Pipelines run at the McKay River Suncor oil sands in-situ operations near Fort McMurray, Alberta, September 17, 2014. In 1967 Suncor helped pioneer the commercial development of Canada's oil sands, one of the largest petroleum resource basins in the
The Bank of Canada has announced that it would keep the benchmark interest rate steady at 0.75 percent. Reuters/Todd Korol

Royal Dutch Shell has been forced to slash some jobs at its Albian Sands mining project in northern Alberta, Canada due to the continued decline of global crude oil prices. The company announced over the weekend it will shed between 5 percent to 10 percent from the over 3,000 workforce at the Athabasca oil sands project.

Prices for Brent, the global oil benchmark, continued to go down in recent weeks. Last week it hit below $US50 a barrel.

Company spokesman Cameron Yost said the job cuts will not be "layoffs in the traditional sense of the word," noting affected staff will be considered for other positions within Shell's operations both within Canada and outside of the country. "It's adjustments to the organizational structure."

He said the organizational restructuring will enable the company to increase efficiency because it puts the right number of people in the right positions.

Yost didn't confirm the jobs cuts were a direct consequence of the falling oil prices. He only said even if prices of crude oil in the world market, Shell will still highly carry out the workforce slash to ensure competitiveness, reports from Reuters and the Australia said. The Albian oil sands mining project churns 250,000 barrels of crude oil daily. Royal Dutch Shell Plc controls 60 percent of the project, with the remaining equally divided between Marathon Oil Corporation and Chevron Corporation.

Apart from Royal Dutch Shell Plc, a number of other oil producers have taken steps to reduce capital expenditure. Albertan oil sands producer Cenovus Energy Inc had announced in December 2014 it will strive to slash by 15 percent its expenditure budget for 2015 without hopefully resorting to laying off employees.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd had stopped recruiting, although it still remains to be seen if it will lay off any if its employees. MEG Energy Corporation had slashed by 75 percent its 2015 capital expenditure budget and maintained it will strive to maintain its 800 employees. Suncor Energy Inc, Imperial Oil Limited and Canadian Oil Sands Limited, three other companies involved in exploration activities in the Alberta oil sands, have yet to announce any job cuts to announce any job cuts.