UPDATE 1-Penn West, ConocoPhillips cut combined 900 jobs in Canada

Tue Sep 1, 2015 1:35pm EDT
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(Adds Penn West layoffs, quote)

By Nia Williams

CALGARY, Alberta, Sept 1 (Reuters) - ConocoPhillips and Penn West Petroleum are eliminating a combined 900 jobs in Canada, the two companies said on Tuesday, as low oil prices persist.

Both companies said most of their cuts would come from their offices in Calgary, the corporate capital of Canada's 3.7 million barrel-per-day oil industry.

Global oil major ConocoPhillips is laying off 400 employees, 15 percent of its Canadian workforce, and 100 contractors.

Spokesman Rob Evans said the cuts, which staff were told about on Monday, would take effect in mid-October.

"We had previously informed staff that there would be reductions by the end of the year, so yesterday's announcement was meant to add context and clarity to that conversation," Evans said.

ConocoPhillips, which has oil sands operations as part of its international portfolio, is reducing its global workforce by 10 percent on average because of low oil prices.

News of the cuts came on the same day the company announced first oil at its new Surmont 2 thermal project in northern Alberta.   Continued...