Chevron said Wednesday it plans to cut 350 jobs in the Gulf of Mexico next year.
The latest round of layoffs to hit the U.S. oil giant comes as Chevron accelerates plans to sell off its shallow-water assets in the Gulf in order to focus on deepwater drilling. The process is set to begin next year and wrap up by the end of 2017.
In July, Chevron said it would cut 1,500 jobs worldwide, including from its Covington office, where about 720 employees were stationed this fall — out of more than 2,000 in Chevron’s Gulf business unit.
On Wednesday, Chevron spokeswoman Leah Brown declined to say how many jobs in Covington will be affected in the latest restructuring.
“Chevron is continuing to adapt to the evolving business environment by revising organizational structures, increasing efficiencies and reducing expenses,” Brown said in an email. “In the Gulf of Mexico, this includes transitioning to a deepwater-focused business with fewer, more complex assets.”
In recent months, the New Orleans area has felt the pinch from the latest boom-or-bust oil cycle, which has spurred layoffs at many of the world’s largest energy producers.
This year, Royal Dutch Shell, which also boasts a large presence in the area, said it would cut about 6,500 jobs worldwide. The company’s CEO, Ben van Beurden, speculated that the latest industry downturn could stretch several years.
Shell also declined to disclose how many jobs in Louisiana would be affected.
Meanwhile, Brent crude oil prices, the standard used to price oil destined for many U.S. refineries, hovered around $42.40 Wednesday, and retail prices for regular unleaded gasoline hit their lowest point heading into a Thanksgiving holiday weekend in seven years.
On Monday, gasoline prices averaged $2.09 per gallon nationwide, down 73 cents from a year ago. That’s the lowest price heading into the Thanksgiving holiday — one of the heaviest travel times of the year — since 2008, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
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