Chevron to lay off 6-7,000 as oil price plunge hits

Chevron, for example, announced it is cutting 6,000 to 7,000 jobs and selling assets after reporting a 63.6-percent dive in net profits for the third quarter (AFP Photo/Justin Sullivan)

New York (AFP) - US oil giant Chevron said Friday it was going to cut between 6,000 and 7,000 jobs and continue with asset sales as the company retrenches amid sharply lower oil prices.

The layoffs equate to about 10 percent of its workforce, and come after the company already announced in July cuts of 1,500 jobs.

Chevron also said it would pursue further asset sales, expecting to raise $5-10 billion through 2017 after bringing in $11 billion from sales over the past two years.

The company is slicing capital expenditures next year by 25 percent to $28 billion at most.

"We expect further reductions in spending for 2017 and 2018, to the $20 to $24 billion range, depending on business conditions at the time," chairman and chief executive John Watson said in a statement.

"With the lower investment, we anticipate reducing our employee workforce by 6–7,000."

The US oil major reported a 63.6 percent fall in earnings to $2.04 billion in the quarter to September 30 compared to a year ago.

Upstream earnings -- the exploration and production part of the business -- barely cleared a profit, with just $59 million, against $4.65 billion a year ago.

Holding up profits were downstream operations, which earned $2.21 billion.