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Motiva to cut about 200 jobs, citing COVID-19 impact

Motiva Enterprises will cut about 200 jobs as a result of the impact the coronavirus pandemic had on the economy.

Press representatives for oil refining company have confirmed reports that the cuts are expected to be made by September and will affect salaried and professional contract employees.

“Motiva is taking actions to ensure an optimal cost structure and improve efficiency in response to the volatile landscape of the energy industry,” Motiva wrote in a statement to The News.

“Motiva can confirm it will combine the Port Arthur Refinery and Port Arthur Chemicals into one Port Arthur Complex. These organizational changes will enable the company to accelerate capturing existing synergies and optimizing processes. The company will continue producing transportation fuels and chemicals responsibly with safety, financial stewardship, and operational excellence at its core.”

The Port Arthur Refinery is the largest in North America and has a crude capacity of 630,000 barrels per day. Motiva’s equity terminals supply gasoline and diesel to thoustands of retail outlets under brands Shell and 76, according to its website.

Motiva employs 2,700 U.S. employees. Those who will be laid off include employees at its Port Arthur Refinery, Port Arthur Chemicals, terminal and headquarters in Houston.

Motiva spokespersons also confirmed the company expected at the start of the year to see increased margins for motor fuel thanks to a change in marine fuel and gasoline standards.

Motiva declined to comment on the operational status of units reported to shut down this month “for competitive reasons,” but said it routinely plans maintenance on equipment to ensure the units operate safely and reliably.

Such shutdowns would not be related to the organizational changes, it added.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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