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Shell shuffle likely won’t affect Motiva


December 17, 2009
Posted: December 17, 2009, 10:06 AM CST

The effect of Shell Oil Co.’s recent announcement of its plan to send what could be hundreds of Houston area jobs to other countries won’t be known on the company’s only property in Southeast Texas, the Motiva Port Arthur refinery, in the short term, a Shell spokeswoman said.

Motiva is a 50-50 joint venture between Shell and Saudi Refining. In 1988, Texaco and Saudi Refining formed a joint venture that became Star Enterprise. In 1997, Texaco and Shell formed a joint venture that became Motiva, headquartered in Houston. It operates three refineries in Port Arthur, and in Convent, La., and Norco, La.

Shell had been consolidating finance and information technology functions in the Philippines and India, a move that eventually will affect 5,000 employees around the world in the 100,000-employee company, said Shell spokeswoman Kelly Op De Weegh.

“This has been going on since 2006,” she said. “Employees have been sent to share service centers. This is not new.”

That does not mean 5,000 employees of Shell’s 13,000 employees in the Houston area will be “transitioning” abroad, Op De Weegh said.

Shell has 21,000 employees in the United States.

Also, she said any impact on Motiva is unknown.

“We do not have a specific number for our Motiva Port Arthur refinery for the current “Transition 09″ restructuring,” Op De Weegh said. “Of course, we’re expanding there.”

The refinery will be doubling in capacity to 600,000 barrels of crude processing capability per day. Op De Weegh said the refinery will be hiring about 300 permanent full-time employees for plant operations on completion of the project in 2012.

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