Norwegian gas and oil company, Equinor (EQNR) has announced its slashing 30% of the workforce in its exploration unit, to increase efficiency and reduce cost.
Equinor did not give an exact number but said “hundreds of jobs” will be affected worldwide, by the end of 2022.
Spokesman Erik Haaland told Yahoo Finance, that the company plans to reduce the UK exploration staff by around 60%. He said that a process had been “initiated to increase efficiency and reduce cost in the UK exploration team”, which is mainly based in London.
But, the reductions will not have an immediate impact on exploration plans, Haaland said in an email.
“For 2020 we expect to drill around 30-40 wells globally, and this announcement does not affect the planned activity level for 2020 and 2021.”
Equinor’s exploration spending has decreased by about a third from six to seven years ago. The firm said that it plans to focus on selected areas when searching for new gas and oil resources, including in the US, Brazil and Norway.
Previously, Equinor said it was planning to spend $1.1bn (£853m) on exploration this year, whereas in February it expected to spend $1.4bn.
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In August, Equinor confirmed it was making job cuts in the UK, Canada and US in response to the oil downturn.
Meanwhile, the majority state-controlled firm said it will keep production going after dozens of its staff went on strike at the company’s Johan Sverdrup oilfield, largest in western Europe.
Following the company’s announcement, Norway’s Lederne labour union vowed to escalate its offshore industrial action to four other Equinor fields next week.