Qatar Petroleum cuts 800 staff amid coronavirus downturn: Sources

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Qatar Petroleum (QP), the country’s state oil and gas producer, has fired 800 employees, a former employee of QP told Al Arabiya English.

The headcount cut comes as the coronavirus pandemic slashes global demand for petroleum products, rewriting the economic landscape for oil and gas producers.

“We had to take the difficult decision to release a number of employees. Among them were people who served QP for many years with great commitment, and who contributed to QP’s success,” Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs, and President and CEO or Qatar Petroleum said in an email to employees seen by Al Arabiya English.

Al-Kaabi went on to say that the cut in staff had now been concluded, and that the company’s leadership team believes it “will not need to review our manpower levels again for the foreseeable future.”

Doha has been isolated from regional markets in recent years since Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar more than two years ago over accusations that Qatar supports extremist groups across the region.

Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) said last week that they would be open to restoring diplomatic relations with Qatar, but only when Doha agrees to meet the demands of the Arab Quartet.

Qatar, which reported three new deaths from the coronavirus on Sunday, has sought to contain the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, with other state properties likewise seeking enormous job cuts.

A company notice seen in May suggested that state airline Qatar Airways was also planning a “substantial number” of job redundancies. The airline also plans to cut the size of its fleet by around 25 percent.

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