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Oct 2, 2020

Suncor plans to cut about 2,000 jobs, 10-15% of its workforce

Suncor to cut around 2,000 jobs

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Suncor Energy Inc. is slashing as many as 2,000 jobs as the company looks to align itself with the current oil price environment. 

Suncor chief executive officer Mark Little told employees Friday during a conference call the company is planning to cut its headcount by about 10 to 15 per cent over the next 12 to 18 months, according to a company spokesperson. The Calgary-based company currently employs about 13,000 people, meaning those targets would result in around 2,000 job cuts. 

Suncor is reportedly examining all potential avenues to achieve those cuts, including natural attrition, offering early retirements and employees taking voluntary buyouts, the spokesperson said. The company has been implementing new technologies that would reduce its workforce needs, but Little said during the conference call the reality of the pandemic has forced the firm to take more immediate action on its headcount, the spokesperson said.

Suncor executives have shared in the workforce’s pain, with Little and his top lieutenants among the first executive teams to announce they were taking voluntary pay cuts in the face of the pandemic, the company announced earlier this year.

Suncor and its energy patch peers have come under pressure from a decline in oil prices precipitated by a lack of demand wrought by the COVID-19 outbreak. That demand shortfall has prompted a number of prominent industry associations, including the International Energy Agency, to cut their outlook forecasts.

Suncor has also faced operational challenges, with a fire at its Base Plant facility and subsequent repair turnaround time prompting the firm to trim its production outlook. Suncor is estimating average production of between 680,000 and 710,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, down from the range of 800,000 and 840,000 boe/day it forecast last December.