LONDON (AP) — British Petroleum PLC plans to cut 6,000 jobs, mostly in the United States, as part of its $48 billion purchase of Amoco Corp. — the biggest foreign takeover of an American company, the oil giant said Tuesday. The companies intend to save $2 billion a year by 2001 largely through eliminating jobs, including about 1,000 from closing BP’s North American headquarters in Cleveland. BP and Amoco offices in Houston would be consolidated, under the deal announced Tuesday.
The new company — to be called BP Amoco — would be the second biggest gasoline retailer in the United States behind a joint venture that covers Shell and Texaco gasoline stations. Existing BP stations would be converted to Amoco.
By combining themselves top to bottom, the companies are attempting a mega-merger similar to those that have reshaped other global industries.
Such combinations had proved elusive in an oil sector that has been battered recently by the lowest oil prices in a decade and persistently weak retail gasoline prices. Until now, oil companies limited their combinations to refineries, shying away from outright mergers.
BP, the world’s third biggest oil company, and Amoco, the fifth largest in the United States, said they are trying to get bigger and stronger rather than merely finding ways to weather a depressed and changing market.
The Amoco headquarters in Chicago would become the group’s U.S. headquarters and eventually the center of BP Amoco’s global chemicals business. The 6,000 job cuts would amount to about 6 percent of the combined company’s work force.
BP Amoco would be the biggest oil producer in the United States, pumping crude in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico and parts of the lower 48 states. It would have many more wells around the globe, including BP’s extensive operations in the British North