BP to cut 4,000 jobs in 2016 amid oil rout

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HOUSTON – BP plans to cut another 4,000 jobs from its global oil-production operations this year, including in the United States, to cope with the ongoing downturn in crude prices.

That’s roughly 16 percent of the British oil major’s upstream operations around the world, and the cuts will double the number of layoffs BP had already announced during the 19-month oil-market slump.

BP on Tuesday was the first oil company in 2016 to signal another round of sweeping job cuts is coming even after oil companies shed more than 250,000 jobs worldwide last year, according to energy recruitment firm Swift Worldwide Resources. In the United States, the oil industry lost 70,000 jobs, the Federal Reserve estimates.

The firm wouldn’t say how many U.S. jobs it plans to cut but its domestic Lower 48 and Gulf of Mexico drilling operations are headquartered in Houston.

“We recently informed staff that we plan to further reduce numbers in our upstream segment by 2017 as we continue to simplify our business, improve efficiency and reduce costs,” BP spokesman Brett Clanton said in an email. He said the company would not make cuts at the expense of safety, BP’s “number one priority.”

BP’s upstream operations this year will shrink to about 20,000 employees.