Chevron has joined Woodside Petroleum in slashing job numbers at its WA gas operations to meet the combined threat of COVID-19 and sharply lower oil prices. The US-owned energy group today confirmed it was demobilising non-essential personnel from its gas sites in north west WA. However, like Woodside Chevron has declined to put a number on the cuts. Since Friday, Woodside has stood down up to 1000 contractors from roles also deemed non-essential, drawing criticism from unions who have accused the company of failing to support workers in a time of crisis. Chevron said today it was dealing with “extraordinarily challenging circumstances related to COVID-19”. CORONAVIRUS CRISIS “As we work through these challenges, our priorities are the health and safety of our employees, contractors and the community as well as maintaining vital supplies of natural gas to WA,” it said. “While we aim to minimise the impact of the current pandemic on our operations, we are starting to de-mobilise non-essential personnel at our natural gas sites. “We do not take these measures lightly and understand the impact this will have on some of our workforce.” Oil has rallied from its lows over the past few days, with Brent futures for delivery of oil in May trading at near $US28 a barrel. However, a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia that hangs over the market shows no sign of abating. And the threat of collapsing demand on the back of the coronavirus and a looming glut of oil make a sustained recovery in prices unlikely.