Bahrain Petroleum becomes the latest state owned entity in the Gulf to confirm redundancies of expat workers. Image Credit: AP

Abu Dhabi: Bahrain Petroleum Company is reducing its fixed costs by ending the contracts of hundreds of foreign employees, according to a spokesperson. But this applies only to expat workers.

“Job contracts of all employees, who will be made redundant, are close to expiring and some of the employees have reached retirement age and have high wages,” an official told Akhbar Al Khaleej newspaper

Bapco will employ more Bahrainis, especially with the refinery expansion project expected to be completed by 2022.

Refining margins under strain

“This year it was difficult for Bapco, with negative refining margins continuing, which we have not seen before,” according to an internal circular. “Once relative improvement in refining margins was seen, the coronavirus struck, causing huge financial losses in the industry and posing a huge challenge to all of our operations.

“We spend more than we earn, which requires the necessity of making difficult decisions to rationalise expenditures to ensure the continuity of Bapco in the future, and to enhance its substantive contributions to the Kingdom.

“Unfortunately, despite our strenuous efforts, the decision to reduce our fixed costs to make them smaller and more efficient has become imperative and necessary. We feel very sorry that we have to send termination notices to many of our colleagues.”