Ophir Energy slashes 15 per cent of its workforce due to low oil prices

Courtney Goldsmith
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Ophir Energy floated in London in 2011 (Source: Getty)

UK oil and gas firm Ophir Energy will slash 15 per cent of its global workforce to reduce costs amid low oil prices.

The Asia and Africa-focused explorer said it will cut about half of corporate roles in the London office and expatriate positions, resulting in annual cost savings of $10-12m after one-off restructuring costs of $7m.

The company's chief operating officer, Bill Higgs, will also step down.

"We have taken certain difficult but necessary decisions to further reduce our cost base," said Nick Cooper, the boss of Ophir.

Shares in the company jumped more than seven per cent after the announcement this morning. In afternoon trading, shares in the firm were up 3.55 per cent at 73p.

Ophir said the job cuts came as it recognised limited signs of an oil price recovery and lower exploration activity.

Oil prices have fallen below $50 per barrel over the past month and a number of banks have recently slashed their price forecasts for the next two years. Before the price crash in 2014, oil traded at more than $100 a barrel.

The company also lowered its full-year production forecast in today's trading update for the half-year ending 30 June due to lower than expected output at its Kerendan gas field in Indonesia.

Read more: Ophir Energy shares jump 13 per cent on Equatorial Guinea agreement

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