Shell Oil Co (www.shell.com) is considering staff cuts at its refineries and chemical plants on the U.S. Gulf Coast to reduce costs in the current recession, according to a report by Reuters (www.reuters.com). Plants being considered for cuts include refineries Shell operates jointly with Saudi Aramco through Motiva Enterprises and a Deer Park, Texas, refinery operated jointly with Mexican state oil company Pemex.

Reuters reports that Shell has no plans to sell any of its refineries and chemical plants, contrary to some rumors.

In January, Motiva pushed back by two years the completion date for a planned 325,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) expansion at the 285,000 bpd Port Arthur, Texas, refinery to 2012. Last week, Shell said it may close or sell its Montreal East refinery in Canada.

The total number of positions that may be eliminated has not been determined, according to Reuters. The reductions could include salaried, hourly and contract workers.

To read the full Reuters report on this story, click here.