Chevron Corp. said that about 1,100 employees are eligible for severance payments at the end of the first quarter, after eliminating the positions as part of a restructuring and reorganization plan.

In a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the nation's second largest oil company said that about 300 employees within the company's downstream operations had received severance packages as of March 31.

The remainder of the lay-offs will take place this year, and the entire process will be complete by 2009.

According to Thursday's filing, Chevron's refining earnings dropped 84 per cent from a year earlier to $252m. Most of the positions are located outside the U.S.

Chevron said last week its first-quarter profit rose 10 percent to a record $5.17 billion, as soaring higher oil prices countered weakness in its refining and chemicals units.

Crude-oil futures climbed as high as $126.25 a barrel with strong demand for diesel fuel and concerns about global crude supplies sending prices to a fresh all-time high.

Chevron's shares closed up 5 cents, or 0.05 percent, at $97.39 on Friday.