The logo of Chevron is seen at the company’s office in Caracas, Venezuela April 25, 2018. REUTERS/Marco Bello/Files

HOUSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Chevron Corp employees worldwide are being asked to reapply for positions as part of a cost-cutting program expected to eliminate up to 15% of its workforce, people familiar with the matter said.

The No. 2 U.S. oil producer has begun taking steps to streamline its organization this year to reduce costs and revive declining profits. Oil companies have posted huge losses on asset writedowns and slashed spending as economic downturns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic undercut fuel demand.

Employees who are not chosen for jobs should know within weeks, Chief Executive Michael Wirth said in an interview on Monday. He did not discuss how cuts would be decided nor how many employees were asked to reapply for positions.

The company took a $1 billion charge to earnings earlier this year to cover severance pay for employees affected by the restructuring. Workers not chosen for new assignments would lose their jobs.

Chevron recently expanded its 45,000-person workforce by acquiring smaller oil and gas producer Noble Energy, which has about 2,200 workers. That $4.1 billion all-stock deal closed this week.

In Houston, about 700 employees will lose jobs starting Oct. 23, according to a notice Chevron sent to the state of Texas. Employees will receive enhanced severance benefits and two-months to leave the company, the letter said. Most of the people not chosen for new posts will depart by the end of the year, a spokeswoman said.

Decisions about Noble employees are likely in several weeks, Wirth said. Reductions are more likely where the two companies overlap, such as west Texas shale and administrative areas, Wirth said.

“Some areas like the Middle East or

Chevron Corp employees worldwide are being asked to reapply for positions as part of a cost-cutting program expected to eliminate up to 15% of its workforce, people familiar with the matter said.

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CVX CHEVRON CORP. 73.78 +1.48 +2.05%

The No. 2 U.S. oil producer has begun taking steps to streamline its organization this year to reduce costs and revive declining profits. Oil companies have posted huge losses on asset writedowns and slashed spending as economic downturns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic undercut fuel demand.

LAYOFFS ON THE RISE AMID SLOW COVID-19 RECOVERY

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USO UNITED STATES OIL FUND L.P. 28.39 0.00 0.00%

Employees who are not chosen for jobs should know within weeks, Chief Executive Michael Wirth said in an interview on Monday. He did not discuss how cuts would be decided nor how many employees were asked to reapply for positions.

PELOSI, MNUCHIN SIGNAL OPENNESS TO $25B BAILOUT FOR US AIRLINES AFTER TRUMP REVERSES COURSE ON STIMULUS

The company took a $1 billion charge to earnings earlier this year to cover severance pay for employees affected by the restructuring. Workers not chosen for new assignments would lose their jobs.

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XOM EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION 33.50 +0.11 +0.33%

Chevron recently expanded its 45,000-person workforce by acquiring smaller oil and gas producer Noble Energy, which has about 2,200 workers. That $4.1 billion all-stock deal closed this week.

In Houston, about 700 employees will lose jobs starting Oct. 23, according to a notice Chevron sent to the state of Texas. Employees will receive enhanced severance benefits and two-months to leave the company, the letter said. Most of the people not

President Trump on Tuesday cornered Democratic challenger Joseph R. Biden about his son, Hunter, getting rich off foreign deals while his father was in the White House.

Mr. Trump asked Mr. Biden why his son pocketed more than $3.5 million from the wife of Moscow’s mayor.

“What did he do to deserve it?” demanded Mr. Trump at his first debate with Mr. Biden in the 2020 presidential race.

Mr. Biden responded that it was “totally discredited,” referring to the longtime allegations of conflicts of interest and sweetheart deals for his son in countries where Mr. Biden spearheaded Obama administration policy.

Mr. Trump kept pressing him: “What did he do for it?”

Mr. Biden repeatedly said, “It’s not true.”

The former vice president said that wasn’t what the American people wanted to hear about.

“It doesn’t want this. It wants to talk about you, the American people, that’s what we should talk about,” Mr. Biden said.

Hunter Biden has long been under suspicion for cashing in on his father’s clout as vice president in the Obama White House and pocketing millions of dollars in sweetheart deals in China, Ukraine and Russia.

As a result, the younger Mr. Biden has loomed large in the presidential race, though left-leaning news media mostly avoids the subject.

He was at the center of House Democrats’ impeachment of Mr. Trump this year. The abuse of power charges against Mr. Trump stemmed from his pressuring Ukraine to investigate alleged corruption involving Hunter Biden’s lucrative business deals while his father led Obama administration efforts in that graft-riddled country.

Everywhere the elder Mr. Biden went, Hunter Biden seemed to cash in on mega deals, despite limited business experience and a history of drug addiction.

Joseph Biden and Hunter Biden have denied any wrongdoing.

A Senate Republican report last week