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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shell to Cut Jobs, Raise Production in Nigeria

LAGOS, Nigeria -- Oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell said Monday it planned to streamline its operations in this West African nation, cutting jobs in a bid to boost oil production by half a million barrels per day.

Shell will close some of its Nigerian offices and create "a single corporate center," running a leaner and more efficient organization in the country, the company said in a statement.

Shell Nigeria's managing director, Chris Finlayson, said the reorganization's aim was to raise Shell's oil production from about 1 million barrels daily at present to 1.5 million barrels daily by 2006. Shell expects the move will help lower the cost of producing crude oil to $1.50 per barrel from about $2 per barrel, the statement said.

Shell already pumps about half of all oil produced in Nigeria, which is the source of one-fifth of U.S. oil imports.

Finlayson said it was "premature to speculate on details" of the reorganization, but a senior company official said that about 30 percent, or 1,500, of its work force of about 5,000 will be laid off.

Shell will relocate its Nigerian headquarters from the commercial hub of Lagos to the southeastern oil industry capital of Port Harcourt, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The company also plans to scale back its activities in the troubled oil port city of Warri, where more than 200 people have been killed in the last year as rival ethnic militias fought over benefits from oil operations in the area.