Colossal fossil ExxonMobil announced last week that it is laying off 14,000 people, or about 15% of its global work force, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues laying waste to global fossil fuel demand and driving down oil prices.
The cuts will include “deep white collar staff reductions” in Exxon’s operations in the United States, Reuters reports. “The figure will include losses from restructurings, retirements, and performance-based exits” for both staff and contract employees.
While Exxon blamed the pandemic for what it called its “ongoing efficiency work” [by which we’re sure they don’t mean energy efficiency—Ed.], the company “has struggled in recent years to regain footing after misplaced bets on shale gas and Russia exploration,” and “lost nearly US$1.7 billion in the first six months of the year.” On Friday, Exxon announced a $680-million loss for the third quarter, a more modest drubbing than some analysts expected, but still “significantly worse than those of its four peers, Shell, Total, BP, and Chevron,” the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis states. “These disappointing results challenge the company’s repeated claims that the fundamentals of the oil and gas industry have not changed.”
IEEFA says Exxon closed out the third quarter with less cash in hand than the other colossal fossils, and insufficient funds to cover its promised dividends to shareholders. “ExxonMobil also announced it would not raise its dividend for the first time in nearly 40 years.”