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By Nia Williams
CALGARY, Alberta, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Canada’s largest pipeline company Enbridge Inc cut 5 percent of its workforce on Monday, a company spokesman said, as low crude prices continued to drag on the North American oil and gas industry.
Enbridge spokesman Graham White said the reductions were made across Canada and the United States and represented about 500 employees at all levels and 100 unfilled positions.
He said the reductions had nothing to do with the Canadian government’s announcement on Friday that it plans to ban tankers along British Columbia’s northern coast, where Enbridge’s long-delayed Northern Gateway pipeline terminates.
“All decisions were made prior to that announcement and Northern Gateway was not impacted by the reductions,” White added.
The layoffs at Enbridge follow tens of thousands of other job cuts across the Canadian oil and gas industry as a result of the prolonged slump in global crude prices. Producers have been hardest hit but service providers including pipeline companies are also feeling the pinch.
“While Enbridge is more resilient to commodity price downturns than others, we’re not immune,” the company said in a statement, adding it was making the cuts to remain competitive.
Rival pipeline company TransCanada Corp is also preparing for more job cuts this week, although a spokesman declined to provide more details until all managers, employees and contractors are notified.
TransCanada announced in October that is was eliminating about 20 percent of its directors as slumping oil prices continued to take its on customers. (Editing by Sandra Maler and Diane Craft)