Reports said yesterday that thousands of jobs are under threat at oil and gas giant Shell.

The company is due to publish an interim business update today (Wednesday) ahead of quarterly results, which many expect will cast more light on the situation.

The British newspaper, The Times said yesterday that hundreds of jobs would be cut in the UK as part of a wider reorganisation of the company, which employs about 83,000 people worldwide.

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There were hints in July that Dutch company was going to cut jobs. There have already been reports that Shell wants to cut its oil and gas production costs by 40%. This would be part of a strategic overhaul with a focus on energy transition and a simplification of the company’s structure.

The paper said a Shell spokesman said the company was busy with a strategic reorientation in view of the energy transition, and did not wish to comment on rumours of job cuts.

Shell chief executive officer, Ben van Beurden said last July that the energy giant will “resize as appropriate” as it moves to become a “simpler and leaner” organisation.

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He said designs to restructure and streamline the firm were being drawn up, meaning it “will end up, probably, with fewer people.” The company had posted second quarter losses of $18.1billion.

The company currently employs around 83,000 people worldwide, with “really difficult decisions” already being made such as voluntary severance programmes and freezing bonuses to reduce costs.

It comes as the energy giant seeks to reposition the business post-Covid, with the virus leading to huge write-downs of its oil and gas businesses, as it heads towards net zero.

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Mr van Beurden hoped that the work will help “improve the situation” but it is “too premature” to give figures in terms of how much Shell will shrink its workforce, he said.

The report yesterday confirmed Beurden’s statements then when he said, “a clearer picture might arise in coming months for the company.” Shell employs about 6,000 people in the UK alone

By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

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