BP to lay off up to 80 employees from Indiana plant

An oil refinery in Whiting Ind. is seen Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2007. Oil prices stalled in their climb toward $100 a barrel Wednesday after a government report said oil inventories fell less than expected last week while refinery utilization remained flat. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

WHITING, Ind. (AP) — One of northwest Indiana’s largest and most stable industrial employers is planning to lay off up to 80 employees amid a global slump in the oil business.

BP Whiting Refinery spokesman Michael Abendhoff says the refinery expects a workforce reduction of 50 to 80 employees.

Analysts say falling crude oil prices and BP expenses from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 are at least partly to blame for the Whiting plant’s layoffs.

The refinery is the main source of gasoline for the Midwest. It employs about 1,850 workers and hundreds of maintenance contractors.

United Steelworkers District 7 Director Mike Millsap says contractors are also being laid off, but that those cuts won’t impact the union steelworkers who operate the refinery.

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