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BP pulls reins tighter, freezes pay

British energy company BP said that, barring a few exceptions, it was freezing pay rates to cope with a weak oil price environment.

BP in mid-January said it was laying off around 200 members of the onshore staff involved with North Sea operations to cope with the steep decline in crude oil prices, off by more than half of their June values. Now, it's keeping pay rates steady company-wide.

"We intend to freeze base pay across the company (with a few exceptions)," a spokesman from the company's North American operations told UPI in response to e-mail questions Monday. "Together, with the work we are doing to simplify and increase efficiency throughout BP, we see this as a prudent response to the currently challenging market environment in which BP operates."

Late last year, the company said it was basing some of its operational plans on oil at $80 per barrel, but examines them at $60 per barrel to weigh resiliency. The company said it would assess programs with oil priced lower than it is now "as appropriate."

Brent crude oil was priced near $48 per barrel early in the Tuesday session.

Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley in December said he was working to "right-size" the company, telling investors the company was streamlining its operations by eliminating redundancies and putting an end to activity he felt was not in line with the BP's growth strategies.

Though BP said it expects to incur "restructuring charges" of around $1 billion during the next five quarters, it said new programs will add more than 900,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to its portfolio by 2020.

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