News In Brief

By , Lance Carden, and Elisabetta Coletti

Speculation in the us oil-industry turned to a possible merger between Texaco and Royal Dutch/Shell after the former abruptly ended negotiations over a deal with Chevron. A Texaco statement called Chevron's takeover offer - reportedly $37 billion - "unacceptable in all respects." There were hints, however, that future merger opportunities with rivals other than Chevron would be considered. Texaco is a partner in a joint venture with Shell. A Chevron executive said his company's offer was "very competitive" and called Texaco's rejection "surprising."

Despite continuing strong demand for its products and services, Lockheed Aeronautical Systems said it would cut its work force by 21 percent to achieve necessary cost reductions. The Marietta, Ga., facility, a division of giant defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp., employs about 9,500 people.

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