Chevron to keep, possibly expand Coast refinery

Company will cut 2,000 jobs worldwide

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 Chevron Refinery in Pascagoula.

PASCAGOULA

Chevron Corp. announced Tuesday that it will continue to operate and perhaps even expand its Pascagoula refinery.

The announcement came at a time when the corporation is dealing with cutbacks worldwide in its struggling refinery, marketing and transportation operations.

The corporate home office in California announced Tuesday that Chevron will cut 2,000 jobs worldwide this year. It also will seek to sell some overseas entities.

Executives with the major oil producer are still deciding where and when they will eliminate the jobs as they try to complete a restructuring by the third quarter, company spokesman Lloyd Avram said from California. Additional cuts are expected next year.

Chevron refers to its refining, marketing and transportation as the downstream portion of the business.

Chevron employs 17,000 in downstream operations worldwide and the projected cuts represent almost 12 percent of those workers, or just over 3 percent of its overall workforce of 64,000.

The Pascagoula refinery is Chevron’s largest in the United States with a workforce of about 1,500 and the ability to refine 330,000 barrels of crude oil a day into 5.5 million gallons of gasoline and other fuels.

“It’s been selected as one that will continue operations,” Avram said Tuesday. “And the base-oil project at the refinery will continue to be in our plans.”

The base-oil expansion for Pascagoula was first announced in 2008, but was put on the back burner.

Avram said the company has no start or completion date for the expansion, but “that facility, when completed, will produce 25,000 barrels a day of base oil that is used to produce premium motor oils.”

As part of the downstream reorganization, Chevron plans to seek a buyer or buyers for its operations in Europe, including the Pembroke, Wales, refinery, as well as the Caribbean and select Central America markets. It’s also reviewing operations in Hawaii and Africa, outside of South Africa.

“We intend to further concentrate our downstream portfolio in North America and Asia-Pacific,” said Mike Wirth, Chevron’s executive vice president, global downstream. “These are markets in which we have our greatest competitive strength. We are also rapidly and aggressively lowering costs, reducing capital spending, improving efficiency and simplifying our organization.”

Karen Nelson contributed to this report.

STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

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