COMMODITY / ENERGY BRIEFS

COMMODITY / ENERGY BRIEFS

PHILLIPS BOOSTS STAKE

IN BRITTANIA GAS FIELD

NEW YORK - Phillips Petroleum Co. Tuesday announced its purchase of Amerada Hess' 1.76 percent interest in the Brittania Field located in the United Kingdom Sector of the North Sea.

The buy brings Phillips's total interest to 6.78 percent. Phillips also purchased from Hess its exploratory rights on two additional blocks in the region.

Brittania is the largest undeveloped gas discovery on the British continental shelf with an estimated 2.6 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas and 140 million barrels of natural gas liquids.

The purchase is subject to approval by the Secretary of State for Trade in Britain.

The Brittania Field is jointly operated by Chevron UK and Conoco UK Ltd.

JAPAN'S COSMO OIL

PLANS WORK-FORCE CUTS

TOKYO - The Cosmo Oil Co. business group will cut its 6,500-member work force by 10 percent over three years from April 1996 as part of restructuring efforts, Cosmo officials said Tuesday.

The plan is intended to cut excesses to deal with intensifying competition brought about by pending import liberalization of petroleum products, the officials said.

The job cuts will be achieved through a reduction in recruitment and by attrition, the officials said.

The parent company expects to cut its 3,700 personnel by 10 percent, they said.

Among other major oil companies, Japan Energy Corp. plans to halve the work force at its Tokyo headquarters, while Nippon Oil Co. plans to hire no new personnel next spring.

JUMP IN CORN PLANTINGS

PROJECTED FOR 1996

NEW YORK - IMC Global, a major U.S. fertilizer company, is projecting a 12 percent jump in U.S. corn plantings in 1996.

''With North America's corn ending stocks expected to fall to their lowest level in 20 years, we are projecting a 12 percent increase in 1996 corn plantings," said Wendell F. Bueche, chairman and chief executive.

The firm made the acreage forecast in its first-quarter earnings report Tuesday morning.

As a result of the corn acreage expansion, IMC Global looks for U.S. applications of phosphates and potash to increase 5 percent. In 1995, U.S. corn plantings were 71.3 million acres, according to the USDA.