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Royal Dutch Shell to axe 250 jobs in Aberdeen amid worldwide cull

The Herald

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  • Shell says that demand for oil will not recover quickly

Mark Williamson

Published on 30 Oct 2009

Royal Dutch Shell is set to shed up to 250 jobs in Aberdeen as part of a global cull of 5000 posts which it unveiled after announcing a big drop in third quarter profits on the back of falling oil prices.

Warning that global demand for oil would not recover quickly, the oil and gas giant said it would make the job cuts as the next stage of a drive initiated by new chief executive Peter Voser to boost profitability by simplifying the giant business.

This has already resulted in 150 out of 750 senior managers losing their jobs.

The next stage will affect staff in other grades.

Shell did not confirm where the axe will fall under the programme of cuts, which Voser said would be equivalent to 10% of the workforce in the areas affected.

However, in a statement the company indicated that Aberdeen would be hit hard, saying: “The next stages of the global re-organisation will take place between now and the end of the year and it is expected that 5000 people will leave Shell worldwide – mostly in management and non-operational positions.

“Work on the organisational design and consultation is continuing in the UK but it is now anticipated that between 200 and 250 people will be impacted by this process, mostly in management and non-operational positions, in Upstream International in the UK, which includes Aberdeen.”

The UK upstream business is run from Aberdeen. Shell employs around 1800 people directly working in the city or offshore.

While Shell chiefs insist that the company remains committed to the North Sea, the company has made big cuts in the numbers employed in Aberdeen in recent years. Last April the company announced plans to make 180 jobs onshore redundant.

The cost-cutting measures have helped Shell save $1bn (£606m) in the first nine months of this year. They are intended to reshape the company for the long term but could help deal with the challenging economic conditions that oil and gas firms are facing.

Oil prices plunged from a record $147 a barrel last August to less than half that level in the third quarter this year.

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