Europe's second largest oil company BP is to cut 5,000 jobs from all parts of the business by the middle of 2009 to cushion the effects of lower profits.
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The company announced a restructuring programme yesterday after releasing fourth quarter and full-year results, which showed a 24% fall in profits in the past year.
"The restructuring programme will affect every part of BP," a company spokesman said, but gave no further details.
The spokesman said job cuts in specific areas of the business such as IT would be known only once those affected had been consulted.
Robert Morgan, direct at Hamilton Bailey, which advises outsourcing companies, pointed out that the bulk of BP's IT was outsourced. "I think it would find it difficult to cut IT staff unless they outsourced exploration systems which are in-house," he said.
Those divisions most heavily affected by the roughly 4,800 job cuts have already been informed, with around 1,500 job losses expected in the UK and US, 1,000 in Europe and the rest elsewhere.