(Sharecast News) - Royal Dutch Shell is reportedly close to announcing potentially thousands of job cuts as it responds to the global slump in oil prices and looks to reposition itself as a green energy provider.
In July, Shell posted a second-quarter net loss of $18.3bn, compared to a net profit of $3bn in the second quarter of 2019, after it wrote down the value of oil and gas assets following a collapse in oil prices.
Covid-19 has caused global demand for oil to plummet. Brent crude futures started the year at close to $70 per barrel but tumbled below $20 a barrel at the peak of the pandemic. As at 1300 BST on Tuesday, they were trading at $41.73 per barrel.
At the time, chief executive Ben van Beurden told reporters that plans to restructure and streamline the business were being drawn up and that Shell would end up "probably with fewer people" as a result.
According to a report in The Times on Tuesday, the Anglo-Dutch giant could set out the scale of those losses as early as Wednesday, when it is expected to update on trading ahead of posting third-quarter results in October.
A Shell spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
Shell, which earlier this year cut its dividend for the first time since the Second World War, wants to reduce its reliance on oil and gas and has set itself a goal of net zero emissions by 2050. It employs around 6,500 people in the UK out of a global workforce of approximately 83,000.
In June, fellow oil major BP announced it was cutting 10,000 jobs following the collapse in oil prices. BP employs around 15,000 people in the UK.
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