Shell to axe 2,500 jobs worldwide by 2007

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The Independent Online

Royal Dutch/Shell is to take the axe to its core oil and gas divisions over the next four years, cutting up to 2,500 jobs worldwide as part of a plan to achieve cost savings of $500m to $800m.

Royal Dutch/Shell is to take the axe to its core oil and gas divisions over the next four years, cutting up to 2,500 jobs worldwide as part of a plan to achieve cost savings of $500m to $800m.

The savings, outlined yesterday during an investor presentation in London, are equivalent to between 15 and 20 per cent of Shell's cost base in exploration and production and gas and power. Other targets unveiled by Walter van der Vijver, the head of Shell's E&P business, include a 6-8 per cent rise in annual earnings and $8bn-$9bn of investment a year across the two businesses.

The savings are on top of the $220m that Shell already expects to achieve following the takeover of Enterprise Oil and the bulk of them are due to be achieved by the end of this year, a spokesman said.

Shell has an upstream workforce of about 17,000. The company, led by chairman Sir Philip Watts, has already announced 350 job cuts in the North Sea where Shell is scaling back expenditure along with BP. Both companies have blamed the increase in North Sea taxation for their decision to concentrate investment in other parts of the world.

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