TEXAS CITY

Staggered by a pandemic-driven demand slump, Marathon Petroleum Corp. plans to shutter two refineries and lay off thousands of employees this month, the company announced this week.

Job cuts likely will include workers at the company’s Galveston Bay Refinery, 2401 Fifth Ave. S. in Texas City, according to news reports.

The company didn’t say how many would lose jobs at the Galveston Bay Refinery, which employs about 1,800 people

“We are not reporting on a facility-by-facility basis,” Marathon spokesman Jamal Kheiry said.

Marathon will lay off about 2,050 employees nationwide, the company announced in a filing Wednesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It also will stop operations at its refineries in Martinez, California and Gallup, New Mexico.

The layoffs will affect 12 percent of Marathon’s employees, the filing said. Most of the employees were notified of the layoffs Thursday, and most of the reduction will take place this month.

An anonymous source, however, told Reuters news agency that 60 people had been laid off from the Texas City plant and up to 200 people could ultimately be laid off there.

Kheiry called the Reuters report “speculation.”

Marathon and other petroleum companies have been hit hard by low demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, in part because of travel restrictions and work-from-home policies, as well as by downturns in oil prices.

Marathon lost $9.2 billion in the first six months of 2020 and is expected to post a $623 million third-quarter loss, according to Reuters.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

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