Like many energy companies across the world, the state-controlled firm has also been hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Budrul Chukrut/SOPA/LightRocket via Getty
Like many energy companies across the world, the state-controlled firm has also been hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Budrul Chukrut/SOPA/LightRocket via Getty

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.

READ MORE: Oil prices fall as COVID-19 cases spike

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.

Like many

OSLO (Reuters) – Norwegian oil and gas firm Equinor plans to cut its exploration staff by about 30% globally by 2023 to reduce costs as the COVID-19 pandemic reduces demand for petroleum, the company said on Friday.

Equinor said it wanted to focus on selected areas when searching for new oil and gas resources, including Norway, Brazil and the United States, as its exploration spending had fallen by about a third from 6-7 years ago.

The planned reduction will affect “hundreds of positions” by the end of 2022 both internationally and in Norway, but will not have an immediate impact on exploration plans, Equinor’s spokesman Erik 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,” he added.

The company has previously said it planned to spend $1.1 billion on exploration this year, down from an original plan of $1.4 billion detailed in February.

Norwegian news website E24 was the first to report on the planned cuts.

Equinor, which had 21,000 employees at the end of 2019, said it would offer severance packages in some locations, while in Norway the reduction would come as a result of moving people to other jobs or natural attrition.

The majority state-owned firm has previously said it planned significant job cuts in the United States, Canada and Britain to adjust to the fall in oil prices.

Oil prices more than doubled from their April lows, but have come under pressure again as rising coronavirus cases around the world dampened outlook.

Norway’s Lederne labour union has said it will escalate offshore industrial action to four additional Equinor fields next week, after dozens of workers went on strike at the company’s Johan Sverdrup oilfield, western Europe’s largest.



a plane sitting on top of a runway: Air travel has been devastated by a fall in demand during the pandemic


© Reuters
Air travel has been devastated by a fall in demand during the pandemic

US airlines have begun laying off thousands of workers after efforts to negotiate a new economic relief plan in Congress stalled.

American Airlines says it shedding 19,000 workers and United Airlines 13,000.

The carriers – badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic – say they are ready to reverse the decisions if more financing is found.

The airlines have received billions of dollars from the federal government.

Congress agreed the aid agreed earlier in the year as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act [Cares Act]. It was conditional that the carriers did not lay off workers until 1 October.

Airlines worldwide have been hit by a massive fall in demand caused by the pandemic.

In a letter to staff announcing the layoffs, American Airlines Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker said: “I am extremely sorry we have reached this outcome. It is not what you all deserve.”

On Wednesday United Airlines, in a message to its employees, said it was imploring “our elected leaders to reach a compromise, get a deal done now, and save jobs”.

“In a continuing effort to give the federal government every opportunity to act, we have made clear to leadership in the administration, Congress and among our union partners that we can and will reverse the furlough process if the Cares Act Payroll Support Program is extended in the next few days.”

It added: “To our departing 13,000 family members: thank you for your dedication and we look forward to welcoming you back.”

The layoffs increase pressure on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi who have been trying to agree on a follow-up relief plan for the struggling US economy.

Democrats, who control

The logo of Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority BaFin (Bundesanstalt fuer Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht) is pictured outside of an office building of the BaFin in Bonn, Germany, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s financial watchdog BaFin is banning its staff from trading shares and other securities of the companies that it oversees in the wake of the Wirecard WDIG.DE accounting scandal, a senior finance ministry official told Reuters.

German regulatory officials bought and sold Wirecard shares in ever higher volumes as the payments company edged towards collapse, the German government has revealed, prompting criticism of the agency that polices finance.

Deputy finance minister Joerg Kukies said the aim was to restrict the trading activities of BaFin employees so that they can make decisions free of conflicts of interest.

“This is a good and necessary step,” Kukies said.

The finance ministry had disclosed that one fifth of BaFin staff had engaged in some kind of investment activity in 2019 and 2020, with an increasing interest in Wirecard in the months ahead of its collapse.

The ban affects not only shares, but also bonds and derivatives of the companies BaFin supervises, as well as all EU financial companies.

BaFin is overseen by the finance ministry.

Reporting by Christian Kraemer; Writing by Tom Sims; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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HOUSTON (Reuters) – Marathon Petroleum Corp, the top U.S. oil refiner, is cutting 12% of its workforce amid continued declines in fuel consumption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: A Marathon Petroleum banner covers an Andeavor sign outside the El Paso refinery Texas, U.S., October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Julio-Cesar Chavez

Refiners and oil producers have been dismissing staff, slashing spending and reducing production to cope with weak prices and a global glut of fuel. U.S. gasoline futures are down 26% from a year ago and oil is trading down a third from where it began the year.

Marathon will incur an up to $175 million charge to third quarter earnings for the 2,050 job cuts, it reported to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. About 20% of the charge will be recouped from its publicly traded pipeline unit, the company said.

The Findlay, Ohio, firm disclosed the workforce cuts after Reuters on Tuesday reported employees across the company had been notified of impending layoffs.

The cuts includes staff at its Martinez, California, and Gallup, New Mexico refineries, which in July were designated to close. The shutdowns and job cuts will lower overall costs beginning next year, Marathon said in a statement.

Employees of its retail gasoline business are not included in the 12% reduction. Marathon in August agreed to sell its Speedway unit to Japan’s Seven & i Holdings Co Ltd, a deal expected to close next year.

Red ink and job cuts are expected across the oil industry as results start rolling out next month. U.S. refiners typically gear up for winter heating oil demand after summer driving season ends. This year, heating oil and gasoline consumption are both depressed.

“The pandemic has resulted in near-record lows on diesel margins, the go-to product for refineries