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Shell may have to cut more jobs after laying off 12,500 people over the past year, CEO Ben van Beurden told The Telegraph. The new cuts would be prompted by a “continuous improvement drive,” he added.
Elaborating on what this drive would imply, Van Beurden noted jobs are becoming unnecessary as business operations get shut down, or positions being moved to another part of the world, or becoming redundant because of the drive for enhanced business efficiency.
After its US$53-billion acquisition of BG Group, which closed around six months after the start of the price rout, Shell has been struggling to make ends meet, cutting costs, slashing jobs and shelving projects, including its massive Arctic exploration project.
Now, despite a certain improvement in prices and synergies coming in from the tie-up with BG Group, the situation is still tough and layoffs are one of the easiest ways to cut costs, as demonstrated across the oil and gas board, where job losses are in six-figure territory to date, raising concerns the industry may well be in for a workforce shortage in the not too distant future.
In his interview with The Telegraph, Van Beurden also said that he expected oil prices to remain volatile in the coming years but that eventually they will rebound more consistently. He could not, however, point to any price level that will see prices stabilizing after the volatility subsides.
By Irina Slav or Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.