By Sabrina Valle

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp said on Wednesday its global staffing fell by 9,000 people last year amid cost-reduction efforts after the Covid-19 pandemic battered energy demand and prices.

The U.S. largest oil producer has been slashing costs and debt to boost cash returns to shareholders. In 2021, Exxon posted its best financial results in seven years driven by rising oil prices, reversing a historic $22.4 billion in 2020.

Exxon ended 2021 with 63,000 regular employees, it said in a filing, down from 72,000 in 2020 and from 74,900 before the pandemic. The number does not include contractors.

(Reporting by Sabrina Valle)