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Shell shuts down three offices and asks the 1,600 staff involved to move or consider voluntary redundancy

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  • Oil giant warned last year that merger with BG would hit workers hard 

  • Staff in Reading and Manchester have option move to London head office 

  • Plans to put all London and South East operations into central London 

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 15.56.32By MARK SHAPLAND FOR THIS IS MONEY25 April 2016

Oil giant Shell is pushing ahead with plans to cut jobs and close three offices following its billion dollar takeover of rival BG Group earlier this year.

The cost-cutting drive will trigger the closure of the former BG Group headquarters in Reading and company offices in Aberdeen and Manchester.

The 1,600 staff employed at the sites who do not want to relocate will be offered voluntary redundancy.  

The firm warned last year that the impact of its mega-merger with BG Group would hit workers hard. 

Coupled with lower oil prices, Shell said 10,300 jobs would be lost in total.

It has already made 7,500 job cuts through an efficiency drive.

Huibert Vigeveno, BG Group chief executive, revealed the office shake-up during an announcement at the Thames Valley Park in Reading.

He said: ‘We now have the outcomes of the UK office footprint review. One of the review’s recommendations was to consolidate all Shell’s London and South East based operations into central London.

‘Our intention is therefore to close the Thames Valley Park campus by the end of this year.

‘The review also recommended that all Aberdeen-based onshore operations move to the Shell Aberdeen Tullos office, with BG’s offices at Albyn Place closing by the end of this year, and the closure of Shell’s Brabazon House office in Manchester by the end of 2017.’

A total of 800 people are employed at Thames Valley Park, 300 at Albyn Place and 500 staff at Brabazon House.

Staff at Thames Valley will have the option to move to Shell’s headquarters in central London, while employees at its Manchester office will also be offered redeployment to the capital. 

Workers in Aberdeen will not be offered the chance to move to London. 

The firm added that any staff that leave the company as part of the severance programme will be counted as part of its drive to cut 10,300 jobs. 

Royal Dutch Shell shareholders approved the company’s $49billion takeover of BG Group in January. 

Shell described the takeover of BG as a ‘new chapter’ in February when it announced an 80 per cent plunge in annual profits triggered by the tumbling oil price.

The cost of crude has collapsed by more than 70 per cent since a peak of around $115 a barrel in the summer of 2014.

Shell saw full-year earnings tumble to $3.8billion (£2.6 billion) in 2015 from $19billion in 2014, when it reported its annual results at the beginning of February.

It will report first quarter results a week tomorrow, on May 4.  

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