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Exxon, the largest oil company in the West, will announce the results of a review of its US operations Thursday morning, according to an email sent to staff Wednesday evening that was obtained by Business Insider.
The results are expected to include workforce reductions, the company confirmed. It isn’t clear whether the reductions will be made through layoffs or voluntary measures, or how many roles will be affected.
For at least two months, Exxon has been reviewing its operations on a country-by-country basis to try to reduce costs in the wake of a collapse in oil prices that was caused by the pandemic. The firm’s market value has fallen by more than half from the start of the year
Exxon already finished a review in Europe and in Australia that resulted in planned layoffs or voluntary redundancies.
“The workforce studies have been underway globally to assess potential for further cost reductions from structural efficiencies and lower activity levels across our business,” said an email sent to some Exxon employees on Wednesday evening.
In an employee forum last week, Exxon’s CEO, Darren Woods, said the board would meet this week to discuss the results of the US review, and share an update with employees shortly after. That meeting was today, according to an Exxon spokesperson.
“Making the organization more efficient and more nimble will reduce the number of required positions and, unfortunately, reduce the number of people we need,” Woods said in an email to employees following the forum.
Nearly all major oil companies including BP, Chevron, and Shell are cutting staff to shrink spending amid the oil price downturn. On Wednesday, the price of Brent crude, the international benchmark, tumbled as much as 6%. It’s now down about 40% from the start of the year.
“Until the U.S. workforce study has been communicated to our employees, it would be premature to draw conclusions based on programs already announced in other countries,” Exxon said in a statement Wednesday. “Any programs will be shared with our employees first.”
Based in Irving, Texas, Exxon had about 75,000 employees at the end of last year.
Exxon has been shrinking its workforce for months
Until recently, Exxon, unlike many of its peers, has avoided talk of job cuts. Woods told investors in May that the company had no plans for layoffs at that time.
Meanwhile, the company quietly began shrinking its workforce by ramping up performance-based cuts, as Business Insider previously reported. The performance-based cuts, initiated over the summer, could end up shrinking Exxon’s US workforce by up to 10%.
Now the firm is expected to announce US workforce reductions, as it finishes country-by-country reviews.
Exxon previously said it would cut up to 1,600 jobs in Europe through 2021. Internal documents obtained by Business Insider show that about half of those positions are in the company’s fuel and lubricants division. Cuts in the company’s upstream business, responsible for oil production, will mostly impact workers in Germany and the UK, documents show. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: July 15 is Tax Day — here’s what it’s like to do your own taxes for the very first time