UPDATE 2-Shell to cut 5 to 10 pct of jobs at oil sands project

Fri Jan 9, 2015 4:23pm EST
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(Adds update from other oil sands mining companies)

By Nia Williams

CALGARY, Alberta Jan 9 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell Plc will cut between 5 and 10 percent of the just over 3,000 jobs at its Albian Sands mining project in northern Alberta, a company spokesman said on Friday, although he refrained from connecting the move to plunging oil prices.

Spokesman Cameron Yost said the actual number of job reductions at the Canadian operation had not yet been finalized, adding it would be "well below" 10 percent.

The cuts were announced to Shell employees on Thursday.

Yost said those affected will be considered for other positions within Shell's operations.

"It's not layoffs in the traditional sense of the word," Yost said. "It's adjustments to the organizational structure."

Albian Sands is the mining portion of Shell's Athabasca Oil Sands project near Fort McMurray, Alberta, which also includes the 255,000 barrel-per day Scotford upgrader.

Last February, Shell halted work on its proposed 200,000 bpd Pierre River oil sands mine in Alberta, saying it was re-evaluating the timing of various asset developments.   Continued...