Shell job cuts: 2,200 more employees out of work in face of weak oil prices

Shell job cuts targeted to be 12,500 by year’s end

Shell job cuts in 2016 are equal to the entire workforce of Facebook.  Shell photo.

LONDON, May 25 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell will cut a further 2,200 jobs, taking its target for layoffs to 12,500 by the end of the year, the Anglo-Dutch oil firm said on Wednesday, as it cuts deeper in the face of weak oil prices.

Shell let go 7,500 staff and direct contractors last year and previously said 2,800 jobs would be cut with the integration of BG Group.

Whilst the Shell job cuts are small in comparison to the overall amount of people employed in the oil and gas industry, the company’s 12,500 job reductions are equal to the entire workforce of social media company Facebook.

The combined Shell-BG company employed around 94,600 staff at the end of 2015.

Shell announced that out of the additional 2,200 job losses, 475 will come from its upstream UK and Ireland business.

“Despite the improvements that we have made to our business, current market conditions remain challenging,” said Paul Goodfellow, Shell’s vice president for UK & Ireland, after breaking the news to employees in Scotland’s Aberdeen.

The oil major has significantly reduced its annual spending target to below $30 billion and is selling $30 billion worth of assets to weather weak oil prices which brought its 2015 earnings to the lowest in over a decade.

Shell said it expects net job losses in 2016 to be lower than 5,000 due to recruitment in IT and at the graduate level.

Shell started offering employees in Britain and the Netherlands voluntary redundancy last month.

(Reporting by Ron Bousso and Karolin Schaps, editing by Louise Heavens)

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