ExxonMobil to cut 300 jobs in Singapore by end-2021 amid pandemic

Author: Nurluqman Suratman


SINGAPORE (ICIS)--ExxonMobil is cutting about 300 jobs in Singapore - or about 7% of its workforce in the southeast Asian country - by the end of the year, citing "unprecedented market conditions" brought about by the pandemic.

“This is a difficult but necessary step to improve our company’s competitiveness and strengthen the foundation of our business for future success,” said ExxonMobil Asia Pacific chairman and managing director Geraldine Chin.

The company employs more than 4,000 in Singapore, which is home to the US energy giant’s biggest integrated petrochemical complex in the world.

ExxonMobil’s manufacturing site on Jurong Island has an ethylene capacity of 1.9m tonnes/year, with a host of various downstream units producing commodity and performance polymers, aromatics and oxo-alcohols.

The coronavirus pandemic has "accelerated ongoing reorganization and work-process changes that will improve the company’s long-term cost competitiveness and ability to manage through near-term challenges", the company said.

ExxonMobil announced last year that it will cut its global workforce by 15%, including 1,900 jobs in the US and up to 1,600 jobs at its European affiliates.

Big oil companies incurred massive losses in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic weighed heavily on demand and sent oil prices plunging.

ExxonMobil reported a full-year 2020 loss of $22bn, reversing more than $14bn of profit in the previous year, after booking a fourth-quarter impairment charge of $19.3bn.

Anglo-Dutch energy major Shell recorded a $21.7bn loss last year. It is looking at a 10% cut in its 86,000-strong global workforce by 2022.

UK’s BP also last year announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs, or 15% of its total workforce of 70,000 worldwide by the end of 2020.

BP reported an underlying $5.7bn loss in 2020, reversing a profit of nearly $10bn in 2019, given significant exploration write-offs.

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Photo: ExxonMobil integrated petrochemical complex in Singapore (Source: ExxonMobil)

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