ExxonMobil said on Thursday that it will cut around 1,900 jobs in the United States in its latest attempt to cut costs and protect its balance sheet amid low oil prices and weak global oil demand due to the pandemic.
“As part of an extensive global review announced earlier this year, the company plans to reduce staffing levels in the United States, primarily at its management offices in Houston, Texas. The company anticipates approximately 1,900 employees will be affected through voluntary and involuntary programs,” Exxon said in a statement on Thursday, a day before it is set to announce its Q3 earnings and a day after it kept its quarterly dividend flat for the first time since 1982.
Exxon has already said it would cut 1,600 jobs in Europe as part of efforts to rein in costs.
Announcing the cuts in the United States, the supermajor said today that “These actions will improve the company’s long-term cost competitiveness and ensure the company manages through the current unprecedented market conditions. The impact of COVID-19 on the demand for ExxonMobil’s products has increased the urgency of the ongoing efficiency work.”
After the press release announcing the job cuts, shares in Exxon (NYSE: XOM) climbed by 2.57 percent as of 12:21 EDT, even though oil prices were down by 4 percent at the same time.
On Wednesday, ExxonMobil said it was keeping its quarterly fourth-quarter dividend flat at $0.87 per share – the first time in 38 years that the company has failed to increase the dividend it has been paying for more than 100 years.
Exxon is set to report on Friday its third straight loss in its upstream business this year, as lower oil demand continues to hurt oil companies’ profitability.
For the second quarter, Exxon reported at the end of July its second consecutive quarterly loss, which was the worst loss for the U.S. supermajor in its modern history.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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