ConocoPhillips to layoff 419 workers at Pennsylvania refinery

ConocoPhillips is planning to lay off the staff at its idled Trainer, Pa., refinery in January, according to a company filing with Pennsylvania's Department of Labor and Industry. ConocoPhillips, which idled the 185,000 barrel-per-day refinery in September after putting it up for sale, sent a notice to state regulators saying it plans to cut 419 jobs. The effective layoff date for most of the workers is Jan. 16, 2012, according to the filing. Federal laws require large companies to disclose layoff plans at least 60 days ahead of time.

ConocoPhillips will only lay off the workers if no buyer is found within two months and will redeploy employees to other positions within the company "where feasible," said company spokesman Rich Johnson. Johnson added the company anticipates beginning laying off employees in January if no buyer has been identified by that time.

High crude oil prices in the U.S. Northeast and intense competition from European fuel imports make the region a tough market for refiners, and ConocoPhillips has said it wasn't willing to continue to invest in the plant.

Source: Bartlesville Radio