North sea

Oil major BP is reportedly set to axe 300 jobs following a review of its operations in the North Sea amid plummeting oil prices.

Most of the employment cuts are expected to be on shore as part of cost-cutting plans.

BBC reports that employees at BP’s North Sea headquarters in Aberdeen will be informed about its plans later.

BP employs 3,500 people in the North Sea and 11,000 across the UK.

In December 2014, the firm announced a restructuring plan in response to falling oil prices, which have dipped approximately 50% in recent months.

The firm announced plans in December to axe hundreds of jobs, mostly in back office departments.

"The firm announced plans in December to axe hundreds of jobs, mostly in back office departments."

As part of the cost-cutting plan, BP is likely to reduce pay for contractors and freeze salary hikes.

In the next few years, the restructuring is expected to cost £640m.

BBC cited BP as saying that it has been planning to make the cuts for a long time, but it has now accelerated the plan due to declining oil prices.

This is considered to be the latest in a series of announcements by North Sea operators about cutting jobs. Shell announced it was to cut 250 jobs in August 2014, while Chevron announced 225 job cuts in July.

Earlier this week, the price of Brent per barrel touched approximately $46, despite hitting a peak of around $115 in mid-2014, reports BBC.

Following the 2010 disaster at Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, the firm has sold assets worth more than $43bn, which included more than 50% of its pipelines, 35% of its wells and 12% of its reserves, reports Financial Times.

Image: BP’s Andrew platform in the North Sea. Photo: courtesy of BP plc.