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BP cuts 255 jobs in Azerbaijan, remains committed to region

BAKU, Jan 27 (Reuters) - British oil major BP said on Tuesday it had cut 255 jobs, or around 8 percent of its workforce in Azerbaijan as it trims costs in response to the “challenging market environment”.

Crude prices have more than halved since June to below $50 per barrel, and oil majors have been cutting capital and operating expenditures as crude prices more than halved since June.

BP announced in December a $1 billion programme to cut thousands of jobs globally.

In Azerbaijan, 105 Azeri nationals and 150 foreigners would be made redundant, BP’s Azerbaijan operations said in a statement. As of Jan. 1, 2014 it had 3,254 employees, including 2,760 Azeri citizens, according to its website.

BP, which is the biggest foreign investor in the ex-Soviet republic and operates major projects in its energy sector, said it was “committed to the region and to the projects that we operate”.

“Our projects are moving ahead and will continue to move ahead in accordance with our plans that we have agreed with the government and co-venturers,” BP said in a statement.

BP said on Monday it was freezing base pay across the group this year. (Reporting by Nailia Bagirova; Writing by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Susan Thomas)

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