Exxon to lay off 1,900 employees amid pandemic downturn

Exxon to lay off 1,900 employees amid pandemic downturn
© Greg Nash

Oil giant ExxonMobil on Thursday said it plans to lay off 1,900 U.S. workers.

It said in a statement that the layoffs will primarily be at its management offices in Houston, and cited the coronavirus pandemic as a factor in the decision. 

Demand for oil has dropped during the virus’s outbreak as people are traveling less.

ADVERTISEMENT

Earlier this year, prices fell significantly, briefly reaching as low as negative $40 per barrel, but have partially rebounded since then. On Thursday afternoon they were at about $36 per barrel, still well below the approximately $50 per barrel prices in February.  

The company also said that the layoffs were the result of “ongoing reorganizations and work-process changes that have been made over the past several years to improve efficiency and reduce costs.”

In April, the company announced that it would slash its capital budget by 30 percent, or about $10 billion dollars, and reduce its operating expenses by 15 percent. 

Earlier this month, competitor Chevron overtook Exxon as the most valuable oil company in the country as Exxon has seen its value drop this year. 

The company said that it will reduce its staffing through both voluntary and involuntary measures and that those who are laid off involuntarily will receive severance and help to find new jobs.