Oil giant BP will sell its petrochemicals division for $5 billion as the company works to “reinvent” itself, it announced on Monday. 

The announcement follows news that BP plans to be carbon neutral by 2050 and also comes as the company is writing down billions in assets amid the coronavirus pandemic and cutting about 10,000 jobs

CEO Bernard Looney said in a statement that the agreement “is another deliberate step in building a BP that can compete and succeed through the energy transition.”

“This is another significant step as we steadily work to reinvent BP,” Looney added, noting that he expects the business to “thrive” under its new owner, British chemicals company INEOS.

The transaction is expected to be complete by the end of this year. 

BP announced plans to become carbon neutral in February, saying that it would cut its carbon and methane intensity by half and invest in more “non-oil and gas businesses.”

The oil industry has been hit hard due to a pandemic-driven slump in demand. The price of oil has partially rebounded, but BP estimated this month that the value of its assets decreased between $13 billion and $17.5 billion after taxes.

BP also said this month that it would cut about one-seventh of its global workforce due to the economic downturn.

Tags assets BP Coronavirus oil industry Petrochemicals

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