Phillips Alaska to lose 60 jobs in Conoco merger

Posted: Friday, August 16, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Phillips Petroleum Co.'s merger with Conoco Inc. will mean the loss of 60 jobs at Phillips Alaska Inc.

Employees could be transferred out of Alaska or could take severance pay to leave the company, a Phillips spokeswoman said Thursday.

That's more than a 6 percent reduction in the company's 950-employee work force in Alaska.

Most of the affected employees perform ''shared services'' for Phillips and its subsidiaries such as accounting, computer support and working on tax matters, said Dawn Patience, a Phillips spokeswoman in Anchorage.

Once Conoco and Phillips unite to form a new company, Conoco Phillips, some support functions will be centralized, Patience said. Some Alaska employees will be offered jobs either at Phillips' headquarters in Bartlesville, Okla., or in Houston where Conoco is based and where the new company will be headquartered, she said.

Also, some employees can opt for a severance package to leave Phillips, said Patience. In any event, 60 Phillips Alaska jobs are likely to go away, including some in Anchorage where as many as half the company's employees work on any given day, she said. The rest work in the North Slope oil fields.

Alaska employees received an e-mail last week on the company's plans. A couple of months ago, employees likely to be affected by consolidation were surveyed for their preference on moving or taking severance, Patience said.

The merger still must be approved by the Federal Trade Commission. Conoco and Phillips hope approval will come by the end of the year.

''All employees will know their status in 45 days after the merger is approved,'' Patience said.

Phillips is a top Alaska oil producer, along with Exxon and BP. Last November, Conoco, with 20,000 employees and $27.9 billion in assets as of the end of March, and Phillips, with 37,400 employees and $36 billion in assets, announced a ''merger of equals'' in which two second-tier oil companies would unite as a new global giant.

Conoco and Phillips each have operations around the world, including the North Sea, Venezuela and the Lower 48.

Conoco had no workers in Alaska after 1993, when it swapped the Milne Point oil field on the North Slope to BP for properties in the Gulf of Mexico.

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