Shell to close three UK offices housing 1,600 staff

Oil company announces closure of sites including BG’s headquarters in Reading following takeover earlier this year

Royal Dutch Shell is closing three UK offices, affecting 1,600 employees, including BG’s headquarters in Reading, after its £35bn takeover of the oil and gas company earlier this year.

It has also begun a voluntary redundancy programme as part of a plan to cut 10,300 jobs across the merged group, comprising 7,500 from the original Shell business, as it attempts to cope with the recent plunge in oil prices, and another 2,800 following the merger with BG.

The Reading office will close by the end of the year and the 800 staff based there will be offered the chance to move to Shell’s central London base, which will house the entirety of the company’s south-east England operations.

The company will shut BG’s offices at Albyn Place in Aberdeen and move the 300 workers based there to Shell’s office in the city by the end of this year. Shell’s Brabazon House office in Manchester, which houses 500 people, is also to shut by the end of 2017.

Shell said it would offer voluntary redundancy to staff who were unwilling to move. The programme will also be available to other employees across its upstream – exploration and production – and technology businesses, but not at its downstream – fuel sale – operations.

“This [voluntary redundancy programme] is in the context of the reality of a lower for longer oil price environment, and is not exclusively related to the Shell-BG combination,” the company said. “A similar proposal was communicated to Shell staff in the Netherlands earlier this month.”

Anyone who takes voluntary redundancy will be included in the 10,300 proposed job cuts.

The merger was formally completed in February despite 17% of Shell shareholders voting against the deal after the price of oil fell since the agreement was originally announced.

Contributor

Nick Fletcher

The GuardianTramp

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