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BP to cut 30 percent of IT staff in upstream business: source

BP logo is seen at a fuel station of British oil company BP in St. Petersburg, October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk
BP logo is seen at a fuel station of British oil company BP in St. Petersburg, October 18, 2012. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk

LONDON (Reuters) - British oil and gas explorer BP will cut around 30 percent of IT jobs in its international upstream division following a review of its support services, a source familiar with the situation said.

BP confirmed its support service review may result in IT job losses, but declined to comment on the number of employees concerned.

"This review by upstream IT leadership is ongoing but we do expect it may result in a reduction in the number of roles over the next year or so," said a BP spokesman.

A source with direct knowledge of the situation said 30 percent of IT staff mainly in the upstream division were affected.

The ongoing financial impact on BP from its 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has forced it to start a major divestment program, especially of its production assets.

By the end of 2015, BP wants to sell $10 billion worth of assets, in addition to the $40 billion worth of disposals made to help pay for the oil spill.

In March, it started a review of support services, including its international upstream division.

BP said it wanted to place any employees affected by the staff cuts in other roles within the company.

The oil major employs 24,700 people in its global upstream division, but only a fraction of those work in IT, BP said.

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps;Editing by Jonathan Leff and Elaine Hardcastle)

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