BP is more than halving the size of its senior management team as part of chief executive Bernard Looney’s drive to make the 111-year-old oil company more nimble as it prepares for the shift to low-carbon energy, Reuters reported.

Company sources told Reuters that the appointments mean BP will be cutting its leadership positions to about 120 from 250, with many veteran executives who held key positions under former chief executive Bob Dudley set to leave in the coming months.

In 14 May emails to staff seen by Reuters, Looney named over 100 so-called Tier 2 managers who will form the leadership teams of the 11 divisions he created in February to “reinvent” BP and move away from its traditional structure of upstream and downstream units.

“We expect the reinvented BP to be smaller and nimbler. We have already started by removing a layer of management at Tier 1 and 2,” Looney said in an email to staff.

BP on Friday confirmed to Reuters the management announcements detailed in the emails.

Emission statements: despite racking up net losses amid dire market conditions, oil giants, such as BP in late April, are commendably standing by their goals of reducing carbon emissions. Upstream's cartoon from 1 May, 2020 Photo: RYTIS DAUKANTAS/UPSTREAM

The changes mean that in many cases a whole management layer is being stripped out. For example, Starlee Sykes, who remains head of production for the Gulf of Mexico and Canada, is now two steps removed from Looney whereas before it was three.

The appointments marked Looney’s first 100 days in office, which have been dominated by a collapse in oil prices due to the coronavirus pandemic that has forced energy companies to rein in costs across the board.

In April, BP cut its budget by 25% to $12 billion and said it would find $2.5 billion (£2.05 billion) in cost savings by the end of 2021 through the digitalisation and integration of its businesses.

The London-based company, however, maintained its planned $500 million investment in renewables and low-carbon technology amid expectations of only a slow recovery in oil demand.

BP did not provide details about planned job cuts then and told the company’s 70,100 employees that any reductions would be frozen for three months in the wake of the pandemic.

Man on emission: Upstream cartoon as Looney took over the reins at BP from Bob Dudley Photo: RYTIS DAUKANTAS/UPSTREAM