Chevron announces layoffs at San Ramon offices

 SAN RAMON (BCN) -- Roughly 500 people working out of Chevron's corporate offices in San Ramon will be losing their jobs, a spokeswoman for the oil giant said Thursday.

   The job reductions are part of a $1 billion cost-savings effort for the company, Chevron spokesperson Melissa Ritchie said. 

   "These initiatives, which are currently underway, are focused on increasing efficiency, reducing costs and focusing on work that directly supports business priorities," Ritchie said. 

   The company plans to shed 1,500 jobs overall, with 950 positions eliminated from its Houston office and 50 from international offices.

   There are roughly 270 currently vacant positions spread out across all of its corporate offices that won't be filled, Ritchie said, but she said she didn't have a breakdown of exactly where those vacant positions are located.

   In addition, Ritchie said the company is cutting 600 contractors who help augment the corporate staff.

   At the company's annual stockholder's meeting in May, Chevron board chairman and CEO John Watson said the company has the "financial strength to meet the challenges of a volatile crude price environment."

   "We're reducing capital spending, we have implemented significant cost-reduction programs and have further streamlined our portfolio as planned."