Doris Leblond, OGJ Correspondent
PARIS — 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.