Hundreds of Jobs Axed in Singapore as ExxonMobil Cuts 7% of Local Workforce

ExxonMobil has said it will cut as many as 300 jobs in Singapore in the fallout of the overall crunch caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The retrenchment affects roughly 7 percent of the oil giant's workforce in Singapore. ExxonMobil said on Tuesday that "unprecedented market conditions" due to the coronavirus pandemic accelerated the necessity for company-wide reorganization.

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

$20 Billion Loss in Fourth-Quarter

"We are providing transitional support to our colleagues who are impacted and are focused on getting through this challenging time," the top official said, according to the Channel News Asia.

Singapore likely to have more showers in second half of June: National Environment Agency
A view of the skyline of Singapore's central business district Reuters

ExxonMobil had reported a $20 billion fourth-quarter loss mostly caused by the writedown of its North American natural gas shale assets.

ExxonMobil employs more than 4,000 people in Singapore, where its largest refinery with a capacity of about 592,000 barrels per day is based.

Besides operating its largest integrated manufacturing site in Singpore, ExxonMobil also owns service stations and LPG supply networks in the country. It also markets LNG from Singapore.

In October, the oil giant had said it was forced to cut as many as 14,000 contractors and employees globally, comprising around 15 percent of its workforce.

Oil Refinery
Oil Refinery (Representational Picture) Needpix

Earlier last month, ExxonMobil closed one of its last remaining oil refineries in Australia. The West Australian reported that the closure of the Altona plant in Melbourne, which was in operation since 1949, had led to the loss of around 300 jobs in the country.

Singapore a Strategic Location

In Singapore, ExxonMobil said it would provide support including counselling and outplacement services to the affected employees. "We remain focused on safe operations and reliably supplying the customers who rely on our products," the spokesperson said, according to the CNA.

Singapore continues to be a strategic location for ExxonMobil with "a world-scale manufacturing complex and a talented workforce", the company said in a statement.

"The company remains committed to providing energy and products that are essential for society, while managing operations safely and responsibly, including reducing the risks of climate change."