By Jonathan Davies

Oil giant BP has announced 300 job cuts as part of a major restructuring plan.

200 of the cuts come in its North Sea oil operation, which employs around 4,000 of its 11,000 UK workforce. A further 100 contractor positions will also be cut.

Trevor Garlick, regional president for BP North Sea, said: "We are committed to the North Sea and see a long term future for our business here.

"However, given the well-documented challenges of operating in this maturing region and in toughening market conditions, we are taking specific steps to ensure our business remains competitive and robust, and we are aligning with the wider industry.

"Whilst our primary focus will be on improving efficiencies and on simplifying the way we work, an inevitable outcome of this will be an impact on headcount and we expect a reduction of around 200 staff and 100 contractor roles.

"We have spoken to staff and will work with those affected over the coming months."

BP announced early plans for restructuring in December due to oil prices, which have more than halved in recent months. Brent crude oil has dropped as low as $46 per barrel, down from $115 in June 2014.

Last month, BP said job cuts in its back-office departments in the UK and US would be accelerated. The restructuring plan is expected to cost the oil giant around £640m.

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