US oil/gas giant ExxonMobil says it will cut 1,600 jobs in Europe, representing more than 11% of its workforce in the region, as it struggles with decreased demand for crude oil caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the growing shift to green energy, As part of an extensive global review outlined during ExxonMobil’s second quarter earnings call, the company plans to reduce staffing levels across a number of its European affiliates.
“The impact of Covid-19 on the demand for ExxonMobil’s products has increased the urgency of the ongoing efficiency work,” the Texas-based company said in a statement.
The company said the job cuts would happen by the end of 2021 but did not release any additional details saying only “country-specific impacts will depend on the company’s local business footprint and market conditions.”
ExxonMobil has seen its share value on Wall Street plummet by more than half this year. Last week, the company was briefly overtaken in market capitalization by NextEra Energy, a green-era power company which owns two Florida electricity utilities.
ExxonMobil employs 75,000 workers worldwide, and 14,000 in Europe. The region remains an important market for ExxonMobil, as evidenced by recent major investments. “However, significant actions are needed at this time to improve cost competitiveness and ensure the company manages through these unprecedented market conditions,” the company said.
ExxonMobil is not alone in the energy industry in suffering from the Covid-19 crisis and the shifting market. Anglo-Dutch group Shell is axing 9,000 jobs, more than 10% of its workforce, by 2022 to reduce costs. And Shell rival BP announced it would cut 15% of staff amounting to 10,000 jobs.
Oil services group Schlumberger said when announcing results in July it would lay off more than 21,000 employees equivalent to a quarter of staff.