BP, the UK oil company has announced it will cut 4,000 jobs in its upstream exploration and drilling operations globally, out of which 600 will be affected within its hard-hit North Sea business, by end 2017, as a result of firm’s decline in profits over the drop in global oil prices, BBC reported. BP added that some jobs might be lost in the downstream business, however, no estimates were yet ready.

“We are trying to reduce costs and capital spending and focus on priority, high-quality areas where we see maximum return,” BP’s spokesman stated, according to Telegraph. This move comes as the company records decline in profits to $1.8b in Q3, compared with $3b in the same period the year before.

The North Sea operations job cuts will affect employees in Aberdeen and at the Sullom Voe terminal in Shetland, reducing the work force by 20%. This is due to the fact that the North Sea oil sector is one of the most expensive places to pump crude in the world and current oil price collapse has made many fields unprofitable in this most prolific oil and gas basin in western Europe, wrote The Financial Times. BP, however, stressed that it remained committed to the North Sea projects, with plans to pursue intended investments of up to $4b in 2016, aiming to bring two new major projects online in the region in 2016/17, according to Telegraph.