Petronas Says NST's Job Cuts Article is 'Misreported and Inaccurate'

Malaysia's state-owned Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) clarified Sunday that a local newspaper's article published Saturday saying that the firm plans to trim its workforce by more than 10 percent was "misreported and inaccurate", the firm said in a press release.

In an article entitled "Petronas Trimming Expenditure," the New Straits Times (NST) reported that the Malaysian national oil company plans to reduce its workforce by around one-tenth "as part of measures to lower operating cost in response to the plunging global oil prices," the newspaper said, citing unnamed company officials.

"The downsizing and restructuring would include axing redundant positions and underperforming staff," the NST article revealed, quoting a company official who disclosed that these issues were raised at a senior management briefing last week that was led by Petronas CEO Shamsul Azhar Abbas.

Responding to the NST article, Petronas "would like to clarify that the report was misreported and inaccurate".

Petronas also commented that it will "make Capital Expenditure (Capex) deferments and reductions in Operational Expenditure (Opex) in response to the recent steep 60 percent decline in oil prices. The deferments would reflect the change of environment in the global oil and gas industry to ensure its resilience through the low oil price period."

After announcing Petronas third quarter 2014 financial results Dec. 1, CEO Shamsul indicated that the Malaysian national oil company may reduce capex by 15 to 20 percent this year assuming Brent crude oil trade at around $70 to $75 a barrel. Brent oil prices have since declined further, with the crude trading at around $49 a barrel Monday.



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