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The Scotsman: BP cuts North Sea jobs

By Tom Bergin and Jonathan Cable

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil major BP plans to cut its onshore North Sea workforce by almost 20 percent, citing unsustainable business conditions, as big industry players continue to reduce their presence in the mature oil-producing province.

BP said in a statement on Wednesday it would cut 350 jobs over the next six months from a total onshore staff and contractor workforce of 2,100.

“Declining production and rapidly rising costs have created business conditions which are not sustainable in the long term,” BP said.

Earlier this month, BP said it planned a restructuring to cut costs and streamline management, and BP’s chief executive for Exploration and Production, Andy Inglis, said the cuts were part of BP’s agenda of simplifying how the company is run.

BP and other major oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell have been selling North Sea fields in recent years to focus their efforts on regions, like Angola and the deep-water Gulf of Mexico, which offer greater potential for big finds.

The world’s third-largest western oil company, BP said plans for moving staff to its new North Sea headquarters in Aberdeen were unchanged and that offshore staff would be unaffected.

(c) Reuters 2007. All rights reserved.

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