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Industry Briefs

Industry Briefs

U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Frank Murkowski (R-AK) is planning to take a closer look at the potential impact on his home state and on the West Coast of the proposed merger of BP Amoco and Atlantic Richfield Co. The committee has scheduled a hearing on June 24 at 9 a.m. to review the merger. BP Amoco-Arco would hold 75% of the Alaska North Slope oil fields and a similar share of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. It also would have control over 90% of the crude oil delivered to the West Coast. Its property holdings in Alaska would far exceed the maximum allowed by state law, although the companies said they plan to divest some of their leases. The merger would create the largest oil producer in the U.S. and the world's second-largest publicly traded oil firm, with a market capitalization of about $200 billion.

Household products giant and large energy user Procter & Gamble Co. said yesterday it plans to shut down 10 manufacturing plants and layoff 15,000 employees, roughly 13% of its workforce, as part of a $1.9 billion restructuring. P&G produces Tide laundry soap, Pampers diapers and Crest toothpaste. The restructuring is designed to help increase long-term annual sales and earnings per share over the next five years. The restructuring will generate after-tax cost savings of about $900 million by fiscal 2004, P&G said. The announcement marks the first major change under the leadership of Durk Jager, who was named CEO in September. The company said 10,000 jobs would be eliminated through fiscal 2001 and another 5,000 after 2001. P&G said 29% of the job cuts would be in North America.

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