Shell cuts staff numbers in North Sea operations

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LONDON (AP) — Shell U.K. says it will cut at least 250 staff and contractors in the North Sea, amid sharp drops in the price of oil.

The oil company said Thursday the cuts are part of a range of initiatives it has been pursuing to manage costs and improve competitive performance.

The price of Brent crude, an international variety of oil, dropped about 50 percent last year and the industry is scrambling to figure out how to address the price shock.

Paul Goodfellow, Shell's upstream vice President for the U.K. and Ireland, says that despite tax breaks pledged by the British government, the industry had to double "its efforts to tackle costs and improve profitability if the North Sea is to continue to attract investment."