June 19, 2020 / 7:08 AM / 15 days ago

UPDATE 1-Gulf Keystone Petroleum to lay off about 40% of workforce

(Adds details on layoffs, production, and background)

June 19 (Reuters) - Gulf Keystone Petroleum said on Friday it would cut about 40% of its workforce as the London-listed oil producer grapples with the slump in oil prices and “reduction in the work programme” caused by the coronavirus crisis.

The operator of the Shaikan Field in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, with year-to-date production of an average 37,232 barrels of oil per day, said the layoffs included over 60% of expatriates.

The decision follows similar moves by oil majors, including Saudi Aramco that started laying off hundreds of employees, mostly foreigners, according to Reuters sources.

The average number of workers and contractors employed by the company stood at 407, according to its latest annual report.

The Bermuda-based company said it was on track to achieve savings from its operational and general and administrative expenses in excess of 20% this year.

Gulf Keystone also forecast 2020 operational expenditure of $2.7 to $3.1 per barrel, down from $3.9 per barrel last year.

Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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