Today BP announced plans for changes to its North Sea organisation meant to secure a long-term future for the company's oil and gas business in the UK.

The company's North Sea operations has suffered somewhat as production in the region has gone down whilst costs have grown significantly.

The plans propose a change in structure to trim its organisational units and management layers. This is designed to allow consolidation of onshore non-technical support activities, which should lead to economies of scale as well as making things simpler.

The changes, according to BP, are likely to cost around 350 their jobs. The majority of which would be office based support jobs at the Aberdeen Headquarters of BP's North Sea operations.

These plans are an important step in delivering BP's agenda of simplifying how the company is run and ensuring resources are focused on front-line delivery, said Chief Executive for Exploration and Production Andy Inglis said in a statement. Furthermore, they will help secure our continuing presence in the UK's North Sea.

The proposed changes are likely to be introduced relatively slowly and in what BP describes as a carefully considered and measured programme over the next six months.

No offshore jobs are believed to be at risk as a result of the changes.