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Top U.S. oil refiner Marathon Petroleum to lay off 12% of workforce

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A Marathon Petroleum banner covers an Andeavor sign outside the El Paso refinery in El Paso
A Marathon Petroleum banner covers an Andeavor sign outside the El Paso refinery in El Paso

(Reuters) - Marathon Petroleum Corp <MPC.N>, the largest U.S. oil refiner, said it would lay off about 2,050 employees, or 12% of its workforce, at its U.S. operations, excluding Speedway, as the COVID-19 pandemic crushed global demand for motor fuels.

The workforce reduction plan is a result of indefinite idling of its Martinez, California and Gallup, New Mexico refineries, the company said in the filing https://www.sec.gov/ix?doc=/Archives/edgar/data/1510295/000151029520000098/mpcform8-k9292020.htm.

Refiners and oil producers have been cutting staff, slashing spending and reducing production to cope with the slump in crude prices and a global glut of fuel.

On Wednesday, Royal Dutch Shell <RDSa.L> said it would dismiss up to 9,000 workers, or 10% of its staff, while oil majors, Chevron Corp <CVX.N> and Exxon Mobil Corp <XOM.N>, are in the process of restructuring their businesses to halt losses.

Marathon Petroleum said it expects to record charges of about $125 million to $175 million for severance and employee benefits-related expenses as a result of these actions.

The company said it expects the majority of the job cuts to take effect in October 2020.

Reuters had earlier reported about Marathon Petroleum cutting at least 6% of refinery staff at nine U.S. plants.

(Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)