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Shell CFO Simon Henry says he cannot rule out further staff cuts

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Royal Dutch Shell not ruling out Canadian layoffs in 10% cut

By MARKUS ERMISCH, SUN MEDIA

Last Updated: 30th October 2009, 3:19am

Royal Dutch Shell, a major player in Alberta’s oilsands, is cutting 5,000 jobs internationally as part of a sweeping corporate reorganization.

Europe’s largest oil company, however, remains mum on how its Canadian workforce will be impacted.

Excluding contractors, Shell employs about 6,100 people in Canada, most of whom work in Alberta.

“A broader reorganization is now underway, and we expect a 10% headcount reduction in the redesigned divisions and functions, mostly in management and non-operational positions,” Simon Henry, Shell’s chief financial officer, said during a conference call yesterday.

The company is not ruling out layoffs in Canada, but declines to give details.

More than half of the job cuts will impact the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the U.S., said spokeswoman Kirsten Smart.

This latest announcement follows a 20% reduction of senior management positions over the summer.

Henry said he cannot rule out further staff cuts in other divisions of the company.

“We will not stop our intent to improve performance or to reduce costs where we need to reduce them as we reach the end of the year,” he said.

Shell’s third-quarter earnings totalled $3 billion this year, compared to $10.9 billion one year ago.

Earlier this month, the federal and Alberta governments chipped in a combined $800 million toward a project to reduce carbon emissions from Shell’s Athabasca oilsands project at the Scotford upgrader.

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