Shell to reduce presence in France

Royal Dutch Shell PLC plans to reduce gradually its 90-year presence in France.

May 7th, 2009

Doris Leblond
OGJ Correspondent

PARIS, May 7 -- Royal Dutch Shell PLC plans to reduce gradually its 90-year presence in France. The move was started just after the major sold its three French refineries on Apr. 1, 2008, Shell spokesman Jean-Marc Specque told OGJ.

"We have already announced a number of reorganizations," Specque said, pointing to the research center at Petit-Couronne in Normandy that specializes in lube oils, bitumen, and other products. It will be transferred to other Shell research units worldwide as the group reorganizes its research base on a global and "more intelligent basis," he said.

Shell leads in France as an LPG distributor with its Butagaz brand, and is the country's second-largest lube oil provider. Shell also is a leading bitumen producer and is second, after Total SA, in highway retail outlets in France.

The shutdowns, which will entail 400 job cuts out of a total of 1,200 workers, will be implemented starting in September and last until yearend 2011, Shell said.

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