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Shell to cut 1,300 jobs in Malaysia over two years

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By Collin Eaton: 29 Sept 2015

HOUSTON — Royal Dutch Shell’s oil unit in Malaysia said it will cut 1,300 jobs, or about 20 percent of its Malaysian workforce, over the next two years as it restructures itself.

Shell Malaysia said Tuesday it is trying to become a more efficient company but gave few details beyond disclosing the coming staff reductions. It said it has made “adjustments” to its upstream portfolio but didn’t elaborate.

“Shell Malaysia is preparing itself to be more competitive in a low oil price environment,” Shell Malaysia Chairman Iain Lo said in a written statement. “Continuing business as usual is not sustainable. We are taking difficult, but necessary action.”

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Shell began pumping oil from its first deep-water platform off the coast of Malaysia late last year, producing about a quarter of the Southeast Asian country’s oil output. Shell operates the Gumusut-Kakap platform but shares ownership with ConocoPhillips and Petronas.

For the past six years, Shell has spent about $100 million annually looking for oil. It said earlier this month it has put together massive pieces of a tension leg platform slated to drill off the coast of Malaysia, its second project there, and produce up to 60,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day.

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Shell’s job cuts come as the broader oil industry has cut more than 200,000 jobs, according to energy recruiter Swift Worldwide Resources and Houston-based consultant Graves & Co. Graves estimates oil exploration firms have cut 30,559 jobs, or about 15 percent of the industry’s total, while oil field service firms have cut 99,656 jobs, nearly half of the cuts.

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