Origin Energy slashes 650 jobs in Queensland

Origin Energy slashes 650 jobs in Queensland
Origin Energy will slash more than a third of its 1,600 jobs in Queensland with most of the cuts to affect its Brisbane head office.

Staff at the Brisbane-based oil and gas producer and energy retailer were informed by email this morning that around 650 jobs will be cut this year with 500 workers to lose their jobs as early as April.

The massive cull follows Origin's $1.6 billion sale of its conventional oil and gas arm, Lattice Energy, to Beach in a transaction that is expected to be completed by Wednesday.

It also follows the completion of the ramp-up of production at the new $25 billion Australia Pacific LNG project in Queensland, now the dominant asset in the division after the sale of Lattice Energy.

A company statement says the restructure will result in an increased focus on jobs at operational plant sites with a strong presence in regional communities.

"The loss of jobs is never a decision taken lightly and we are putting considerable effort into completing this process as quickly as we can so we can provide certainty to our people," CEO Frank Calabria says.

"We firmly believe these changes are both necessary and sustainable, in the best interests of Origin and our project partners, and put us in a strong position to achieve our objective of becoming a globally competitive, low cost gas producer."

Origin also says the job cuts were part of its plan to slash costs and protect against swings in commodity prices.

Origin sacked about 800 workers in 2015 when oil and gas prices collapsed, and late last year the company said it would cut more than half a billion dollars in annual costs.

Origin Energy has been through a tough couple of years, marked by weaker oil prices and a third consecutive year of big losses with the 2017 net profit loss of $2.22 billion.

Its cumulative losess since 2015 is $3.8 billion, and since 2014 Origin's share price has been halved, which is roughly in line with the reduction in oil price.


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