Refiner Phillips 66 cutting staff at refineries, terminals, offices -sources

The Phillips 66 gas station in Superior
The Phillips 66 gas station in Superior, Colorado, U.S., July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

HOUSTON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - U.S. oil refiner Phillips 66 (PSX.N) has begun reducing staff at several refineries, refined products terminals and offices as part of a restructuring program, said two people familiar with the matter.

Phillips 66 spokesperson Bernardo Fallas confirmed that some jobs were being eliminated at the company.

"Phillips 66 is undergoing a companywide effort to optimize its cost structure and reimagine its operating model to enable sustainable savings," Fallas said. "As a result of this effort, some employees have been given new assignments in their current location, while some have been offered positions at other sites and some positions have been eliminated."

Fallas offered no other details about the layoffs.

The job cuts affect a small number of salaried employees in management and upper-level technical services workers at several locations. A small number of hourly workers also will lose their jobs, the people said.

Some salaried employees at refineries in Sweeny, Texas, Ponca City Oklahoma and Wood River, Illinois, have been told their jobs are being eliminated, the people said. It was not clear how many positions were being eliminated across its operations.

Phillips 66 in July under new Chief Executive Mark Lashier said it would cut at least $700 million in expenses to "remain competitive in any market environment" and prepare for the transition to renewable and cleaner energies from fossil fuels.

While reaping record profits, Phillips 66 and other U.S. refiners have launched cost reduction programs, said Matthew Blair, head of chemicals, refiners and renewable fuels research at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co.

The job cuts now underway "would likely fit that plan," said Blair.

Earlier this year, Phillips 66 laid-off nearly all of the 450 employees at a shuttered oil refinery in Louisiana as it converted the hurricane-damaged plant to a products terminal.

The company’s third-quarter results are expected to benefit from strong demand for motor fuels. Analysts expected adjusted per share profit of $5.03, up from $2.94 in the same quarter a year ago when results are released on Nov. 1, according to Refinitiv IBES.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; editing by Diane Craft

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