1.5bn in restructuring charges and the total is expected to approach $2.5bn by 2016-end.

"Our plans set out a clear course for BP for the medium term and will allow us to deliver growth in the longer term."

Factors that contributed to these losses include lower oil and gas prices, as well as lower gas marketing and trading results, offsetting reduced costs.

Due to the fall in oil and gas prices in the quarter, the segment also reported non-operating net impairment losses of $1.6bn.

BP is already grappling with around $55bn of costs from the Gulf of Mexico’s oil spill disaster that occurred in 2010.

BP group chief executive Bob Dudley said: "We’re making good progress in managing and lowering our costs and capital spending, while maintaining safe and reliable operations and continuing disciplined investment into the future of our portfolio.

"Our plans set out a clear course for BP for the medium term and will allow us to deliver growth in the longer term."

Image: BP’s world headquarters in St James’s, City of Westminster, London. Photo: courtesy of WhisperToMe.