March 27, 2020 / 12:36 PM / in 2 months

UPDATE 1-Aker BP eyes layoffs amid oil price crash, coronavirus

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OSLO, March 27 (Reuters) - Norway’s independent oil firm Aker BP will lay off some employees and contractors after deciding to postpone some projects and exploration wells due to the oil price crash and coronavirus-related disruptions.

“We announced today that there will be a reduction in numbers of employees and contractors due to reduced activities. We’ve already announced that some projects be postponed and exploration wells deferred,” said company spokesman Ole Johan Faret.

“We are starting negotiations with the unions about potential numbers, and will have more details after Easter.”

Aker BP, 30% owned by BP, said on March 23 it would cut its planned 2020 capital and exploration spending by 20%, but kept its production guidance unchanged.

Faret said Aker BP was still working to detail the spending cuts, but one of 10 planned exploration wells to be postponed was the Stangnestind well in the Barents Sea in the Arctic.

The company had more than 1,700 employees and about 600 contractor workers at the end of 2019. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis Editing by Gwladys Fouche and Mark Heinrich)

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