BP Restructures to Secure Long-Term North Sea Future

BP has proposed plans for important changes to its North Sea organization, headquartered in Aberdeen, designed to secure a long-term future for the company's oil and gas business in the UK.

The changes are intended to simplify the organization and improve the efficiency of work processes in response to the challenges of the increasingly mature North Sea, where declining production and rapidly rising costs have created business conditions, which are not sustainable in the long term.

The new structure will mean fewer organizational units and reduced management layers. This will allow consolidation of onshore non-technical support activities, leading to economies of scale and reduced complexity.

Regrettably, the company anticipates that the changes will result in the loss of some BP staff and contractor positions, which support its operations in the UK. BP estimates that somewhere in the region of 350 positions could be affected, from a total onshore staff and contractor workforce of 2,100. Most of these office-based support jobs are based in BP's North Sea operations HQ in Aberdeen.

The company will consult with staff over the coming months and into 2008 on how these changes will be implemented and seek their views on how the impact on jobs can be minimized or mitigated.

Andy Inglis, BP's chief executive for Exploration and Production, said: "These plans are an important step in delivering BP's agenda of simplifying how the company is run and ensuring resources are focused on front-line delivery. Furthermore, they will help secure our continuing presence in the UK's North Sea."

The changes will be introduced in a carefully considered and measured program over the next six months, so that BP can continue to focus on its priorities of safe operations and maximizing the value of its $3 billion to $4 billion annual investment in the North Sea.

There will be no impact on the workforce offshore or on plant-based positions at onshore sites.

Plans for moving staff to BP's new North Sea headquarters in Aberdeen are unchanged and the company expects the new organization to be fully implemented in time for the move during the first part of 2008.