Three hundred jobs in BP’s North Sea oil fields are to be struck in a shake-out brought on by the ongoing slide in oil prices, the company said Thursday.wpid-oil.jpg

Shell cut 250 North Sea jobs in August, while Chevron laid off 225 workers in July.

Trevor Garlick, head of BP North Sea, said oil at less than 50 dollars a barrel “has simply made this even more imperative.”

Energy analysts Wood Mackenzie have warned that, if the oil price slipped below 40 dollars, operators could close wells.

The Edinburgh-based consultancy said with prices at 50 dollars a barrel, producing oil would cost more than its value in 17 countries, including Britain and the United States.

“Many North Sea fields are old and are reaching the end of their lives,” the firm said. “A company seeking to reduce its expenditure for the next two to three years may prefer to operate with a small loss rather than start the decommissioning process which may cost hundreds of millions of dollars.”

An estimated 25 billion barrels remain in the North Sea.


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